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The MSSA sent out a press release yesterday announcing that the South African League of Legends national team will be taking part in a tri-nations tournament against Israel and Denmark in the near future.

The exact wording is as follows,

For this reason the MSSA, with a great deal of help from both MWEB and the IeSF have structured the first ever on-line Tri-Nations Test Match.

The South African Protea Team will be pitted against both Denmark and Israel in this exciting test match.

The Danes are without doubt the favourites, but the South African Team is determined to hold their own.

Even though the Tri-Nation Test Match will be played on-line, the South African team will play as a unit from the MWEB MCAVE at the MWEB head office in Parow.

So instead of just posting this and waving flags let’s look at some of the details.

First up the MSSA has structured the first ever online tri nations test match…Well done except the Danish are already playing on online Tri-Nations against Spain and France, so that’s the first lie.

Next up, it’s that test match thing again. Neither the Israeli nor Danish federations are actually federations or linked to the government. Now thankfully they both appear to be far more active and professional than the Mexican organisation and by all accounts it looks like these two will be able to provide the very best their nations have to offer… yet they aren’t official and therefore according to the laws and regulations of SASCOC, the governing body that Mind Sports falls under, it’s not really a test match. 

It’s not complicated really, according to SASCOC it is not a test match.

test match”-means a contest in sport between national teams of two or more nations, held in terms of the rules and regulations of the international controlling body of such sport.

As there is no officially recognised international controlling body the match cannot be played under the rules and regulations of it. And as the Danish and Israeli bodies are not official they can’t award official colours and as such they are not an official national team.

Okay. But why are we being so pedantic about this, isn’t it all just good for the country and eSports in general?

Well yes and no. Playing against some of the top countries is definitely good for us and is something we all want. However why not just be honest about it? What is the MSSA trying to hide by pretending these are official test matches or that they are breaking new ground here?

It doesn’t make any sense and it’s very frustrating to see an organisation lie blatantly and then have journalists in our very own country sit here and defend them.

I don’t like calling out other journalists who are just doing their job but Han Cilliers wrote this yesterday

Yes, it’s a test match. How do we know this? Israel, Denmark and South Africa are all members of the International eSports Federation (IeSF), and you can only compete at the IeSF if you represent your country.

You can only compete at the IeSF if you represent your country, not if your country recognises you. That’s a big difference. 

But don’t just take my word for it. Here is what the Israeli federation has to say about this match.

Israel’s national team will face world championship team in friendly matches against Denmark and selected South – Africa. Games will be broadcast live.

That horrible mess is the Google Translate version but I’ve had it verified by two separate Hebrew speaking people and the key point is what I have bolded above. These are being seen as friendlies by the Israeli team.

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So our organisation is playing an official test match against Israel.. Israel are playing a friendly against us. It makes a mockery of the MSSA it really does and the only thing worse is the fact that when I asked Colin for confirmation I get this response.

dear Gavin
You seem to be unaware as to how sport works.
National federations are not government departments.
For example, Athletics South Africa is a private body that runs Athletics in South Africa.
SARU is a private association that runs rugby in South Africa.
SAFA is a private body that runs football in South Africa.
Need I go on?
Best regards

Yes Colin I do need you to go on, I need you to actually answer the question that was put forward. As an aside, Yes, SARU is a private organisation – but it’s one that’s affiliated with the internationally recognised International Rugby Board, which in turn is affiliated with the International Olympic committee, in turn affiliated with Sport Accord, the umbrella union of sports federations, of which FIFA, for example, is a member. that makes the IRB an officially, internationally accepted governing body. No such body exists for eSports. Interestingly, the IeSF has met the requirements and made an application to affiliate with Sport Accord, so that could well change in the future. If accepted, that would legitimise eSports and make all of this nonsense go away (though it could lead to even more bureaucratic meddling).

Hi Colin,

You are calling this a test match, are the Danish and Israeli teams chosen by their national departments or private organisations.

I look forward to your prompt response

Now yes my wording may be slightly off but we all know what the question is.

Interestingly my follow up email requesting contact details for the Israeli and Danish federations has been ignored, as has my query following up our request for information. I also contacted the IeSF previously and once I confirmed I am looking for information to investigate their matches they have also stopped responding.

Is he gone yet?

So all in all this test match is nothing more than a friendly game organised between different countries. That’s fantastic and something worth supporting –  so stop lying about it. You are just embarrassing yourself.

Oh and whoever is going to be taking over from Colin, I know you are reading this, please for the love of all that is holy don’t repeat the same mistakes. Be open, honest and transparent and the community and media at large will back you. You will get more sponsorships and backing and better press coverage. It really is that simple.

Oh and while the Israeli and Danish teams are playing online from their locations the MSSA is insisting that the South African team be on site at the Mweb Cave in Cape Town. My only response to that?

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Last Updated: October 4, 2013

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was reviewed on PC

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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