Oh dear it's out the bag

So I posted on Friday that I didn’t want to cover much of the MSSA anymore but then I got hassled for most of Friday and Saturday about the coverage so I decided to do some more investigation and what I found was quite disappointing.

As you know MSSA is the local government organisation that looks after eSports (and other mindsports). MSSA is held under the umbrella of SASCOC, SASCOC has  a set definition for terms and players who are eligible for selection for national colours and to participate in Test Matches.

Now continuing on our policy of not investigating the players, I looked into the actual match and according to SASCOC this is the official definition of 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.

So that’s pretty clear. It’s a contest between  two national teams under the auspice of an international controlling body, easy enough. Now we can make a national team thanks to the existence of the MSSA who has been granted permission by the government to award colours and run trials.

However we recently played against Mexico, whose dismal performance started all of this, and this match was marketed in some spheres as a test match.

So I took it upon myself to investigate whether this was valid, as we’ve been accused by the MSSA and supporters of not investigating our articles properly. After a fruitless search via Google and after a number of discussions with the Mexican gamers over Facebook it was becoming clear that there was no such organisation.

but-wait-thats-not-all

But we didn’t stop there, I decided to email the Mexican embassy in South Africa and asked them if such an organisation exists and I received this response from Mauricio Apablaza from the Embassy of Mexico

“Dear Gavin,

Thank you for your email and interest in Mexico. With regards to your enquiry about eSports in Mexico we unfortunately do not have any department or government office in Mexico that deal with this activity since is a private leisure matter.

If you send us more details about your specific enquiry we might be able to give you some advice.

Kind regards,”

We’re still chatting but the first paragraph is the killer. Without a government office that deals with eSports they cannot legally make a national side. Therefore the test match was invalid, it’s not even debateable.

I put this question to Colin Webster and received the following response.

Mr Mannion

Mexico eSports is a member of the IeSF as is the Romanian Federation.

Your argument is groundless.

Yours sincerely

C A Webster

I quickly replied

Colin,

You are bound by the terms of the SASCOC code of conduct. Are you sure this is your final answer or would you like to chat to the legal department and come back?

To which Colin responded very quickly

Mr Mannion
Your lack of knowledge is laughable!
Perhaps you would like to apologise for your malicious statements?
Is Lazygamer owned by AshSky Media CC. Are you a member of the CC? Does AshSky Media CC have a URL?

So the fact that SASCOC has a very definitive definition of what can and can’t be called a test match and the fact that the MSSA didn’t follow that definition makes this argument groundless. And then we head back down the road of attempted legal bullying by implying he needs all the information about the company while never stating why.

This email conversation when on ad nausea until I stopped responding. I suspect it will start again today though.

Oh and you may be wondering about the Romanian mention above, well that was from when NightEND came to SA to play against PandaTank in that widely marketed Test Match that many sponsors put a lot of finances into. Now I haven’t received a response yet on whether or not the Romania eSports setup is official or not so I’m not saying it was invalid..  yet.

Starcraft-II-Heart-of-the-Swarm-Invitational-Tournament-Match-Up

I wonder how the Bok sponsors would feel if they were told they were sponsoring an official test match only to find out afterwards it was nothing more than our national team playing some random team with no affiliation to any national body.

The IesF is a private organisation which has tasked itself with improving eSports worldwide, something which can only be applauded and I wish it all the best. However what it can’t be is an international body that can organise international matches between non affiliated teams.

eSports Mexico is also run by a private individual with no links to the government or national bodies.

It’s a disgrace only eclipsed by the fact that the MSSA is defending their position after organising a false test match.

I also keep on being told we are posting malicious arguments and that I should apologise for them.

The definition of malicious is

“characterized by malice; intending or intended to do harm.”

There is no malice here, it is our job to report on eSports and gaming in the country and unless all of this information is fundamentally flawed I have only posted information that gamers, organisations and sponsors have a right to know. It’s in the public interest so today the MSSA needs to decide if they are going to press charges or drop the legal facade. It’s like claiming the BBC’s reporting is malicious because they pointed out that the UK government has done something wrong.

I’d also like to send a huge thanks out to all those people who have emailed me documents, information and history around their dealings with the MSSA. It appears I have opened the biggest can of worms in South African gaming history.

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Last Updated: September 16, 2013

1.1
was reviewed on PC

81 Comments

  1. Admiral Chief of Rivia

    September 16, 2013 at 12:08

    MSSA circling the drain…

    Reply

    • Kromas

      September 16, 2013 at 12:10

      Already clogged the toilet.

