PolarfluKe “pushed aside” by NAG, MSSA – organisations respond


SA gaming event and tournament organiser PolarfluKe is celebrating its third birthday being in operation. Matthew Merks, who is behind PolarfluKe, wrote a blog post to commemorate the occasion, but one which also revealed some inner workings of PolarfluKe’s affiliates.

Merks’ raised concerns regarding the loyalty and fulfilment of two affiliates, namely NAG and the MSSA, who were in partnerships with Merks. You can read Merks’ entire post on the PolarfluKe website.

NAG Gaming League

Marks explained one of the obstacles he had to overcome with regards to NAG and the NGL Starcraft II League. The league was hosted by PolarfluKe and was supposed to feature a prize pool of R150,000 and a prime spot for the finals at rAge, according to Merks.

“NAG had not kept to its part of the agreement and with the league coming to a close, there was no money besides that pledged by the sponsor I had brought in,” explained Merks. “Not only were we looking at a prize pool of only R50,000, but I had worked for 5 months and NAG was not willing to pay for my time and effort.”

Merks said that NAG refused to comment on the situation nor explain what happened to the community.


Merks’ faced another issue with the MSSA, with whom he had a relationship from prior events.

The MSSA had signed on a sponsor for the 2013 MSSA Dota 2 Online Championships that was essentially a competitor of PolarfluKe’s, as Polarfluke was on-board to host the event. Merks raised the issue with the MSSA, although his attempts were said to be futile.

“I immediately contacted MSSA to voice my concerns and was greeted with these exact words: ‘It is also not negotiable!’”, explained Merks. “Something I had run for free, dedicated many hours to, to allow MSSA to operate and gain trust with the gamers, was now something that was non-negotiable, my concerns about plastering my competitor’s logo all over my site and my stream for free were just pushed aside”.

Despite Merks’ concerns, the Mweb Online Dota 2 Championship was announced, and is set to be hosted by 10ten Gaming.

“I suppose all the time, the effort, the passion I have put in means nothing to the regulatory body, but this time my spirit is not crushed,” said Merks. “MSSA is truly not needed for PolarfluKe to achieve its goals; it actually never was and never will be.”

NAG, MSSA response


NAG has responded to Merk’s claims.

“We haven’t commented on this incident before because we didn’t want to paint anyone doing work in the industry in a negative light because it’s not good for gaming in South Africa,” explained NAG’s editor Michael James.

“I do not want this to turn into a negative thing and I’m not getting into a backwards and forwards he said, she said scenario. I don’t see how that helps gaming,” added James.

“It is annoying and disheartening that after everything we do we’ve always got people somewhere who aren’t happy. But that’s just how it goes I guess.”

James wanted to clarify certain points regarding NAG’s involvement and the subsequent outcome which happened.

  • “We never cancelled the league, Polarfluke did. It was cancelled telephonically where someone from Polarfluke (not even Matt) phoned to say they were pulling out.
  • When we received this news we asked whether we could have all the player details and current standings in order that we could continue to run the league and host the event at rAge, we were informed by Polarfluke that they would not give us this information as we had not paid them.
  • Regarding Polarfluke saying that we refused to pay him for running the league, this was not something that was ever in writing or raised by them or agreed to by us. This was something we were only told by them when they cancelled the league.
  • It was our responsibility to secure a headline sponsor for the event in order to give away prize money at rAge, and in the event that we couldn’t do this, NAG was prepared to contribute that cash.

We run rAge each year with many different kinds of initiatives and most of them are a great success. We’re definitely not perfect but we don’t do anything underhanded or fraudulent or we wouldn’t now be working on our 11th rAge expo this year and our 15th year of publishing NAG.”


The MSSA also responded to the questions and issues raised by Merks.

“It is unfortunate that Mr Matt Merks has seen it fit to print a very incomplete account,” said the MSSA’s Colin Webster.

“It is not the MSSA’s policy, nor has it ever been, to air such issues in public.”

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PolarfluKe “pushed aside” by NAG, MSSA – organisations respond

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