The MSSA is blocking eSport teams from competing

4 min read


I had a lot of high hopes for 2014. This was going to be a good year with more time being spent with friends, the company growing nicely and the local eSports scene being improved with a new president of the MSSA.

So far my friends have died, people aren’t paying their bills and the MSSA’s first action of this year is to block a local team competing at the ESL due to them still being tin-pot dictators.

Late last week I received 4 emails and 2 Skype requests in the space of an hour regarding the MSSA forcing the ESL to refuse to allow a Battlefield 4 team to compete in the upcoming tournament due to them not being recognised by the MSSA.

Now let’s be absolutely clear about this. The team in question were not representing South Africa in the tournament and was simply a group of guys who were put together to enter the competition and pit their wits against some of the worlds best Battlefield 4 players.

They never attempted to portray themselves as the official South African national Battlefield 4 team and were simply marked down as coming from South Africa seeing that they came from South Africa. But this was enough for the MSSA to get involved and threaten the ESL.

The team was registered and the guys were practicing and preparing for the games and then they noticed that their team disappeared from the roster. The only reason they went to check the roster however was because the ex President of the MSSA, Colin Webster, strongly implied to the captain of this team that they would be taking steps to stop the team from playing.

After enquiring why they were no longer listed the following message arrived.


we are currently in contact with the Mind Sports South Africa (

Would you please contact them and ask if you’re allowed to announce yourself as Team Captain of team South Africa BF4: [email protected]

Best regards,
bLuE, ESL Admin

When the team chatted to Colin he had the following to say:

The team cannot use the SA flag, nor can it use the name South Africa as it is not a representative team.

Now this makes my blood boil. Just because they aren’t the South African national team doesn’t give the MSSA the right to force these South Africans to not use their own country’s flag or name. It’s a disgusting abuse of power from Colin once again and it looks like our belief that the new MSSA president is nothing more than Colin Webster’s puppet is true after all.

We got you bro

On the one hand the team has managed to get around the rules by calling themselves the Southern Barbarians and entering with a false flag so at least these guys get the chance to play but this is a disgusting outcome from an organisation that is supposed to be enabling and enhancing eSports in South Africa.

I think it’s clear that the MSSA does not have the gamers’ best interest at heart and we should be approaching SASCOC to get a new department created that will solely handle eSports in South Africa. One that is run by gamers for the betterment of gamers instead of the betterment of people’s inflated egos.

Now in defence of the MSSA, this competition is the country cup so people would assume you are representing your country. But honestly that’s no excuse as they should have prepared for this seeing that this is their only responsibility but then again Colin Webster is also now on the board of the International eSports Federation which is a competing organisation to the ESL… can anyone smell that whiff of corruption in the air? No wonder the IeSF refused to respond to my queries once I started asking the annoying questions.

I did request feedback from Colin and the new president of the MSSA last week Thursday and have yet to receive a reply.

We here at Lazygamer would like to wish the Southern Barbarians the best in this tournament and to remind the MSSA that they are meant to enable these gamers not block them.

Our flag, you have no rights over it

We are also proudly representing South Africa for eSports reporting and coverage. Let’s see if the MSSA is stupid enough to attempt to take that away from us.

Last Updated: January 13, 2014

  • TiMsTeR1033

    204ME!! will be a good year! can feel it in my balls! Yes you read right!

    • Admiral Chief in Vegas

      You have balls?

      • JJ’s grand endeavour (John)

        He’s trolling. Clearly.

        • Admiral Chief in Vegas


        • RinceThis2014


        • RinceThis2014

          Careful, we don’t want tears… ^^

          • JJ’s grand endeavour (John)

            Tim knows it’s all just tough love.
            Right Tim?

          • RinceThis2014

            It is?

          • JJ’s grand endeavour (John)

            Stop confusing me!

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Maybe he meant his magic 8-ball?

        • JJ’s grand endeavour (John)


          • TiMsTeR1033

            When I rub it a genie comes out!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Most people have millions.

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas


          • JJ’s grand endeavour (John)

            Oh wow. That just completely ruined my day. O_O

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas


  • DarthofZA

    If these “Southern Barbarians” managed to win, I think the MSSA would very quickly turn around and claim them..