      Reply

  2. Umar Silent Hill Save Lisa :(

    September 16, 2013 at 12:10

    I feel like I’m watching So You Think You Can Dance…MSSA dancing around the issue

    http://guycodeblog.mtv.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/funny-gifs-dancing-alone1.gif

    Reply

    • That Tall Twit

      September 16, 2013 at 12:17

      HAHA!

      Reply

    • Matthew Holliday

      September 16, 2013 at 13:34

      fikshun ftw

      Reply

  3. DrunkGamer

    September 16, 2013 at 12:11

    So because the Mexican Government views eSports as a “leisure activity” and has no interest in making it official the guys in Mexico should just not compete internationally?

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      September 16, 2013 at 12:13

      No it means they cannot have a national team by other countries.. it’s how it works unfortunately.

      Reply

  4. Admiral Chief of Rivia

    September 16, 2013 at 12:11

    You know what is laughable, that the president/leader/ceo/person uses such bad English

    Reply

    • That Tall Twit

      September 16, 2013 at 12:15

      Just now they will break out the Engrish too.

      Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      September 16, 2013 at 12:15

      Don’t they all?

      Reply

  5. Alex [SS] PsyChoPanthis

    September 16, 2013 at 12:11

    there is nothing left to say but this:

    🙂

    Keep it up Lagz

    Reply

  6. RincemySniperKittEH0-O

    September 16, 2013 at 12:12

    Go Gavin! BOOM!

    Reply

  7. Hammersteyn

    September 16, 2013 at 12:13

    This is ten times more entertaining than Cart Blanche. But very disappointing for Esports in general. The attitude of Mr. Colin is also very unprofessional for someone who is the head of a government organization.

    Reply

    • RincemySniperKittEH0-O

      September 16, 2013 at 12:14

      I know hey, how juvenile is he?

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief of Rivia

        September 16, 2013 at 12:15

        Juvenile? Hehe

        Reply

  8. That Tall Twit

    September 16, 2013 at 12:14

    Keep up the good work Gavin & team!

    Reply

  9. HighlanderZA

    September 16, 2013 at 12:17

    Keep it going, this is good investigative reporting
    Just scared we might lose you to CNN or something

    Reply

    • That Tall Twit

      September 16, 2013 at 12:18

      “Welcome to 3rd Degree, with me, Gavin Mannion!”

      Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      September 16, 2013 at 12:20

      lol not likely.. I don’t really enjoy doing this sort of investigation.. I like gaming to be happy and fun… but it’s the job I guess

      Reply

      • HighlanderZA

        September 16, 2013 at 12:26

        What matters the most is that we can see the passion, not just a job, in your article.

        Reply

      • GalacticLordCaptainAwesomeness

        September 16, 2013 at 12:37

        “These statements are full of malice. This is a revolutionary house, you and your Blob do not have standing here…you are a small boy… ” or something along the line…go get them Gav

        Reply

  10. Charles Du Plessis

    September 16, 2013 at 12:21

    Well done.

    Reply

  11. SaintsRowLee

    September 16, 2013 at 12:23

    But I am confused: So the Mexican government does not have a department/body that deals with gaming. So what do we do in a case like this? Sorry bud, your government does not acknowledge you, so go off and go play somewhere else! And be all arriba arriba andale about it!
    Seems a bit unfair to me…

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      September 16, 2013 at 12:26

      You play as a clan or an unofficial team.. We can play Mexico it just cannot be called a test match and our guys can’t earn caps for it. It’s not an official game,

      Reply

      • SaintsRowLee

        September 16, 2013 at 13:27

        But if there is an international governing body, can countries such as Mexico with no official government backing not be part of that body?

        Reply

        • Gavin Mannion

          September 16, 2013 at 13:36

          Yes they can, but we can’t play an official test match against them as the opposing nation hasn’t granted them national status/

          eSports Mexico has affiliated with IesF and that’s how these matches are organised. However Mexico as a country does not view the Mexican DOTA 2 team as anything other than a group of friends playing computer games. No national status given.

