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Virtual Israeli sport champs by: Leslie Bunder

Jeremie Kletzkine
Jeremie Kletzkine

The games may be virtual but Israel is taking a team of six to the real city of Dallas to compete in the international Cyberathlete Professional League's Winter Championships at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Players from around the world will be taking part in a series of games including Counter Strike 1.6 and Quake 4 to bring back gaming glory to their country as well as the chance to share in the many thousands of dollars to be given to the winners.
Under the e-Israel umbrella, the players have been training to realise their potential in the games in which they will take on players from all around the world. But while countries the United States, Germany and the UK have active and established environments for gamers, Israeli gaming is still in its infancy.
"Unfortunately, gaming in Israel is still relatively underground and does not get as much recognition as it does abroad, where it is a huge industry," e-srael team manager Jeremie "Jeremie" Kletzkine told the Jerusalem Post. "We're hoping that e-Srael's presence at the CPL tournament changes all that," he said.
Kletzkine is a former French native who emigrated to Israel in the late 1990s.
In his late 20s, he leads a team of players from Israel in their late teens and early 20s.
"Our best players are before or after the army," he says. "Once gamers start working or attending university, they simply don't have the time to dedicate to gaming anymore. So they move on with their lives and make way for future generations."
And with e-Israel now in Dallas, Kletzkine is providing regular updates to their fans and fellow players. Writing on the e-Srael site, Kletzkine commented on the time it took to travel to Dallas from Israel. "We travelled for around 24 straight hours. The Hotel is impressible, it's luxury, and in the central business area of Dallas. We now have the opportunity to rest and get used to the jet lag, tomorrow we'll check deeper about renting our computers and planning bootcamps with some relevant teams."
And with winning money to cover their airfare and accommodation, e-Israel is determined to be up their with the best and shake off the jetlag.

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