From losing finalists to Free Fire Arab League champions, Morocco’s MCES Africa eSports club has come a long way since being founded. They have experienced the highs and lows including criticism from their own fans but togetherness has been the key to their rise in the eSports industry in Morocco and the MENA region.
Behind the success is a Moroccan father who helped set up the club with the goal to train, educate and provide an opportunity for aspiring gamers across the country to be successful – both in gaming and in the real-world.
It was in 2020 when Tarik Balghazi noticed the strong passion his children had for playing Free Fire at home and was keen to find a club where they could pursue their interests on a daily basis. Despite searching for days, Tarik was unable to find a club in his local area in Casablanca but the decision to reach out to his friend in France for advice proved to be decisive, leading the way to creating MCES Africa.
“This was an idea I had as a father and not as an entrepreneur,” said Tarik. “When I spoke to my friend, I realized that there’s so much more we can do as an Esports club and that education would be of great added value to gamers of all ages. From this is how MCES Africa was born.”
Today, MCES Africa boasts 18 squads with more than 100 players across Morocco. They also organize and hold their own competitions so their players can regularly test themselves. With the guidance and expertise of coach Marco “Sidi Mohamed Musahel”, the club practices together playing Free Fire on a daily basis.
Their key highlight has been reigning supreme in the Free Fire Arab League Season 4 in 2021, going one step further than what they had achieved in Season 3. The victory was even more impressive given that the club had made strategic changes to their roster after their runner-up finish.
“In Season 3, we were newcomers and as a result, we didn’t know how to manage the pressure situations and this was even more difficult the further we progressed,” explained Tarik.
“Although everyone was expecting us to win, we simply didn’t have enough experience. After the third season, we made some changes that the fans didn’t agree with. It was a difficult choice but I had faith in my players and when we won Season 4 of the Free Fire Arab League, I went through all kinds of emotions as our hard work had paid off.”
Their journey in Free Fire has brought the team closer together with Tarik underlining the importance of the key attributes in gaming that can help his players be successful in life.
“Communication and team-bonding have been crucial for our success today and these are qualities I emphasise a lot,” said Tarik. “Gaming has many benefits that people don’t realise until they take it up.”
With motivation and discipline instilled in the Moroccan based team, they have set their sights on qualifying for the Free Fire World Series.
“Our dream moving forward is to reach the World Series and represent Morocco. It would be great to be part of that global competition but hard work is required to reach that stage” said team member Dowly “Mustafa Mashul”.
The team’s success in Free Fire Arab League Season 4 is a reflection of the hard work and dedication that is displayed in the growing Esports community in the region. While MCES Africa aims to inspire gamers in the region, Tarik insists patience is the key to be successful.
“Anyone who just started and is dreaming to become an Esports player needs to set a clear goal, stay patient, and work hard because nothing comes easily”, said Tarik.