Local is lekker
For anyone that has ever picked up any form of game, be it on a PC, Console, Tablet or even your Cellphone there must be a time when you think, how do I compare against my peers? Most of us just indulge a little bit in scoreboard tracking, trying to beat our friends. Maybe some of you get a little more serious and chase the top position in online gaming. Either way, how do you go about going that extra step and proving that you are the best at the game you play? Did you know that there is a whole division of SASCOC dedicated towards just that, playing games for a living?
E-Sports (also known as competitive gaming) is nothing new. This form of sport has been happening for a while now. Certain games have even been awarded status of a professional sport in the USA. You can claim for a Visa based on a game you are playing. This is not true of all gaming titles though. I doubt you will find the World Cup of Solitaire somewhere.
In South Africa E-Sports and the Governance of E-Sports is still in its infancy. The main Governing body is the MSSA* (Mind Sports South Africa). In April this year MSSA was categorized as a Tier 1 Sport, which means it is mentioned in the same level as Rugby, Cricket and Tennis. This governs sports including gaming and items like chess. Some of the current titles include games like Dota 2, Call of Duty, Battlefield and League of Legends.
Should I sign up
Before you rush to sign-up with MSSA you need to keep a couple of things in mind. With MSSA being part of SASCOC there are a couple of caveats to take note of:
1: You will have to pay to join. 2: You will have to abide by the rules and of which there are many.3: Breaking some of these rules will result in a fine.
The MSSA has done a great job in certain areas in expanding access to Local E-Sports but there are certain areas that begs the question, is it worth joining? Recent inconsistencies relating to organizing of international matches had the community at odds end about the future of gaming in the hands of MSSA. Until now there has only been the one area of Governance.
So not the MSSA - then what?
Like in life, the gaming community is also looking for direction. Some of it is provided by MSSA. One alternative for now is SAESA**. At the moment there are other independent bodies trying to garner the support of the local gaming community to further provide direction. Ultimately I see this and any other bodies working closely with MSSA to provide guidelines, consistency and transparency on how the sport should be governed. See this as an opposition party to a ruling party. No one can exist effectively without the other.
It's all about the money
With time the gaming democracy will sort itself out. Any new democracy does just that. It is a little give and take as long as it is for the betterment of the sport. South African gaming is a long way off before competing with international teams on an equal footing. Locally though the gaming community has grown considerable, proven by recently completed LAN events at the rAge gaming expo in Johannesburg where Telkom with their DGL*** (Do Gaming league) sponsored more than Million Rand in Prizes
There are many big sponsors out there like Steelseries, Razor, Telkom, Polarfluke to name a few. Our local community is also very well presented by internationally recognized Shoutcasters like Kyle "Congo Kyle" Wolmarans and Trevor "Qu1ksh0t" Henry.
With more and more people playing, more money will be sponsored. The community will get more competitive and hopefully be able to take on the world.
Structures might be a deciding factor on how the sports progress. Click on the links below for more info.
Please note that I am not affiliated to any group, body or entity. I am an active member of the gaming community and using my freedom of speech to the betterment of processes and protocols!
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