  • Brenz

    Heres what I dont get:

    Why does the MSSA have so much influence and “power”, they just a name, who for some reason influence E-sports.
    Why did ESL even listen to them, you say they forced them to refuse entry to the team, its not like they could do anything if they refused?
    Considering all that surrounds MSSA is bad publicity and shitty behaviour, why doesnt everyone just say, fuck you, and if nobody actually listens to their dribble then they all of a sudden have no more power and influence,

    And another thing, they have no right to dictate who can use our countries flag and name, they dont own E-sports and they certainly dont own the country, so once again, if people just stood together and tjold them to fuck off and did what they wanted without their consent, they would cease to be an organisation.

    This is fucking E-sports, not politics or high court law.

    • Matthew Holliday

      they have influence and power because theyr official.

      The ESL listened to them because the MSSA is quite loose with the phrase “we will take you to court”, they are just running a tournament, they arent a mega corporation that can afford to say “screw you we do what we want.” its not worth the effort for them.

      • What he said.. the ESL doesn’t need the hassle of checking whether the MSSA can or will sue them.. it’s not worth their time

        • Brenz

          Ok so they are the official face then, but I would be interested to know what kind of law they have on their side, or if its just blowing smoke up everyones collective asses.

          this makes me fucking irate, gaming is for the gamers, not for organisations with god complexes to swing their dicks around blap anyone who does something they dont like. Why does something as simple and enjoyable as gaming also have to be tainted by control and manipulation.

          • DarthofZA

            The MSSA is official as in they’re the same like our Department of Education. They are the government department that does eSports and other mindsports.

          • VegetaZA

            Education – lol

  • RinceThis2014

    Once again the MSSA show how flipping mature they are. Well done guys, you SUCK.

  • oVg

    South Africa still getting the Mickey Mouse management as usual.

    • Airborne

      More like TISA….
      or better yet, play a clip from Apacalypse Now… “I love the smell of Corruption in the morning!!”

  • Matthew Holliday

    i laughed at the part where you said “the MSSA do not have gamers best interests at heart”
    i laughed really hard.
    Its Qoob all over again.
    “oh you want to say you’re proudly South African? Not going to happen fgts.”

  • Jonah Cash

    2014 is 2 weeks old and round 1 of Gavin and Coleeen Webster has just started…. Getting in early this year Gav????
    Good, we are as usual in your corner!!

  • Umar digs KOS-MOS

    Forgive my noobness. Say the Southern Barbarians used the flag. Does that have any effect on the country’s standing on the logs, especially for the official team. Does other ‘non official’ teams have any affect on leader points etc in terms of South Africa as a whole? Ek is baie noob

    • SheHulkNigri

      I was wondering the same thing. With the SB’s entering, is this not akin to the South African Valies entering the Rugby World Cup? Like it or not, we only have one official SA team. Or should have…

    • Standings in which way?

      Right now there is no SA team entered into the competition.. so in my mind it would make us look better having a team entered

      • Sean McCalgan

        Not sure if you mean that we have no official SA team entered or just any SA team, but our team as is has been allowed to play after speaking with the ESL admins. There is no official SA team for BF4 (by MSSA standards) – we are a mix of some of the top teams.

        • Yeah that’s what I meant… was responding to the first comment.. tghere currentlyt is no team South Africa in the comnp which looks bad for us

          • Sean McCalgan

            I don’t think it necessarily looks *bad*, as ESL is primarily a European league anyway. I just think it’s good that we’re being allowed to play.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            Hey man, can I just say respect for your diplomacy and how you are handling the news and the situation.

  • Admiral Chief in Vegas

    Go BaaBaas GO!

  • Hammersteyn

    Colin Webster is an anagram for cretin’s bowel. Just saying…

    • Admiral Chief in Vegas


      • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

        COMMENT OF 2014!!!!

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      No freaking ways. How did you figure that out?????

      • Matthew Holliday


        • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

          That would be dissapointing. I had images of @hammersteyn:disqus staying up late in to the night scribbling and mixing the letters till he had his eureka moment, punched the air and then posted it here

      • Hammersteyn

        I didn’t but there are anagram websites

    • Mine is “Grimy Toffee”
      Gavin’s is “Moaning in Van”

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        Moaning in van?


      • Hammersteyn


      • Anon A Mouse

        Mine is “Awakens Elf Porn” among 54688 others. lol

        • JJ’s grand endeavour (John)

          First midget. Now elf. What’s next? Troll?

          • Skyblue

            I just got a Ruby Red Tot…

  • Chop

    hey Gavin,
    as a middle finger to the ESL and MSSA, please give regular updates on how the Southern Barbarians did, i know i would be interested in following their success in the tournament.

  • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    Oh dear. I foresee lashbacks in the lagz future. Now before I grab my popcorn to sit and view the inevitable I’d like to say just this:

    What does the actual rules of the competition state? Are non-official teams allowed to enter? If so, then shame on MSSA for forcing the guys not to play instead of contacting the team to make alternate arrangements. Disgusting show MSSA. Disgusting. Could you not have picked up a phone or used your 2 fingers to type an e-mail to the team captain to indicate the potential problems it could cause and suggest solutions?

    Sies MSSA. Sies!

    • Tarisma

      I agree, want wait for another letter from the lawyers about Gavins blob

      • I think they have figured out that we aren’t scared and since then all legal threats or implied threats have stopped

        • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

          To be fair, it would have been something to watch, that court case. Straight out of Boston Legal.

          “You may think this is a small matter. But this is no small matter. This [team] is being denied the right to play an [tournament] because [they don’t] match the description. Those descriptions were crafted 50 years ago [for chess tournaments]! We’re supposed to be in a different day! You talk about [gaming] equality, how we’re making progress. The problem with that progress is it’s always a day away. Tomorrow, tomorrow-you love that!-because it’s always a day away.

          I’m here to stick out my chin today! Today! Give us an [effective esports governing body]! Give us a [MSSA president] that can [support local esports teams] faster than a speeding bullet and leap over tall buildings in a single bound [to further local esports]! Not tomorrow-today! Today! The sun needs to come out today! Not tomorrow, your Honor! God Almighty! Give the [South African] people a [effective MSSA]. It’s just not good enough to say [they] look the part.” – Reverend Al Sharpton

    • Sean McCalgan

      ESL rules dictate that any person can apply to be captain for their country, and then one is selected from the pool by the ESL admins themselves. This person goes on to pick their team. However with SA we had a community vote and that person then went on to become our captain.

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        So in other words the MSSA actually have no real right to prevent the team from entering?

        • JJ’s grand endeavour (John)

          Much like the choosing of a new SA president.

        • no right at all.. apart from the one they feel they have

        • Sean McCalgan

          We don’t and never did have the intention of being classified as Team South Africa, only a team from South Africa. Titles are totally unnecessary. And ESL made it easy for us by letting us bypass the silly restrictions MSSA were imposing. I don’t think MSSA has much ground to stand on based on the way we’ve done it.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            Oh don’t get me wrong. I can tell you have no intention of being Team SA. But I do feel the MSSA was harsh in their treatment in not allowing you to enter as a team from SA as you had attempted and instead of contacting you properly simply forced the ESL to deny you entry. MSSA could have approached you guys to work out a solution instead of saying, in essence, you are not allowed to represent your country in any form.

            I’m glad the ESL allowed you to enter in a different fashion however.

          • Sean McCalgan

            MSSA only approached us after they learned about our entry, so that they could try get their fingers in the pie (and get us to give them membership money). They always have a bad process of going about selecting teams and we did not feel they were necessary at all in getting our best representation out there.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            Yikes. Are you serious? They tried extorting membership money out of you? That… that just leaves a sour taste man.

          • Sean McCalgan

            It may not come across plainly to everyone, but it’s always a power/money play. I’ve experienced it first hand for many years now having competed in the BF3 SA team, for one. They need to stay relevant in the eyes of their govt superiors.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            I’m at a loss for words 🙁

          • Matthew Holliday

            This has been happening like twice a year, for the past 5-10 years, Id have thought someone would have put the time in to sort all this out by now?

            the “not being classified as Team South Africa, only a team from South Africa.” story is getting old now.

  • Airborne

    Gavin, what would it take to start a “new” and “proper” eSports Governing Body? Something that incorporates Pro’s, Semi-Pro’s and Amateurs alike?

    • The main stumbling point is SASCOC who would need to take eSports away from the MSSA and grant it to you along with its funding.

      Basically a non-profit company with a solid constitution for the gamers and clean and audited books…

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        Non-profit, like Lagz? 😉

        • lol no, we want to profit one day….

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas


        • JJ’s grand endeavour (John)

          They profit off Rince’s tears.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Can one have tears if one has no soul?

          • JJ’s grand endeavour (John)

            Only when you want attention.

      • Airborne

        … A solid constitution… Being a govt. dept. wouldnt SASCOC want us to join MSSA and change the structure from within? What would warrant SASCOC taking away funding from them? or should I say, how do we convince them SASCOC?

        • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

          I dare say some form of proving that MSSA has been unfair, is negatively affecting the professional gaming scene etc etc. It would be a whole long process and you can be sure they’d fight back. So it won’t be quick and easy to prove either

          • Airborne

            So not anytime soon then? We would have to raise awareness and ask the Gaming Community to rally around and make some (electronic) noise?!?!?

