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.

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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.

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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

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

    Polite and efficient Aussies?

    Hehehe, JK, glad to hear SOMEONE is doing something right

    • ah I didn’t say that.. just said they were polite and efficient 🙂

      • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

        So being polite and efficient is not doing something right?

        Heh, you learn something new every day!


        • Anon A Mouse

          I’m efficiently polite while I sit at work stealing their money by not working on anything today.

          • Kensei Seraph

            That’s not polite.
            Polite is sitting at work stealing their money by not working on anything all the while pretending to be working.

      • Lardus-Resident Perve

        Well, at least that is a start!

      • neilhza

        Polite Australians? You’re absolutely sure you got the right bunch?

    • HvR – THE Average GAmer

      ONly time I’ve seen a polite and efficient Aussie is when he tries to pick ewe up.

      • Hammersteyn


  • Hammersteyn

    Korean overlords! LOL Googling Korean gifs brought up a nice one

    • Man he KO’s that second one

      • Hammersteyn

        Would make Leonidas proud.

        • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando


          • Hammersteyn

            I like how he grabs the bed for balance.

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            Like being hit with a log in the chest FWOOOOOP

    • HvR – THE Average GAmer

      Daardie tweede Yung ene lyk maar Ill.

    • Rinceinantici

      HAhAHAH! I cannot stop watching!

    • Kensei Seraph

      If you watch you can see all the others behind the kicking guy start to lay into the first guy to get knocked over.

    • Lukas De Kock

      Can watch that all day.

  • Tarisma

    Ok so as a guy I can’t play Tekken Tag 2 for SA. Dammit what were all those vs matches against my girlfriend for!!!

  • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    Oh Gavin. Now your site hits are going to go up because of this article and not because it’s E3 at all.

    On a serious note though, why are woman not allowed to play the other games? There are no real physical limitations to games like in sports where physical strength creates disadvantages?

    What, can’t woman click as fast? Is that what they are trying to say?

    I seriously hope that, that is misinformation and that woman are allowed to enter any of the games because the alternative is just mind blowingly stupid

    • noxville

      Wouldn’t it be great if the MSSA actually answered this question? Oh wait they ban everyone who negatively comments about them.

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        No. You have to pay a R500 membership fee before you can ask questions to be banned. You can’t be banned if you aren’t first part of them.

    • No it isn’t misinformation. Females must play in the female section and males in the male section. It was a rule set down by the IesF and all I’ve seen from the MSSA is one Facebook comment from Colin vaguely referencing a non-existent research study into it.,

      • Dutch Matrix

        Maybe if they were playing rugby I would understand that rule

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        That’s just ludicrous. Seriously. Makes zero sense. Well done on discrimination hey.

    • Weanerdog

      Come on do you really expect woman to be able to keep up with the pace of clicking that Hearthstone requires.

  • Hammersteyn

    Just the fact that women can’t play DOTA or any other game is laughable. I want to see a video of them explain why this is so. If I don’t laugh once I’ll join tomorrow.

  • Hammersteyn

    Take note, Australia will get their shit together and up and running and it will just be another sport they trounce us in because Australian Government = Efficiency. Then again they probably don’t have to worry that much about poverty, crime, fucked up hospitals, load shedding, kak bandwidth(they have their own PS2 server), corruption, corruption(yes I’m listing this twice), a volatile currency, deteriorating roads that’s looking more and more like they can shoot a Mad Max movie here, etc.

    • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

      If ONLY for the local PS2 server, I’d move there

    • Weanerdog

      Your comment does not make any sense, you seem to be implying that our government is inefficient because it has to worry about that list of yours (incidentally you missed another corruption). I really don’t see our government really worrying about any of those issues, well maybe the corruption ones but not really in the context you are implying.

      • Hammersteyn

        Should have rephrased it a bit better I agree.

        • Weanerdog

          Just busting your chops.

          • Hammersteyn

            No worries, once your open to constructive criticism then nothing can burn you on the internet 🙂

          • Weanerdog

            That is true, your mum said something similar the other day after I made her a nice cup of tea.

          • Hammersteyn


  • Anthony Nell

    “why no one needs a national body for eSports” – I am still trying to figure out where you make this case. Just because the IeSF is a circle jerk of Collins doesn’t mean its a bad idea. And organically growing eSports around the world can be compared to how any sport organically grew in its infancy, that is not a point worth making really.

    While I obviously agree that in this context and how it is being run now is a complete balls up, I don’t think we should toss this ideal away just because a bunch of muppets ruined it while they owned it, China and Korea use it to great success, far greater than Europe or the USA does.

    • Weanerdog

      I agree I don’t think that it is such a bad idea, but it must actually be a professional organisation run by professional people. They should be nurturing our talent and allowing them to play wherever they like but then harnessing that experience and using to mentor others. The national team should compete in world games like the world cup but selected from guys that play in the pro tournaments like the EPL or MLG.

  • Rags

    One good think of a national federation would be to protect and keep healthy the smaller ‘disciplines/communities’. Yet IeSF/MSSA has no interest even in team based shooters nevermind say Quake 3 or UT. The IeSF does not care about the South African gaming demographic and only cares about South Korea.

    DGL has also failed in this regard too by keeping out any Duel FPS and RTS out of the champion league for unknown reason. They are massive crowdpleasers at any lan!

  • HenryJMorton

    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. http://0rz.tw/YAAeL

  • Jaco FlaMeBeRg

    Okay so please make me a South African team that will be competition in The Internationals 2015 in DotA 2 that WILL WIN THE PRIZE MONEY… You don’t seem to know how much practice those people actually put in.

    Here’s a scenario in cricket: If you play for the Proteas you’ll have a lot more pride than playing in an IPL team BUT the money from the IPL will be a lot more just because of the fact that the focus on this and only this where as the national team can’t only focus on one specific sport.

    I don’t understand how you want to take on our national body when they don’t even have a say in the matter… Yet you will go out of your way to show people what dick you really are

    Don’t ruin your life rather stop this #justsaying

    • Rags

      MSSA have a say in the matter. They should stop their affiliation with IeSF.

  • Lothy

    “While the choice may seem odd to many South Africans, gamers have to be aware that the choice is made after intensive consultation” More what game can increase the their coffers. I doubt any decision made is actually aimed at gamers. Its more personal gain, then maybe the rest… I remember the last tournament I directed, it was tons of fun having the Q3 boys from fNatic over. Those were the good old days… DAMMIT LEN WHEN U DOIN ANOTHER EVENT AT THE CAROUSEL!!

  • MichaelMatusowsky

    Gavin were you foaming at the mouth when you wrote this article? So many typos man…

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