John Thorne at the Atlantic has a terrific writeup on the burgeoning esports scene in the fractured North African nation. It’s your daily reminder that gaming can be a powerful agent for social good.
The Libyan gamers themselves face major challenges related to the lack of digital infrastructure in their country:
The [Electronic Sports World Cup] hadn’t approved Libyan players for Counterstrike. And it wouldn’t have made sense. Gameplay moves fast, and even a split-second of lag can get you killed. Libyan Counterstrikers have trouble training online, unlike gamers in countries with fast internet. According to Saad Ksheer, the head of Libya’s state telecoms company, most internet still passes through aging phone networks. Security problems and bureaucracy mean a wait of up to several years to expand wireless networks and lay fiber-optic cable.
Libyan gamers hope it will be sooner. At the Tripoli tournament, two of them qualified in FIFA for the ESWC: Hamza Mhani, from Tripoli, and Khalid Gheriany, from Benghazi.