          Reply

          • SaintsRowLee

            September 16, 2013 at 13:59

            This in my opinion is nitpicking really. So eSports Mexico (which I understand is the national representing body of Mexican gamers) is affiliated with the IesF, which is the international body (like a FIFA or IRB, if you will).
            Yet, just because the Mexican government have not rubberstamped eSports Mexico as “official” it now means that the Mexican players will never get the recognition they deserve (as a national team) on the international playing field?
            I am sorry, but that sounds just way too political to me. Since when has gaming been more about politics then gaming itself?
            If the Mexicans are happy with eSports Mexico being their representatives, and if IesF is happy with eSprts Mexico and sees them as the “official” Mexican representatives, what the hell does governmental backing mean to us? Should it mean anything at all even? Should the Mexican team then be seen as anything less than an internationally recognised team?

  12. JHN

    September 16, 2013 at 12:23

    C A Webster aka “captain douche” this guy is such a chop, you can see he is on a power trip.

    Reply

  13. Lag_Beast

    September 16, 2013 at 12:27

    Thank you so much for taking the time to investigate and tackle MSSA about their consistent blunders. Feels great to know that years and years of trying to explain how pathetic the MSSA is, is finally paying off <3

    Reply

  14. HellsHound

    September 16, 2013 at 12:28

    To say how disappointed I am in how the MSSA has handled this is an understatement, especially since I wanted to get involved again next year. I cannot grasp why they persist in defending what is clearly a mistake or serious error and will not just admit it and apologize.

    Reply

    • Matthew Holliday

      September 16, 2013 at 13:36

      disappointing and sad, yes
      unexpected? no.
      the MSSA have done the whole legal bullying / governing body / wanting their fingers in every pie thing time and time again:

      http://gaming.do.co.za/articles/localnews/mssa_intervene_qoob_trip.htm#comments

      Reply

      • Gavin Mannion

        September 16, 2013 at 13:42

        That is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.

        How is stopping someone from representing SA helping eSports? It’s not like they even asked for money or even acknowledgement.

        Reply

        • Matthew Holliday

          September 16, 2013 at 14:10

          The old dota and CoD4 players have all the best MSSA stories: Quikshot, gridl0ck etc
          The amount of stories that go along the lines of “oh, so you dont want to put up with our bullshit and sign our contract so we can take credit when you go overseas? well then, uhm, we’ll sue you for… something or its uhm… not legal” is scary.

          http://gaming.do.co.za/articles/localnews/gaming_documentary_sketches_local_gamings_history.htm (featuring our very own Yolanda, surprised she hasnt had more to say about the MSSA, and surprised that her past articles regarding the MSSA were so positive, from her past experiences with the gaming community)

          http://gaming.do.co.za/articles/opinion/iesf_mssa_spotlight_.htm

          Alternatively, Quikshot from that QOOB / MSSA article i linked is now in Europe Commentating on League of Legends for RIOT.

          Reply

          • Ultimo_Cleric N7

            September 16, 2013 at 14:52

            How arrogant. wow. MSSA seems like its time has come. Please Gav, take them down.

  15. Paul Fouche

    September 16, 2013 at 12:31

    BOOM!

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief of Rivia

      September 16, 2013 at 12:32

      HEADSHOT

      Reply

      • Ultimo_Cleric N7

        September 16, 2013 at 12:33

        CRITACAL HIT

        Reply

        • That Tall Twit

          September 16, 2013 at 12:33

          FATALITY!

          Reply

        • Admiral Chief of Rivia

          September 16, 2013 at 12:39

          *Critical spelling failure

          😛

          Reply

          • Paul Fouche

            September 16, 2013 at 12:43

            ^_^

          • Ultimo_Cleric N7

            September 16, 2013 at 13:13

            Damn, thought I had corrected it in time.

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            September 16, 2013 at 13:23

            XD

  16. Rags

    September 16, 2013 at 12:39

    So if Mexico does not need an official body, why do we?

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      September 16, 2013 at 12:48

      I think the official body is a great idea.. to be able to represent your country and earn Protea colours for gaming is a fantastic step forward.

      I just think it could be done better… much better

      Reply

      • Rags

        September 16, 2013 at 12:50

        True enough!

        Reply

  17. MMMM

    September 16, 2013 at 12:40

    Good job Gavin. Once again the MSSA has failed to admit fault and tries to intimidate through legal action.

    I would suggest to Colin and the MSSA that their approach is getting old quick, time to make changes that actually promote eSports to where it should be in the country. Seperate eSports into its own federation with people that actually understand and care about it; we are getting tired of unneeded bureaucracy at every corner. There is a very stupid power struggle that is just hurting the gamers.

    Reply

  18. jeevadotnet

    September 16, 2013 at 12:43

    IeSF & Associated parties = Hilly Billy LAN party. If you cannot beat anyone just create your own organization.