          • Matthew Holliday

            Depends, if someone gets the push going on it, it could be over in a few months.
            although South African government departments are professionals at making investigations take so long that teyr eventually dropped.

        • Basically I think the best way to go is to approach SASCOC and rally for eSports to be split from the rest of mindsports as it’s a far bigger entity and requires its own controlling board.

          On one hand the MSSA isn’t doing a good job but on the other hand their plate is too full trying to handle all mind sports.

          • Rags

            How about petitioning that games are not sports and should not be controlled by the government? Can’t we petition the dept of sports directly?

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            The problem with that is that there are as many who want gaming to be considered a legitimate sport. Petitioning for it not being a sport would potentially do more harm than good

    • Matthew Holliday

      A few locals have stepped in to atleast try setup an unofficial body of gamers to help out where they can.
      South African esports association (SASEA)

      • Airborne

        Can SAESA raise awareness all the way to SASCOC?

        • Matthew Holliday

          Who knows, doubt theyll replace the MSSA as the governing body, but I think they wanted to get themselves into a position where they could step in when the MSSA are spending too much time swinging their cocks around.

          sort of like a gamers representative council or something

    • dastrix

      These guys are trying to get an alternative going, not sure how far they have come.

      Next the MSSA will probably try and stop a SA team going to CoD Champs.

      @Gavin, this might be or sound like a dumb question, but on what ground can they, the MSSA, stop any player from using the SA flag?

      • Matthew Holliday

        also, they cant, the ESL just didnt argue the point because its not worth their time.
        when a government “official” throws around the term “we will take you to court”, little events companies dont put up a fight.

      • I’ve had a rumble through some or other legislation – and there’s definitely legislation in place regarding “representing” the country or using the flag without being “official representation,” which is the MSSA’s argument here.

        It’s all controlled by SASCOC, of which the MSSA is affiliated with.

  • HvR

    Supreme Comrade Webster have spoken, now shut down you counter revolutionary blob.

    • Tarisma

      so funny

    • Sageville

      I thought we were going with “Fighter Webster”, Comrade is sooo yesterday.

  • Kensei Seraph

    Have you been able to speak to the captain of the team?
    Also could someone please post a picture of the “fake” flag?
    I think it might be interesting if it became the gaming version of the SA flag.

    • I have spoken to the captain and other members of the team.. again the MSSA has that contract that forbids people from talking to the press so I won’t say who said what 🙂

      The flag can be seen via the link above, it’s just a globe on a blue background

  • bo0m!

    Colin “Fat man who will sue you” Webster needs more burgers.

  • George

    It seems like Gavin is working hard to get a spot on Carte Blache: Gamer Edition.

    I love that you are exposing the MSSA for what they are. Very good reading!

    • Svarupa Singh

      Hit me up if you need help with that

    • Marc O Polo

      wish we could bring some press to this outside of gamer circles… but unless we find some way to make it about race i doubt it’ll make it into the mainstream news

  • Tarisma

    I see the MSSA has an award for journalist of the year. I take it no one from lagz is planning on winning that one any time soon?

  • Rags

    Hurmph. They said nothing about Ph4ntom and Detrony playing Quake at Dreamhack? Every gamer has the flag of the country next to their nickname, although Ph4ntom did change his to Swedish for shits and giggles.

    IMO the local guys should do this to. Register and compete as Zambian players or something.

    Either way, I don’t know how MSSA can pick and shoot what games are a sport and which are not. And if you don’t represent South Africa why you can’t play. It’s not as if they are using the Protea just the country of origin.

    • Estian Hough

      Aren’t they both from Bravado?
      If they are, they are both affiliated to the MSSA – because Bravado is (last I checked).

  • Kradenko

    What I don’t get is, if the whole team is from South Africa how is being called ” From South Africa” not allowed? Am I not allowed to let the world know I am from South Africa? Am I not allowed to be proud about where I come from? I can understand that it might be a bit touchy if you said “Team South Africa”.

    Makes no sense really… nice power play… with people giving e-toll and other government groups the finger I am sure MSSA will soon also be handled the same way.

    • Marc O Polo

      to me its like when Ernie Els plays at the us masters golf, there is a little south african flag next to his name but that does not mean he is representing the country in that golf tournament!

  • Sageville

    So my hopes that the new President would do better are dashed.

    The new broom appears to be the same as the old broom, both not sweeping clean.

