The winner of last year's Electronic Sports World Cup has refused to play this year because he was drawn to play against an Israeli gamer. Badr Hakeem, the 21-year-old champ from Saudi Arabia, cited current events for his reasoning.

"Due to our stand against the Israeli aggression and occupation of Palestine," he said, "I raised my voice and said there was no way I was going to play this guy."

We are not about to take sides over the conflict, but how does anyone benefit from this protest? The ESWC is a 53-country event, but nothing grand on the scale of the Fifa World Cup or the Olympics. We understand standing up for your beliefs, but wouldn't it be more cathartic for him to face off against the Israeli gamer -- a man who has not offended him personally but only by nationality -- and winning?

The ESWC took place this past weekend, June 28th through July 2nd, in Paris, France.

[via DigitalBattle]

[update 1: comments spiraling way out of control ... maybe one out of 30 on topic; the others getting more vitriolic as the hours pass. Comments have been frozen and all previous entries deleted.]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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