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Team Rize responds to controversy

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Pupsky Team RiZe

As we’ve told you before, there was something awry when Team RiZe was selected to represent South Africa. I interviewed Pupsky, our lone remaining South African player, to get his response to the controversy.

Starting from the beginning, I asked him how they actually selected the squad to take part in the qualifiers. Pupsky explained that he’s part of a local team called Team RiZe, but two of the players are under age. One of the MLG requirements is that players have to be 18 or older to compete, so they had to find other players to take part. After meeting a couple of UK players, Pupsky asked if he could play with them, something that complied with MLG rules.

Of course, it still doesn’t mean that they truly represent SA. I asked how he feels they are representing South Africa:

I definitely think that we are still representing them [South Africans]. A lot of the people here actually don’t know about the whole controversy with the UK players so they all still see us as South African. I definitely feel like we’re representing South Africa, I mean, we have the shirts [gestures to SA flag on official shirt] so I definitely feel like we’re still representing South Africa.

Going further, I asked Pupsky what he has to say to the other South African teams. Obviously they were filled with 100% South African players, which would have made them more representative. As he explained, he still thinks that the other teams have excellent players, and that it was simply an unlucky match up that they had against Team RiZe:

All the times we played the South African teams, it could have gone either way really. I guess the luck was in our favour that day.

As nice as Pupsky seems as a person, I don’t really think he grasps the magnitude of what happened at the qualifiers. To him, it’s all just a matter of following the MLG rules and getting the opportunity to compete at an international tournament. While he seems to be using the tournament as a learning and growing experience, I still can’t help but feel that it’s a shame for South Africa. Sure, another team might have come out with a similar result in the rankings, but more local players would have had the opportunity to meet international professionals, learn from matches and aspire to greater eSports heights.

In the end, Team RiZe was in it for themselves. I understand that mentality, and it’s really common across competitive events. I wouldn’t mind if it were all about “club” COD, but when national representation comes in, it takes on new meaning. I hope that MLG re-evaluates their rules considering the issues they’ve had with a few teams at the championships. Next year, let’s hope that more teams take part in the qualifiers and we can send a 100% South African, quality team to LA to compete.

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Last Updated: March 29, 2014

66 Comments

  1. Slangzn

    March 29, 2014 at 10:55

    Pupsky wouldn’t have an issue with it because it was to their benefit. Lets hope the rules get reviewed and the best RSA has to offer represents us next time instead of these selfish clowns. I dont play COD btw, but this story caught my eye when you guys ran it and I feel its a shame a team would do that. They not the best but merely managed to find a loophole in the rules and then smugly walk around with our flag on their chest claiming to represent us. You should be ashamed of yourselves!

    Reply

    • Guild

      March 29, 2014 at 12:15

      I agree. I do play COD and what happened was a joke. There were teams that were much more deserving in skill and lost due to lag issues by the UK players hosting. Hopefully MLG change their rules for next year and we don’t have a repeat

      Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      March 29, 2014 at 19:05

      Honestly if I was there I’d rip that flag off their shirts… they don’t deserve our great flag on their cheating shirts….. total rage mode

      Reply

      • Her Highness the Hipster

        March 29, 2014 at 19:39

        haha, only two of them even HAD the shirts – the others were just in hoodies. really disjointed, such a bad image for SA

        Reply

        • Rince

          March 30, 2014 at 02:26

          Oh babe. Bad form. Enjoy the rest though

          Reply

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            March 31, 2014 at 09:25

            Lol did you seriously say “Oh Babe” to Zoe?

            RUN ZOE RUN!!!!

          • Rince

            March 31, 2014 at 09:36

            You shut up! We’re tight! Like gym shorts ‘too tight’!

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            March 31, 2014 at 09:39

            Right… I’m staying out of this one *backs away*

        • Hammersteyn

          March 30, 2014 at 12:53

          Hoodies? Were they holding?

          Reply

  2. Robert Hart

    March 29, 2014 at 12:14

    This is the kind of thing the MSSA should be taking to court. It would be terribly ironic if they let this one pass after throwing the book at teams made of entirely RSA players.

