Computer games enthusiasts in Middle East: objected by the parents, restricted by the society, they



From: Writer: Time:2018-09-21

      The recently-concluded Jakarta Asian Games made the computer games at the front of the public attention, but the computer games enthusiasts had made efforts for years before that ---- not only in China.

      The hot Middle East region once was thought to be a“desert”of computer games. Compared to China, there are few professional teams, no off-line games with huge audiences, the development of computer games remain in a relatively low level.

      However, the two regions share the same trouble: the objection of parents, restriction of the social norms. They believe that the environment of China’s computer games today is what they are hoping for.

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“My parents do not allow me to play computer games.”

      2018 ZOWIE GEAR the eXTREMESLAND CS:GO Asian Open Middle East games now is being held in Dubai, the team who win the championship here will be qualified to participate in the Asian Finals in Shanghai.

Finally, the local NASR team stood out among the others, but when speaking of their past experience, their Chinese counterparts may feel the same.

     “ I started out by addicted to the computer games, I developed this habit when I was a student, sometimes I would spend 10 to 12 hours on games, and my school work fell into disuse as a result.”a team member, Rufus Paras, told the correspondent of the Paper. He is not tall, but he is full of vigor in the games, his achievement in the virtual world could not win the understanding of his family.

      He sometimes would skip class for games, and therefore his parents not only banned him on playing the games, but also stopped him from using the computer.The professional computer games players, in UAE and even the whole Middle East region, are not a“decent job” in traditional minds. But even so, Paras still stick to this road without turning back.He joined NASR team---- this is a regulated professional CG teams which is rarely seen in Middle East, then he tried to prove himself by hard-working. His daily training hour is about 8 hours each day, and sometimes even longer before the important games.Slowly, he began to compete in games with other teammates, and won champion and bonus, he managed to“persuade” his family until then.

    “Having found that I could make money by playing games, and had a full-time job, they began to allow and support me to be a game player.”Paras said.But except for this successful case, many young CG enthusiasts have no choice but to give up their dream.

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There are only two real professional teams

       The world of CG has always been cruel, there are many eliminated players except for the top players, so it is the same with the Middle East. But here, the opportunities left for the young teens to follow their dreams are much fewer.NASR team has unified training centers, exclusive logistic teams, and branch of each games project, even “talent agents”who seek for new and potential players everywhere. All of these are the standard configuration of many CG clubs in China.

       But in Middle East, club of this kind is a rare and precious thing. The starter of NASR, Luciano Rahal, said that there are only two professional teams are equipped this way in Middle East including UAE, while the eliminating rate on the way of becoming a professional player is 70% to 80%, or even higher.As a matter of fact, many teams are amateur or semi-professional teams in this games in Middle East region. And many players are doing an another job to earn a living.Rahal said “The two teams who entered the finals ---- NASR team and FATE team are professional teams that are relatively standard, this has shown the importance of professional organization.”

       But it is not a easy job to organize a professional team, let’s take FATE team as a example, they were faced with finance scarce less than half year after its establishment.Because the professional teams in Middle East are scare, the professional teams like NASR are hard to find strong competitors in the local region, for that, the team members often try to train themselves with European players on line, in spite of the network delay.

     “We need stronger competitors to make ourselves stronger, therefore I would love to help other teams and players, to provide them with some suggestions, or to contact the sponsors.”

Although the NASR, started by Rahal, has become the top in Middle East, but his vision is bigger than what he had done.

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Want to go to China: there are many high-level competitions

       Last year, NASR team won the champion of eXTREMESLAND CS:GO in Middle East region and awarded the passport for finals in Shanghai, they will go to Shanghai for the second time this year.

Their performance during the last time is not outstanding. But in Rahal’s word, “It is a triumph for us already. ”for we could meet with so many famous teams and players in the international stages like this.

According to the 2018 China CG Industry Development Report issued by Biznext, the E-sports players in China has reached 250 million in 2017, the market scale has exceeded 5 billion, and the audiences of one of the games has become over 10 billion for the first time.The number is horrible even in the world.The CG industry in Middle East remains in an initiate stage under comparison. Most of the games are held in local internet cafes, with no enough room for the audiences, the off-line games with huge number of audiences are rarely seen here.

      A local people told the corespondent of Paper that it was risky to some degree to open a internet cafe in Dubai. Because people there are rich enough to afford a laptop, few people would go to net cafe, so it has become a way to attract young people to net cafe by organizing small-sized CG games---- but this would mean greater finance input.

A Pakistani player who came to compete in Dubai told the corespondent of Paper that he did have heard something about the CG environment in China, but it was hard for his country to create such atmosphere.

While the player Rufus Paras has showed his “admiration” in a more straightforward way.


    “We know that there are many 《CS:GO》competitions in China, and most of them are of high level, honestly speaking, we would love to participate in those games".“But few hosts invite us,  we hope you could change that situation.”

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They believe in a better future

       Just like what Rahal said: “there are excellent players in Middle East, but we are in need of a platform to let them shine. Such as in Europe, there would be a club to sign contracts whenever there is someone new come above the surface, but such opportunities here are rare.”

       In the today’s world, the CG industry is getting more and more influential, the CG practitioners in Middle East are trying to follow the trends in spite of their weak foundations.

The general manager of BenQ, the sponsor of eXTREMESLAND CS:GO, believes that the development CG industry in Middle East has its own advantage: due to the hot weather, it may be inconvenient to hold outdoors activities, CG competitions may be an appropriate way to cater to the social needs of local people.  While the manager of BenQ in Middle East region , Manish Barhsh, told the corespondent of Paper that in recent years, they also noticed the uprising of CG here.


    “Now more and more people start to buy professional CG equipment, which has reflected the development of CG from the side.” the government of UAE and Saudi-Arabia all have established official CG Associations and have provided them with certain amount of financial budgets, there are also civil CG organizations, all of these would contribute to the development of CG in Middle East, whereas the growing of CG industry, especially the recognition of the society, would take a rather long period.

       In today’s China, many CG players choose to stay in CG industry after retirement, they would work as a anchor or interpreter, some even start their own business by taking advantage of the fame. For example, the world champion player of Warcraft 3, Li Xiaofeng, built his own company  and went into business after retirement.

       While in Middle East, the example like this may be hard to come to true. The player of NASR, Almuhri, said that he would continue to work on his law degree if he failed to become a CG trainer after retirement. He said that “It is difficult to be a entrepreneur by using the fame, because the social visibility is not strong enough.”