South African console eSports is trying to grow, but it appears to be doing so without the help of the controlling body in South Africa, and more by the sheer rugged determination of the community itself. Yes, the community can spend as much time infighting as it does working together, but when it puts aside petty squabbles and disagreements, it is the work of magical proportions.
One such moment is the formation of Team South Africa in the Battlefield 3 Nation’s Cup. Some of you are probably thinking that Mweb and MSSA sorted that out a few weeks back, but that was only the PC team which now gets official SA colours. However, the PlayStation 3 team that has entered the ‘World Nations Tournament’ had no such backing, and while they are operating under the proudly South African banner, the team is not official, nor actually entitled to colours.
It’s completely understandable why this would be – there were no official trials held for the PS3 team, unlike the PC team. However, what is remarkable is that the PS3 team came together within 24 hours. This short time frame was due to no-one informing them that the competition even existed on their platform. Surely, that is the job of the MSSA? While we are completely aware that the PC and PS3 ‘Nations’ tournaments are not actually operated by the same organisers, surely we need to see a wider equality over the various gaming platforms with regards to information distribution? That being said, the PS3 tournament may well not hold the same weight internationally as the PC tournament.
Team captain and well known (and respected) PS3 Battlefield player Mr-Beefy_PS said that contact was made with the MSSA a few weeks back to get involved with console Battlefield 3, to “assist with hosting or just to admin” a Battlefield 3 event. The response from MSSA at the time was that they were “quite busy with [our] own events at the moment. As soon as the MSSA is ready to run the BF3 Console online championship, it shall do so.”
Again, while the MSSA’s situation is completely understandable, it did manage to successfully organise the trials for the PC Battlefield 3 Nations Cup on pretty short notice. Mweb who assisted the MSSA with the trials were also approached by the PS3 Battlefield 3 community last year. After a number of emails between the parties, Mweb decide that with too much on their plate they were not in a position to host a Battlefield 3 event. Fair enough. Everyone is busy.
But let’s not worry about all that, it is something that needs to be addressed in the future. Let’s rather celebrate the achievement of the gamers themselves.
A small number of Battlefield 3 members on the SAGamer forum spotted the event listed on Battelog on Sunday 20 January. With the event registration closing on Monday 21 January, there was clearly not enough time to do a full set of trials and still ensure a team would be registered. Mr-Beefy_SA and ORSIM (on SAGamer forums) made the decision to pool the top players from all the clans in South Africa to represent the country. While this meant registering 20 players almost randomly, it did mean that South Africa would at least have a representing team on Sony’s console.
Over the three days following the registration, the team ran tryouts for specific positions and classes for players to prove their worth in the team, and to get team tactics ready for their first match on this past Thursday against a strong Team UK. Sadly, the first game did end in a 3-0 defeat for the SA team, but they are now ready to battle the French team on Saturday 2 February at 9pm with more determination than before. While the match will not be streamed, it will be recorded for viewing sometime after the match.
In the following week, the team faces the Netherlands, and the match will be streamed and recorded. The team then has to face the Ukraine and Switzerland in their final group matches.
Here’s your PS3 Team South Africa… get behind them:
- Mr-Beefy_PS Team Captain
- SHaDoW___FOUNDA Team Vice Captain
- baroque17 (Quinton of Apex Interactive) Team manager
Members of TEAM SA are part of the following clans:
- xXLeGioNXx [xLx]
- Shadow Gaming [SG]
- LEGENDARY [LGD]
- SyZyGy [SZG]
- Go Frag Yourself [GFY]
- Nine Inch Ninjas [NiN]
- Vini Vidi Vici [vVv]
Our best wishes and congratulations to the team. We know you will make us proud.