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      March 29, 2014 at 19:04

      Unfortunately their legal fee’s are tied up at the moment suing the media for saying things they didn’t like

      Reply

      • Skyblue

        March 30, 2014 at 01:23

        MWEB *cough* MSSA money would be better spent chasing down fuckers like this who do about the same amount of harm to SA Esports as MSSA… I mean… MSSA… no wait… MSSA… awe shit…

        Reply

  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    March 29, 2014 at 12:16

    Where did I leave my clue bat?

    Reply

  4. Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    March 29, 2014 at 13:15

    Ok so you feel you guys represented SA? Let’s review:

    1) Photo on a plane with you guys giving the world the middle finger
    2) Hosted a very controversial session for the qualifiers overseas to give the local SA teams 0% advantage while the UK players had full advantage
    3) Got absolutely slammed in the tournament
    4) Claimed to have won a match that was drawn in the very first set of this tournament.

    Yeah, way to represent South Africa UK and sole SA gamer. Well done. We all feel so truly and properly represented*

    *That was sarcasm by the way RiZe and fall

    Reply

    • Willem Swanepoel

      March 29, 2014 at 14:55

      Team RiZe represented ANC …

      Reply

  5. Willem Swanepoel

    March 29, 2014 at 14:54

    Zoe, your questions were far too easy for him to answer.

    Where are the hard questions ?!?

    Reply

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      March 29, 2014 at 19:38

      honestly, he wasn’t even able to answer the easiest questions. pressing him just led to nervous laughter. I think the answers he gave show just how little Team RiZe cares about the controversy. As other community members have said – hope they enjoy the time in LA, because they’ve burnt all the bridges in SA.

      Reply

      • Willem Swanepoel

        March 29, 2014 at 19:42

        Hehe, I think you were too soft on him.

        Should have grinded him with the hard questions hehehe 😉

        One you should have asked him was …

        Whats up with the middle finger picture, you are supposed to represent South Africa?

        Reply

        • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

          March 30, 2014 at 13:24

          Yeah woulda loved to hear the response to that.

          Reply

          • Axon1988

            March 31, 2014 at 08:32

            Maybe he could not resist Zoe? Her female powers were too much!

      • anouska

        March 31, 2014 at 17:36

        I was there! they laughed off the controversy!! ha ha ha USA are bigger than that and welcomed and supported the team. As usual SA have issues. sad …… sad….. and immature we are in SA.

        Reply

  6. Norm the Horrible

    March 29, 2014 at 16:10

    What about that photo on Twitter of them all giving everyone the middle finger? How does that positively represent the UK, I mean South Africa?

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

      March 29, 2014 at 22:54

      Valid point there!

      Reply

  7. DaxterZA

    March 29, 2014 at 17:43

    “we have the shirts so I definitely feel like we’re still representing South Africa.”

    I face palmed so hard I broke my nose….

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

      March 29, 2014 at 22:54

      I heard your face palm all the way from here!

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

      March 29, 2014 at 22:54

      I heard your face palm all the way from here!

      Reply

    • Kromas

      March 30, 2014 at 01:08

      You obviously forgot that you don;t need a passport anymore if you are wearing the country your visiting’s emblem. 😛

      Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      March 30, 2014 at 12:51

      Hahaha, thought it was a jet that broke the sound barrier

      Reply

  8. VanessaGHooper

    March 29, 2014 at 22:41

    I hope that MLG re-evaluates their rules considering the issues they’ve had with a few teams at the championships. Next year, let’s hope that more teams take part in the qualifiers and we can send a 100% South African, quality team to LA to compete. http://qr.net/rtcX

    Reply

  9. Skyblue

    March 30, 2014 at 01:20

    WHAT
    AN
    UTTER
    TONSIL

    Reply

  10. Rince

    March 30, 2014 at 02:25

    The RINCE says this is bullshit. Where is their integrity? Ya, fun today but you will have NO respect from us here on. Young idiots. Grow up.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      March 30, 2014 at 12:51

      Pricks All of them. And yes that what she said “I felt a prick”

      Reply

    • Dutch Matrix

      March 31, 2014 at 09:45

      At first I wanted to say their integrity is next to their virginity. Then I realized that would be wrong. They lost their integrity. I don’t think these guys run the risk of losing their virginity soon… or ever.