    • we are trying to get hold of the new broom… but he didn’t even post on his personal Facebook profile about becoming president… read into that what you will

      • iAmWeasel

        Tinfoil hat moment?

  • Kromas

    I believe the main problem does not just stem from MSSA but from SASCOC. E-Sports and sports don’t have much in common.Hell most countries have 10s and even hundreds of teams but no we want to use an old system for a new medium.Just think how bad E-Mail would be if it could only be pushed through the post office.(they would probably use a single 486xt as the whole countries server and only upgrade every 20 years 😛 )

    • I’d agree with this… I like the idea of being able to get national colours but they should go about it differently.

      Our national team doesn’t have to be the top 6 players in the country.. it needs to be the 6 players who work best together.

      so if Energy are the best COD team but Bravado has 3 of the best players then tough.. Energy represent the country.. if those 3 players want to represent they need to speak to energy and participate in trials to join Energy.. not the MSSA..

      Also requiring teams to pay the MSSA to be eligible to represent the country is something rife for corruption

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        Gravy train choo choo

      • Kromas

        Well we can manage the corruption by just cloning all the MSSA vehicle number plates and driving through the gantries loads with lots of cars. 😛

      • Marc O Polo

        the not being able to use the south african flag concept pisses me of, the flag belongs to the ppl of south africa so anyone that is a citizen of south africa can use it…

  • MakeItLegal

    Well this all sounds to familiar …. Again and again , Jesus Colin ppl just wana blow up other pixels on screens with effects , it’s not the fucking Olympics ….

    Have a freaking beer man

  • iAmWeasel

    I don’t know much about the recent history with MSSA, which seems to be quite a controversial topic around these parts. So from a neutral perspective, this seems like a bit of a storm in a tea cup. As a proud South African, I like knowing that the best local talent is representing me on the global stage. As mentioned, this is a “Country Cup”, so its sensible in my view that the team which is officially regarded as the South African team are reserved the right to call themselves that. I can also understand how being a team “from South Africa” can also be misleading and potentially confusing.

  • Marc O Polo

    is colin webster or Simphiwe Maphumulo a gamer? it really doesn’t sound like it!

  • Estian Hough

    This is all a crap situation without a doubt, but I’m still surprised that people are shocked by how the MSSA operates.

    The MSSA is South Africa’s official governing body for recognized eSport. Esport nowadays is recognized as an official (mind) sport by both international and local bodies.
    I’d be damned if I said I wasn’t one of the people who were cheering when I heard officials say they recognize it as a sport; pretty much started when I read something about it being added to the 2016 Korean Olympic games.

    Gamers are so quick to adopt professional gaming as a sport, but are so resistant to let go of the fact that it is still also a game.

    I’ve not heard of a single person say “let’s not recognize it as a sport, because that would be bad for professional gaming”.

    I’m not that into sports so the following ‘might’ sound silly but:
    I’m not aware if there ever was some random group of friends who got together and said “Let’s represent South Africa in Rugby!”, without affiliating to (or starting) an officially recognized organisation that allows for the representing of a country.
    I am not aware of any such fact that you could go into any other recognized sport and simply represent the country officially by yourself, without affiliation – yet this is the exact same thing professional gamers feel so insulted about when told they have to pay a fee to represent South Africa. To my knowledge, this is how sport works. Esport being recognized as a mind sport will never have privileges that other sports do not with this in mind.

    With all that said and done – it sucks that this shit happens.
    I’m just surprised that people are too ignorant to read into what is actually happening a little more.
    Either that or people are too stupid to realize that “calling eSport a Sport” means more than just having somebody recognize the time and energy you’ve put into a game to succeed where others have failed; to compete.

  • Shisno

    Good governance and rules are needed to path the way of e-sports correctly in order to let it be recognized as an official and competitive sport. For that the correct paperwork and methods should be followed. It is writers like these that boycott the growth of e-sports. Instead of informing us on how to qualify and participate in the correct manner, they resort to ignorance and rebellion. No matter what method used to grow e-sports there will always be critics on how things should be done. You are WELCOME to try and create another or e-sport “department” as the writer stated but I doubt it will come close to what the MSSA has already achieved in the past few years.

  • fred

    This article is not really telling the truth! The MSSA never tried to stop any team from participating, all it did was advise the organisers that the team was not a South African representative team. This was done with the knowledge of Barry ‘Anthrax’ Louzada who was the team captain.

Check Also

Ballistix Masters offers R150 000 esports tournament

South Africa's competitive year will kick off early 2018 with the Ballistix Masters. …