Issa, how long have you been playing games online?
A bit longer than 6 years.
You probably won’t be willing to answer this, but how much time do you spend online a week?
I don’t mind telling you, it’s about 100 hrs/wk. practically all of it on EliteLeague business.
How did you learn about EliteLeague and when did you join?
LOL, I learned about Elite from my best friend balouza, I was the first to join.
Of course, I was there from the beginning, but I still have to say “Wow!” Looking back on it now, I still marvel that you/we were able to pull it off. Can you tell us please, in a nutshell, what is it that sets EliteLeague apart from its competitors? What makes us the “best”?
Management that is hands-on and dedicated to the players’ needs. A user-friendly site that is reliable and efficient, with a minimum of graphics etc to slow it down. Dedicated TDs and staff that believe in the principles of teamwork and fairness. Remarkable players base that function as an extended “family”, with annual live events tying many of us together. And, not least of all, the fact that we eliminated the “ladder” concept and became a pure tournament league, thus almost eradicating the usual forms of online cheating and manipulation that plague other leagues.
What is it in your background that prepared you for all this? What skills have you developed that made this possible?
I have spent my life in international management, for the last 20 years running my own consulting firm in the Middle East. I have edited and published over 30 books on management. I understand what is required for people to work together and for businesses to prosper. And make no mistake about it, we may be run by volunteers, we may not turn a profit, but we are nevertheless a business and must operate on sound principles or we cannot survive. Also, I was fortunate enough to make a great deal of money from my activities, so I was able to bankroll the creation of EliteLeague, which required a not inconsiderable sum.
Do you administer any real-life competitions?
LOL! Where would I find the time for that?
Well, I had to ask, you provided the template for these interviews, after all! Let me ask you this, then: what would you tell a prospective member who is trying to choose between EliteLeague and other, similar leagues?
That there is nothing “similar” out there. That we are head-and-shoulders above the rest. That we are a concerned community that looks out for each other, staffed entirely by our own, and that we offer the greatest variety of tourney types, the most activity, and by far the user-friendliest site for online gaming. That if you wish to enjoy the game and have fun while competing with the best on the internet, there is no choice but EliteLeague.
Well, that certainly sums it up. Any last words for our readers?
I created this league for two, complementary reasons: I love to see people happy and having fun, and my pride motivated me to prove to everybody that online competition could be done better in a clean environment. I believe we have succeeded on both fronts. I’d like to emphasize that EliteLeague was never meant to be a profitable business. Such income as we generate is used to offset operating expenses (which are considerable) and any excess is used for further systems development or paid back in prizes. EliteLeague is for YOU, the players: take it and enjoy!