      Reply

      • anouska

        March 31, 2014 at 17:33

        I sense issues in the southern department Dutch!

        Reply

  11. Hammersteyn

    March 30, 2014 at 12:54

    They have shirts so they are South Africans? Such utter failure on the part of MLG
    http://media.disquscdn.com/errors/img/3.gif

    Reply

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      March 30, 2014 at 13:26

      I have a shirt that says I’m Epic. Guess by his reasoning my shirt must then absolutely be telling the absolute 100% utter, undeniable truth.

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        March 31, 2014 at 07:28

        Absolutely, hence I’m of to the print shop this morning.

        Reply

        • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

          March 31, 2014 at 09:19

          Batman shirt or Superman?

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            March 31, 2014 at 09:26

            Batman!

          • Dutch Matrix

            March 31, 2014 at 09:42

            Whilst you there, please get me a Deadpool one?

          • anouska

            March 31, 2014 at 19:42

            …………………………

  12. anouska

    March 30, 2014 at 14:15

    the fault is not with Pupsky, the fault is with the rules. Originally the team were all South Africans, one was denied a visa and two were not of age. Pupsky improvised within the rules therefore the rules need to be revised.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      March 31, 2014 at 07:34

      By picking UK based players knowing full well the advantage he would have with latency. You’re telling me he couldn’t find any other SA players? Oh yes he improvised alright, he should be very proud that he could scam his way to America.

      Reply

  13. anouska

    March 30, 2014 at 18:54

    is Zoe south african? if so she should be ashamed of herself! any South African that is good enough to compete at an international level deserves support. The comments flying about on this site are so typical of the animosity experienced in SA. Shame on you all, and on you Zoe.

    Reply

    • TheDruid

      March 31, 2014 at 06:57

      ^^ A Rize player or fanboi I’m guessing…

      Reply

      • Dutch Matrix

        March 31, 2014 at 09:39

        Maybe a groupie? Though I have a depraved mind, I cannot imagine anybody wanting to shag Pupsky… So must be fanboi or player. Or maybe it’s Pupsky’s mom…

        Reply

        • anouska

          March 31, 2014 at 17:31

          you are all a sick bunch! I am a proud fan of COD!!!!

          Reply

          • Sk3tz0

            March 31, 2014 at 18:23

            “anouska Dutch Matrix • an hour ago
            you are all a sick bunch! I am a proud fan of COD!!!!”

            Lol.. Well there’s your Problem..

          • anouska

            March 31, 2014 at 19:09

            wtf are you doing on this forum? F….off, this is a gamers forum.

      • Sk3tz0

        March 31, 2014 at 18:26

        He’s their newly appointed PR Person it seem.. oke has such a love for this tripe he especially made an account to comment..

        Reply

        • anouska

          March 31, 2014 at 19:11

          absolutely!

          Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      March 31, 2014 at 07:41

      And we would have supported Team Rize if they were South African. One player from South Africa doesn’t make the team South African. Then there’s this bullshit(See image below). A team representing their nation would never be immature like this by posting it on Twitter. Fortunately their performance at the competition reflected this.
      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bjpc842IQAEm5XQ.jpg

      Reply

      • Dutch Matrix

        March 31, 2014 at 09:37

        En toe kots ek op my tafel!!!
        Sorry, but to say I vomited just sounds too nice. Can I be the first to say that Pupsky sounds like a douche and looks like a douche too? Can I? Can I? Please can I?

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          March 31, 2014 at 10:03

          Freedom of speech.

          Reply

          • Dutch Matrix

            March 31, 2014 at 10:49

            The thing that gets me worst of all is what once was an amazing tribute to the men and women who died in World War 2, has now devolved into this!
            Infinity Ward/Activision must be so proud…

          • oVg deprived

            March 31, 2014 at 10:58

            Hear hear. COD World at war was the last real COD game. But even that left a sour taste in my mouth.
            After the wonderful ending with a tribute to the brave, we get an option called Zombie mode.

