Former competitive Counter-Strike player Atta “crazyarab” Elayyan was confirmed as one of the 50 victims of the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand.
The 33-year-old Palestinian man won local and online Counter-Strike tournaments in the early 2000s, as part of the New Zeland team NewType. Elayyan recalled his teammates being “insanely hell bent on winning.” Their practice schedule of seven hours per night seemed to pay off when they began to topple all of Australia’s top teams in the xLan competitions.
During Elayyan’s final year studying computer science at Canterbury University, exams began to get in the way of the team’s rigorous practice schedule. He began to focus on launching a successful software company in New Zealand, creating a few widely used apps.
“I would have never gotten into the tech industry had I not been obsessed with gaming during those years. My desire to succeed actually helped me a lot in many aspects of my life,” Elayyan said in 2012.
The former Counter-Strike player said he would do it all over again if he could.
Born in Kuwait, the 33-year-old Palestinian man was peacefully praying at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque when he was shot and killed during a terrorist attack. He leaves behind a wife and daughter, as well as the rest of the futsal soccer team.
“There’s a huge hole in our hearts as we come to terms with the loss of a great person and a good mate,” former teammate Josh Margetts said.
Elayyan was among 50 deaths in the shooting. It was the deadliest shooting in the modern history of New Zealand.