    Reply

    • Hillbilly gamer

      September 16, 2013 at 12:50

      HEH, I am offend by…..Bird!!!!!

      Reply

  19. Unavengedavo (aka. Frik)

    September 16, 2013 at 12:44

    I see another website has also reported on this issue. Why couldn’t MSSA respond to you guys as professionally as they did to them? Was it because you guys exposed the truth before they could think up a better cover story? Or was it because they though that you would give in to their threats?

    Reply

    • Tarisma

      September 16, 2013 at 13:18

      So I did some googling and found this article.

      This is my favorite part

      “If players do not like the clauses in the contract, they are not forced to sign it – they will also not be awarded national team colours nor given the opportunity to officially represent South Africa, said Webster.”

      Reply

  20. Ch!cken M@N

    September 16, 2013 at 12:46

    Ding Ding Ding Ding… Yes folks this has been a very tough match between the 2 heavyweights, but it is not over!! We can see LG’s consistency with the right jab starting to expose the opponent. The question on everyone’s minds are, where is this big left hook from the big Colin Webster.

    Let me tell you, the next few rounds are going to be interesting as some external factors are going to play roles on who wins this match, but enough from me. Back to you Gavin, please tell us how many rounds you think Colin can take on that eye. Ding Ding Ding Ding…

    Adrian!! Adriaaan!!

    Reply

  21. Brady miaau

    September 16, 2013 at 12:57

    Hi.

    I assume when Mr Webster states “Your lack of knowledge is laughable!”, you asked him to please expand your knowledge, so that you may expand your knowledge?

    Why does he not want to correct you, to show you where your knowledge is lacking?

    Reply

  22. Lardus-Respect the beard

    September 16, 2013 at 13:10

    Man this SUCKS! Good reporting LG. I’ll run MSSA for them if they match my current pay. It will be professional and official and stuff. Might even start a brothel for the virgin gamers and hide it better than the spin doctor hehe.

    Reply

  23. Unavengedavo (aka. Frik)

    September 16, 2013 at 13:12

    What did the Players for MSSA have to say in regards to this article? Just asking in case you get accused that you didn’t contact them regarding this?

    Reply

    • Tarisma

      September 16, 2013 at 13:24

      Well they cant say much can they. They would be risking a R15000 fine

      Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      September 16, 2013 at 13:34

      No players were contacted for this. I do have an interview with the DOTA 2 SA captain.. which I am going to try get up for tomorrow if time permits

      Reply

  24. Purple_Dragon

    September 16, 2013 at 13:16

    I’m just astounded at Colin’s responses. Sounds like a pimply faced teen at the other end of those emails. What a poes.

    Reply

  25. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    September 16, 2013 at 13:18

    Btw, when I looked up MSSA on google I also saw that its a Bacterial Desease :Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus
    How……appropriate. Considering the way Colin has been acting as of late. Well done Colin, you are fast becoming the bad guy of SA gaming.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief of Rivia

      September 16, 2013 at 13:25

      What doth thine disease do?

      Reply

      • Ultimo_Cleric N7

        September 16, 2013 at 13:47

        “Although S. aureus is not always pathogenic, it is a common cause of skin infections (e.g. boils), respiratory disease (e.g. sinusitis), and food poisoning” – Wikipedia
        Guess this explains why Colin makes a lot of people sick….

        Reply

  26. Anon A Mouse

    September 16, 2013 at 13:21

    LG vs MSSA

    Reply

  27. Anon A Mouse

    September 16, 2013 at 13:24

    Never mind the national bodies, do eSports actually have an international body? If not, then no Test will be official and no national colours can be given. If there are one are we affiliated with it?

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      September 16, 2013 at 13:34

      We are affiliated with the IesF which is an international body. Whether it’s seen as a FIFA, or ICB I’m not sure

      But you can get national colours in anything that your government says you can. You don’t need international permission to do that

      Reply

      • Anon A Mouse

        September 16, 2013 at 13:41

        But you’ve stated that lesF is a private origination. How does that work then? Surely they’re then not recognized as the umbrella body for eSports worldwide, or am I missing something again?

        Also I did not know you can get national colours without actually playing tests. Something learned for the day then.

