On July 11th, three local FIFA 15 players represented by Mind Sports SA (MSSA for short) took on three of Austria’s best eSports footballers in an online international test match. Both teams consisted of high school-level players, and this was the first time that South Africa has competed in an online FIFA 15 test match against Austria. It’s also the first time that a female player has officially represented South Africa in a FIFA 15 team.
Each member of the MWEB-sponsored South African team hails from Witbank, and it’s made up of Joline Bico, Bonga Zwane and Kyle Turnbull. The three have had very impressive careers so far; Bico has Mpumalanga Colours in eSports, Zwane consistently earns medals and places well in local tournaments, and Turnbull has recently begun an international competitive career after earning Protea Colours, while retaining his undisputed South African National Champion title for two consecutive years. This was Zwane’s and Bico’s first international competition, and the trio were put through a trial by fire competing against Michael Schachner, Mirza Jahic and Herbert Schachner. All three of the Austrian eSports athletes have won numerous European tournaments, and Jahic made news recently by earning a Guiness World Record by playing Pro Evolution Soccer for 40 hours straight.
The first match was between Bonga Zwane and Michael Schachner. Zwane lost the first match 0-3, but countered in the second match and fought to a 0-0 draw. Next up was Kyle Turnbull versus Mirza Jahic. Jahic showed his pro-FIFA skills and dominated the first match 4-0. The second match ended with a close defeat, with the third goal being scored in the last minute of the match, resulting in Turnbull losing 2-3. Jolene Bico and Herbert Schachner played the final matches, ending in two 0-2 losses for Bico. However, her second match was much more aggressively fought and she almost scored goals on three occasions.
Despite the losses our team faced, MSSA regards the event as a success and positive growth in these young players’ careers.
To stay up to date with MSSA, check out their Twitter account here.