            Zombie Nazis after a serious single player.

          • anouska

            March 31, 2014 at 19:43

            bla bla bla

          • Dutch Matrix

            April 1, 2014 at 07:51

            Mmmm… On second thought… you and the COD bunch deserve each other…

  14. Lardus-Resident Perve

    March 31, 2014 at 09:44

    Hy lyk soos ‘n baie dowwe “skoenboks”, en tree klinkmy ook soos een op.

    Reply

    • Dutch Matrix

      March 31, 2014 at 09:47

      Hoe’t Farmer Brown gesê? Hulle lyk so lekker want hulle eet so lekker!

      Reply

  15. MakeItLegal

    March 31, 2014 at 10:23

    Too much Cod in the news feed today … Somebody shoot me pls

    Reply

  16. anouska

    March 31, 2014 at 15:57

    if you look at the picture of the south african in his interview you will see he was not part of the group in the picture on the plane. besides, those boys are just having fun, I don’t see it as disrespectful

    Reply

  17. Michael

    March 31, 2014 at 16:31

    Sums it up nicely: “In the end, Team RiZe was in it for themselves”

    Reply

  18. anouska

    March 31, 2014 at 17:22

    the way I see it YES in it for themselves, why not? did any company in SA step forward to sponsor them? make them t-shirts, caps, bags etc…. NO! Yet the american, UK, australian teams were so nicely sponsored and supported. we suck at this !!

    Reply

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      April 2, 2014 at 22:00

      remember, the thing about sponsorships is that teams have to be GOOD for a brand. i spoke to other teams and they were nice, respectful and worked hard to give a good image for their team and sponsors. any sponsor that saw that twitter picture (regardless of a “just having fun” intention), or had to deal with all the negative publicity around the team, would have pulled sponsorship immediately.

      Reply

  19. Pupsky

    May 5, 2014 at 02:14

    Okay so I read this after you posted it and had a really good laugh at you, Zoe, and everyone who commented on this showing pure hate towards me. I’m deciding to comment on this now only because 1- I’m bored and 2- people like you and people in the comments are people I simply feel sorry for the most.

    So firstly, referring to the title of this article, this is completely not what you told me the interview was about. You told me you wanted to talk about Champs and let me share some stories with the country, yet you clearly only focused on the controversy. You said that I do not understand the magnitude of what happened at qualifiers, yet in reality I am the one person that understands the magnitude of what happened most after receiving endless ignorant comments, hate and even threats through various social media and having to respond to it all for a month. Why you chose to lie to me about what you’re interviewing me for makes no sense. Qualifiers was over a month ago from the event and almost everybody had put it behind them and decided to focus on the future. You deciding to bring back the controversy shows that you in fact do not want to put the issue behind you and do not want to focus on the future of South African gaming, yet you would rather give the small and hateful people of this community something to feed on by posting this article.

    I have actually began to get along well with and earn a mutual respect with most people in the South African Call Of Duty community since Champs because they are genuine and down-to-earth enough people to see positives in others, and not to focus on negative once-off issues of people, such as yourself in fact. In addition, we actually care about gaming and are active in making it grow every single day, and that is why we focus on being positive.

    It is even more utterly pathetic to the see ignorance and narrow-mindedness of the people commenting on this article, which clearly epitomizes the only type of people who find your articles interesting. These are the types of people who envy the people that actual take the time to make it somewhere with their lives. They’re too insecure to do something with their lives, so they would rather sit in the comfort of their homes and rip down others to their level to make themselves feel better.

    To sum things up, if you think you’re growing eSports in South Africa with this article, you’re clearly delusional and you’re not doing anyone except for the pathetic people who read your pathetic articles a favour.

    Farewell everybody, and just remember: while I was travelling the world and living my dreams, you were sitting at home watching me do it and hating me for it. Well done!

    Reply

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