Why no one needs a national body for eSports

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The IesF is an international body whose goal is to bring together all the national sporting bodies for eSports and create an international federation, ala FIFA style, to maximise and help improve eSports worldwide.

Now that’s a great idea and all but unfortunately it just doesn’t seem to fit into how eSports is organically growing across the world. eSports by its very nature has grown up from friends forming teams and then clans and then challenging each other completely separately from any organised structure.

Obviously seeing the money involved in eSports has driven some private organisation to ether either set up leagues to help advertise their wares, such as doGaming here locally, or as independent companies like Major League Gaming in the states. Both of which are doing incredibly well for gamers, advertisers and the parent companies involved.

DoGaming last year gave away a total of R1 300 000 in cash and prizes last year across all their leagues. That’s $120 000 to our international friends. MLG is obviously bigger and with just a quick look I can see that the upcoming Anaheim Call of Duty Ghosts event has a prize pot of $80 000 for that one event alone.

Should we even mention the DOTA 2 International? The worlds largest eSports prize pool has now reached a staggering $9 158 026. That’s R98 019 725.98 for us poor South Africans. You can buy half an Nkandla for that.

So when I received the latest MSSA press release yesterday, 2 hours before E3 conferences started, I was intrigued.

Wait let’s stop here and just read that again. The General Secretary of the MSSA thought that sending their big news out 2 hours before the world’s most important annual event in video games starts was a good idea. That’s about as smart as thinking our increase in traffic in August is related to posting about him and not Gamescom.

Anyway moving on, so the press release goes on about what games have been chosen to be played at the Independent eSports Federation has decided on the following games for their 6th annual World Championships.

The games are

  • DOTA 2
  • Starcraft 2
  • Ultra Street Fighter IV
  • Hearthstone

But only males are allowed to play DOTA 2, Hearthstone and Ultra Street Fighter IV because the incredibly sexist organisation has decided that if you are missing a Y chromosome you are somehow incapable of playing those games. But don’t worry you aren’t being left out.

You can join up and play

  • Starcraft 2
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2

But the idiotic gender split has been done to death so let’s move on.

There is a combined prize pool for all 6 of these games, that prize pool sits at a monumentally underwhelming $100 000. For a supposed world champs. So if you are really good at DOTA 2 and just happen to live geographically close to your team mates you can join your national federation, jump through a million idiotic hoops and stand in line to win a grand prize of $25 000. Oh but only if you are all male.

Or you and your friends, of any race, gender and creed can join up and compete to win your share of $9 million dollars. Or if you aren’t a world champion but are a local who is very good you can compete to win a grand prize of R180 000 in the DoGaming league.

So please someone explain to me why national eSports federations even exist and what good do they bring to the table at all? I contacted a raft of IesF affiliated countries to see if they are seen by their government as the official eSports body of the country.

From what I have been able to find only South Africa and Egypt have national federations of any legitimacy, I have not received responses from everyone. So this nonsense about playing for your country really is just that, nonsense. Yes you are playing for South Africa but every match is a friendly against the lesser eSports players.

If you want to play against the best you need to play against team in the MGL, DoGamngLeague or any other private organisation that doesn’t try and be something they are not.

In closing, I will leave you with this quote from the press release that made me giggle.

More Game Titles have been selected than in previous years. While the choice may seem odd to many South Africans, gamers have to be aware that the choice is made after intensive consultation. The games that have thus been selected are:

Dear Colin, DOTA 2, Starcraft 2, Street Fighter and Hearthstone are not odd games to be seen at an eSports event. Granted we are missing out on all the shooters and sports titles but your Korean overlords aren’t good at those so that won’t do.

I’m not allowed to reach out to the MSSA for comment due to Colin’s current legal action against me. I’ve tried to reach out to the IesF on numerous occasions but have never received a response. So I can only go on what I receive.

In our last MSSA post 33 people directly tweeted to the MSSA’s twitter account asking how many people attended their Mpumalanga trials. To date not a single person has been answered.

Oh and in a hat tip to Australia. The Australian body attempting to become the official eSports federation for Australia are polite, efficient and open. It’s wonderful dealing with people like that.

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Last Updated: June 10, 2014

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