Home Gaming South African eSports Association – a new hope or return of the empire?

South African eSports Association – a new hope or return of the empire?

2 min read


Over on Facebook, a mini-revolution has been going on. People dissatisfied with existing eSports associations in South Africa have banded together to make a new one. I had a chat with their President, Anthony Nell, to find out more.

Now, you can go over to Facebook and twitter to find out more about South African eSports Association (SAESA). I think Nell summed up the idea behind the SAESA best when he explained:

We are trying to give people with practical experience access to the people without it.

He went on to describe the association as a mixture between a watch-dog organization and a union of sorts. However, those who wish to be involved will not pay any member’s fees or enter into binding contracts. SAESA strives to help anyone who is interested in joining the eSports world, or is already active but needs advice and help. This includes helping players brand themselves, learn what is expected at a pro-level, and what to expect from sponsorship arrangements. In the spirit of altruism, Nell stated:

We are always there to help anyone out in any way we possibly can.

Speaking of altruism, SAESA not only doesn’t charge membership fees, they are also without any corporate sponsors. In fact, SAESA isn’t sure they want any sponsorships as this might compromise their independence. SAESA is also adamant that they are not, and will not become, like the MSSA:

One of my main goals personally is to inform people that we are nothing like them, in operation or in any other sense. We have no interest in providing national colours to players, nor do we wish to provide people with any player contracts ourselves – we want to make sure everyone, on all sides, is treated professionally and equipped with the skills and opportunity to do well nationally and internationally, while also making sure those that don’t and have no interest in the good of the various communities are outed as such.

Anthony Nell is certainly committed and enthusiastic, as is the rest of his association. There is no doubt eSports is growing locally; we are even getting our very first eSports lounge in Cape Town. Will SAESA be successful? Only time will tell. I worry about the lack of funding – altruism can only last so long. That said, gamers are a committed bunch, and hopefully we will see some positive growth for eSports come out of this new group. I just hope that they are able to find concrete ways of helping eSports athletes – local eSports needs all the support it can get.

Like esports?
Check out esports central

Last Updated: November 20, 2013


  1. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 20, 2013 at 08:37

    hehe @ barcraft on the esports lounge page. I always thought barcraft was about getting to & from the bar with your drinks in the least amount of time.


    • RinceandShrubbery

      November 20, 2013 at 10:16

      No, that’s the events I arrange πŸ˜›


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        November 20, 2013 at 10:21

        Getting away from events you arrange is called self-preservation πŸ˜›


        • RinceandShrubbery

          November 20, 2013 at 10:22

          Fine! I shall not invite you to the next meet up! Spoke to John last night, he’s back but has been crazy busy this week.


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 20, 2013 at 08:38

    It’s a really cool idea to have independent people advising other gamers on these kinds of things.


  3. Admiral Chief Duke

    November 20, 2013 at 08:53



  4. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    November 20, 2013 at 08:59

    e spors lounge in CT!!! Sweet
    As for SAESA, good luck guys. You really have some great goals, looking forward to seeing what you can do.


  5. B4d R0b0t

    November 20, 2013 at 09:05

    Love the lounge idea. Good luck to SAESA.


  6. Vampyre Squirrel

    November 20, 2013 at 09:14

    VIVA Le Revolution!!!

    SAESA SAESA SAESA!!! (technically not caps :P)


  7. HvR

    November 20, 2013 at 09:25

    Finally something gaming related just around the corner from me.


  8. Matthew Holliday

    November 20, 2013 at 09:31

    Whats funny about SAESA, is that its made up of pretty much the exact same people, that the dota 2 South Africa group, which everyone complains so much about, is made up of.


    • caponeil

      November 20, 2013 at 11:26

      but now there is an ethical code to upheld and taking a bit of responsibility for actions by leading by example.


      • Matthew Holliday

        November 20, 2013 at 11:44

        again, thats sorta the point i was making.
        the assumption that the dota community is cancerous and vile (as its so often mentioned here) is offset by members within the community, making an effort to make a positive change on the local esports scene.


        • caponeil

          November 20, 2013 at 11:47

          yip – you get it Matthew!


    • Rudi de Lange

      November 20, 2013 at 11:27

      The Dota 2 Facebook group is filled with trolls and troll posts etc etc etc. The SAESA has a certain feel of professionalism about it and it is strictly moderated, although strict moderation hasn’t even really been a requirement as people are acting very professionally.

      There’s a big difference between a game page and a professional, committed orginisation page mate πŸ™‚


      • Matthew Holliday

        November 20, 2013 at 11:38

        thats sorta the point im making.
        people around here assume the dota scene is the big bad community of trolls, but its just a community of troll posts/comments, rather than actual douchebags.
        the community itself is actually a really positive one.


  9. Rags

    November 20, 2013 at 09:42

    So is there anything practical that they have done? Seems very wishy washy to me.


    • Matthew Holliday

      November 20, 2013 at 11:10

      Only announced their official staff/running crew 2 weeks ago and dont have any sponsors.
      the organisation in general was only made about a month or two ago.
      how much do you imagine they could do in that time?

      they still need to figure out what it is THEY want to do.
      Their current aim is to just slap things like the MSSA around a bit, into putting the needs of gamers about the needs of their wallets.


      • Rags

        November 20, 2013 at 13:49

        lol. They still need to figure out what they want to do?
        Cart before the horse?


    • Rudi de Lange

      November 20, 2013 at 11:30

      I agree with Matthew on this, the orginisation and the idea behind it is very young. There is still ample time to prove what they are capable of. Also, the festive season is very close and not much can be done in this period as everyone has family responsibilities.

      Keep a close eye in the new year πŸ™‚


      • Rags

        November 20, 2013 at 13:46

        Not really helping to change my view πŸ˜›


        • Anthony

          November 20, 2013 at 14:51

          Rags I hear you, and the cart before the horse is, while fair, a little off point. We have gone a long ways to uniting a broken community where others seem to widen the gaps. We may not have done much tangible work as yet, but as mentioned before this is literally 2 months old. Give us a chance, get involved and make a difference where you can.


          • Rags

            November 20, 2013 at 15:41

            Sorry if I was flippant but we have endured many esports organisations propping up over the last 10+ years only to die a quick death because there was no clear vision or workable model to keep it sustainable.

            I asked for an example of the stuff that have been done, because its not clear what you are doing. It’s understandable if you don’t have anything to show yet. But I am disappointed that instead of being told here is x y and z that we are working on, I got we are still figuring out what we are going to do and “festive season is very close and not much can be done in this period as everyone has family responsibilities”.

            If I am willing to become involved I don’t really know why, what role I can play and what you need etc.

            Heck I’d even be willing to put in some time to help with a website, sponsor hosting and get involved from the Quake community side of things if I knew what the plan was and if its a good one.

            I wish you all the best though, and I hope you can make a difference.

          • Rudi de Lange

            November 20, 2013 at 15:45

            I just want to add that my comment on the holiday season etc etc is my own opinion of why there probably won’t be much to look out for over December, but I might be proven wrong.

            While I am a firm supporter of the SAESA, I am in no way entitled to make statements on their behalf so don’t take my comments on their actions to heart just yet πŸ™‚

          • Rags

            November 20, 2013 at 15:47

            Ah, fair enough. I retract that part then.

  10. CataclysmicDawn

    November 20, 2013 at 10:06

    Isn’t the Games On Gaming Lounge also in Cape Town? Or is this new place exclusively for eSports?

    Having spoken to Anthony and the crew running the show (of the SAESA now), I’m interested to see where it goes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Sony has bought the EVO fighting game tournament series

Sony is betting big on esports entertainment, and it's taking that first step forward with…