        Reply

        • jGLZA

          September 16, 2013 at 13:44

          IeSF is as private an organization as FIFA is according to the ever reliable Wikipedia 😀

          Reply

          • Gavin Mannion

            September 16, 2013 at 13:47

            yeah FIFA is private bu accepted by pretty much all nations.. With the MSSA affiliating with the IeSF then I can presume we (as a country) have chosen them as the international body

          • Brady miaau

            September 16, 2013 at 14:22

            FIFA is the ruling body, i.e. sets international standards and rules and all countries are members, which comes with certain conditions. Greece was so nearly removed from international football, because politicians may not interfere with the ruling bodies in any way and there was some political meddling. SA was also investigated for this, late last year.

            Point is, FIFA has the power because it was granted them by, essentially, all soccer playing nations.

        • Gavin Mannion

          September 16, 2013 at 13:44

          1. Not missing anything.. it’s a grey area and I really don’t know the answer.

          2. I’m open to correction here but I can’t see how a country can’t make a national side even if they have no one to officially play against..

          Nathan Anderson was given his national colours before leaving for DreamHack… so it must be possible. Mind you…

          Reply

  28. Brady miaau

    September 16, 2013 at 13:46

    Look, I do not get the fuss right now (but am enjoying reading it!)

    1. Does eSports Mexico exist and do they have national authority in Mexico? Mr Webster seems to think they do. This is a simple yes or no, which can backed up.

    2. IesF: do they have the right to arrange games or not?

    3. Was the match valid or not? Did the player’s receive colours or not? Were they promised colours that they did not receive, as a result of this mess?

    4. Does SASCOC regard the Dota 2 match against Mexico as a “Test Match”?

    5. ““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”. What are the rules, as defined and ratified by MSSA and its members, as regards a “Test Match”?

    6. I am sure there are more questions.

    Gavin, I think you are handling this very well. I did not and do not agree with some of what you stated in this and other articles, but that is life, we will not always agree.

    My opinion: these questions need to be answered by MSSA and perhaps SASCOC. Does South Africa want to be taken seriously in the eSports arena? I think we do. This is not helping.

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      September 16, 2013 at 13:50

      1. It exists and doesn’t have national authority

      2. Anyone can arrange games 🙂

      3. What makes a valid match? The opposition were not valid

      4. Unless the MSSA has somehow changed the meaning of the statement

      5. As above, the MSSA did not respond saying they have a different perspective on test matches

      6. There are

      The nice thing about being in the media is that this is a public spot and anyone has the right to respond and call me out for getting it wrong. I’m taking the risk by putting my arguments out here for thousands of people to pick apart.. I don’t take that lightly and I definitely do not see myself as an expert of eSports internationally or the rules of government

      Reply

      • Brady miaau

        September 16, 2013 at 14:09

        Well, good luck. I still want to see MSSA answer my point 3, all of it. If a “cap” was earned, well, that is bad.

        Also, on their (MSSA) facebook page, the picture of the young man who played SC2 for SA this weekend and was bundled out, has the word UNCAPPED in the bottom right. I wonder what that means…..

        For years now I have heard from my friends, console gamers and some of the best Tekken and Street Fighter players in SA, that the MSSA is a strange body, that operates in ways that do not seem to advance SA eSports. These allegations are not new, not by a long shot. Concrete answers, MSSA, does wonders to set minds at ease.

        Reply

  29. Skande

    September 16, 2013 at 13:49

    I wonder if Minister Manuel could in anyway get to the bottom of something like this, would love that. Still in contact with a few people who still actively work for Minister Manuel and Minister Manuel is truly someone who hates stuff like this happening in Government.

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      September 16, 2013 at 13:51

      lol I don’t think this is anywhere near important enough to disturb him with… I have great respect for that man

      Reply

      • Purple_Dragon

        September 16, 2013 at 13:53

        Yep and if you guys think this is bad, it pales in comparison to the other stuff SASCOC has been getting up to. Check out sportsfire.co.za.

        Reply

      • Skande

        September 16, 2013 at 14:10

        Well let me see what I can do here, getting you 30 min to just even get advise on how to forward from him would be a win. Will let you know.

        Reply

  30. Blackhawk

    September 16, 2013 at 14:07

    Gavin, keep doing what you are doing. I’m amazed by your patience with Mr Webster. Big props to you!

    Reply

  31. Dean_12

    September 17, 2013 at 14:58

    Why don’t we challenge mister colin to an online match. If we win, he resigns?

    Reply

  32. Chris DeWet

    September 25, 2013 at 20:45

    Judging from their webpage and a singular Facebook page,Mr. Webster and co. seem unqualified to be running eSports events in the first place. Since when does being good at Warhammer-like games make someone the leading authority on video games?

    Reply

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