The 10 most important moments for Arab teams in Esports during 2018

There is no doubt that 2018 was considerably one of the best years in the history of eSports in the Arab world, as we have witnessed the birth of a large number of new teams, government recognition, and major tournaments. Not to mention the many Arabic players that have gone and won some prestigious titles. As we welcome the new year, we decided to look back and list the most important events of 2018 that highlight the direction in which eSports is heading in for 2019


The first event we will talk about dates back to February 2018, when the government of Dubai announced it’s looking into establishing a stadium for global esports competitions. It was said to be the first stadium dedicated to competitive gaming in the Arab world in a move that is going to give a positive impact on the future of esports in the Middle East.


The second event was in April 2018, when an official of Tunisia government announced the establishment of the country’s first college dedicated to gaming and eSports in the Middle East and the Arab world to help overcome a major step towards inspiring Arab players to follow the path of many other professionals in this competitive area.


Activision Blizzard, developers of Overwatch announced mid-November that it had started allowing Arab players to participate in the coming seasons of the game’s regional tournament Overwatch Contenders, which is considered one of the most important tournaments for Activision. The doors for participation have been opened to only seven Arab countries in the meantime, which are : UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. A good start nonetheless.


An official announcement was made by Syrian Association for Electronic Sports in December that it had been accepted as a member of the International Federation of Electronic Sports, which in turn translates to more support for all Syrian players who want to prove their skills by now becoming eligible to participate in more worldwide event with official support, a first for the war-torn country seeking to recover.


Arab teams were given a new opportunity to shine after the ESWC AFRICA 2018 was announced for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, where teams from the African region of the Arab world fought fiercely for the title, showcasing excellent sportsmanship and professionalism.


Saudi Arabia’s team managed to snag first place win in the global championship of the popular fighting game Tekken 7. It was a moment to prove to the eyes of the world that the Middle East has many skilled players who are here to stay.


Another memorable moment last year was the impressive win by Rogue player Al-Dossary in the biggest FIFA tournament ever, FIFA eWorld Cup 2018. The Fifa 19 pro proved to the entire world that his regional wins were fully deserved, as he hugged the world cup to his chest with the Saudi flag on his back. He may have won other titles that year, but this will always be his biggest accomplishment (yet, at least!)


Dubai served as the real Battleground of the PUBG MOBILE STAR CHALLENGE finals, which was a global event attended by best players around the world to demonstrate their skills in PUBG mobile, the mobile version of the popular battle royal game, We saw a respectable Arab representation at the event after a couple of teams qualified through the PUBG Mobile GCC Cup, but the winner was the Thai team RRQ ATHENA.


Another major event held on an Arabic soil was revealed late December with the announcement of Pyramids eChampionship for FIFA 19 in Egypt, which attracted the attention of players in the region thanks to its eye-catching prize: one million Egyptian pounds ($55,000) to the first place winner. the tournament will be played on the PS4 console and will kick off on the fourth of January 2019.


Last but not least, we have the famed Saudi club Al Hilal announcing the launch of a team dedicated to esports to represent the club in the upcoming competitions and events of FIFA. The club was the first major one to start this trend which had few others follow. Al Hilal representative said this move was to raise awareness of the emerging eSports movement in Saudi Arabia and to also participate in spreading the culture of video games competitions in the region.

As we start the new year, we only hope that 2019 brings more joy and support to Arab players everywhere. With eSports seeing more recognition last year than ever before and with release of more accessible competitive titles to the public, we’re positively wishful that this year brings in even more good news to ambitious players. We’ll see you back in 12 months from now when we will hopefully list some more impressive feats of 2019!


ESME Main Editor for everything CS:GO related

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