A plea on Reddit was brought to my attention last night. It’s not something we often hear about, but it’s something that may require our attention as it affects a fellow African country. It’s not crazy to think that what happens in other countries in Africa may one day happen in our own, and it’s best we be prepared.
According to the post, Morocco’s biggest ISP, Maroc Telecom, has succeeded in blocking online gaming traffic for specific games, and plans to block all traffic in the future.
“At first i thought this was just a thing they will try to do, but it seems it’s being implemented as we speak. Numerous games no longer work in my country (some games I personally tried: Elsword, Paladins, Dragon Nest) and the moment you somehow manage to get on a game it lags you out until you get kicked by the server. The only games that are working (barely) are League of Legends and Hearthstone. Even though they work, we experience random lag spikes and DCs during games very frequently.”
You’re obviously thinking, why not use a VPN? Apparently that’s illegal and carries a jail sentence if you bypass the ban.
Morocco is one of the up and coming eSports countries in Africa, fielding players in games such as CS:GO and League of Legends. The ban will slowly destroy competitive gaming in the country and so far no official statement has been given by the government or the ISP. You’d be surprised to know that many African countries have extremely active competitive community, perhaps not as big as ours, but they’ve been at it just as long as we have. They’ve set up a petition and are nearing their goal of 10,000 signatures.
There’s no real threat to anything similar happening in South Africa. Luckily for us our dominant ISP, Telkom, have been heavily invested in eSports for several years, but that doesn’t mean the government won’t turn around and ban all online gaming. This is Africa, after all – and if the FPB has its way, it’ll do all it can to block anything it deems unsavoury.
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