It has not been a good week for the MSSA. As usual, our national eSports body has come under fire and criticism. Strange thing is though, the players under them are dead quiet about this latest blunder. And we know why, because as we’ve just learnt, joining the MSSA is one of the worst things that you can ever do.

We recently got our hands on the alleged contract that players have to sign before joining the MSSA, from someone with links to the national team who wants to remain anonymous. And said person has a good reason for wanting to be so secretive.

Joining the national side pretty much means that players lose any and all freedom of speech. Here’s an excerpt from the contract:

I undertake that I shall not make any statements in any way about the team, selection process, etc., unless it is at the MSSA’s direction. Should I make any such statements I acknowledge that I shall be liable for a fine not exceeding R15,000.00 as imposed by the Management Board of the MSSA and forfeit any colours that I may have.

That’s a disgusting clause. This is a nation that prides itself on freedom of speech, and slapping a financial sense of fear into players for daring to have criticism is no way to build up a sports body. Here’s another juicy bit from the contract:

I acknowledge that if I am interviewed while I am member of a national team, I shall:

  • Always thank the MSSA, and all sponsors associated with the event

Oh hell, now you have to act as if they’re the best thing since sliced cheese as well, an organisation that can barely even take a proper photo of its players or run a proper website? And it gets even worse from there, as joining the MSSA means that you practically belong to them:

I acknowledge that as soon as I am selected as a member of the team, I shall resign from all groups and organisations that are not affiliated to the MSSA if such groups and organisations also claim to play the disciplines as promoted by the MSSA. Should I fail to immediately resign, and copy the MSSA accordingly,  I acknowledge that I shall be liable for a fine not exceeding R15,000.00 as imposed by the Management Board of the MSSA and forfeit any colours that I may have.

What does that mean exactly? It means that if you belong to a team that happens to be in say, the Do Gaming League where plenty of our top players come from, you have to leave them as soon as possible. That’s the equivalent of joining the national Springbok rugby side and being told that you’re no longer allowed to play for the Blue Bulls.

I wonder if PandaTank gets regular R15 000 fines for playing in tournaments that haven’t signed up to the MSSA? Seems to be a rule they enforce when it suits them. 

This is a horrible contract, to be blunt. It’s draconian, filled with rules that don’t benefit the players in any way and serves to only make the prospect of getting national colours something to fear, not embrace.

And quite frankly, none of you need it. I get that having national colours is something to be proud of. But if you’re going to join an organisation that does not have your best interests at heart, you might want to think twice.

Don’t do it, is what I’m saying. You want to play games and make a living off of your passion? Then go private. Join the DGL. See what Polarfluke has to offer. You don’t need national colours to be a success. You don’t need the MSSA to prove yourselves.

Play hard, love your game and you’ll be the people’s champion at the end of the day. Even if it’s unofficial, it’s a hell of a lot better than what the MSSA has to offer and you can’t be fined R15 000 just for saying what you feel. And history will prove that. We’ve got our own unofficial rematch coming up with Mexico that we’re still ironing out the details on, so keep an eye out.

Don’t believe this is possible? Well here’s the pdf of the contract we received, the only change made was that I redacted the ref at the top as I don’t know if that possibly identified the sender. Here is the  MSSA Contract. This is all a bit silly isn’t it.

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Last Updated: September 12, 2013

was reviewed on PC

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