The field of Esports is now bigger than ever, and with the recent boom of competitive gaming all over the world, the Middle East was no exception. Thanks to the growing support of many countries in the region, we are constantly introduced to more passionate organizations that thrive to achieve global exposure through hard work, ambition, and teamwork, and Divine Vendetta might be one of the more interesting new organizations out there.
Coming in Third at the recent Nexus Arabia 2019 League of Legends tournament and reaching the world cup finals in PUBG Mobile, Divine Vendetta proved they’re one of the teams to watch out for in 2020. We had the chance to communicate with Mr. Joe Zoghbi, owner and founder of the organization, and conducted a little interview with him on Divine Vendetta’s goals, hardships, and what’s next for its pro players.
- On behalf of the eSports Middle East team, I’m honored to have a little chat with you Mr. Zoghbi! Please introduce Divine Vendetta to our readers in short, sweet sentences!
First and foremost, thank you very much for this interview. Getting interviewed by you guys in the first place is a form of recognition so I am truly grateful.
Divine Vendetta is a garage project, and somehow it’s still a garage project. We’re not a funded organization, we’re not located in offices with a team working around the clock. It’s myself & a couple of friends in this simply because we saw an opportunity to be the MENA Esports Underdogs.
- Your organization is fairly new, having been established only a few months ago, yet you stunned the local scene with some amazing results in recent competitions you’ve played. We need to know your secret, man!
Honestly and to be frank, I am not here to take credit as doing very good for only 6 months of work, I think the rest aren’t do that good and we are just doing the basics right, the secret is sticking to a formula on how to recruit, what makes a team win, and how to build a community around a team. I watch almost every scrim, I talk almost every day to all may players (17), I am available at any point at any time, even though I can certainly afford to have middle people connecting with the players on my behalf but I chose to be that one.
- League of Legends, PUBG Mobile, CSGO, and more. How do you choose your players? Can you give us some insight on the process of choosing your pros?
I can’t fully reveal how I chose players but I follow a process similar to how the sporting process works with a little bit of focus on stats in between, scouting and taking notes and time, understanding the stats of the game comparing stats based on pre set criterias & understanding how global teams do their processes. Of course not all my teams followed the same process but I do believe in building a team around a player or two who are statistically superior and move from there.
- Starting an organization from scratch in the Middle East isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. What were some of the obvious hardships you’ve faced coming up with Divine Vendetta?
I think the biggest problem the region is facing is the lack of an esports ecosystem, and what I do mean by that is consistent competitive gameplay, in reality PUBG Mobile is the only game with an ecosystem we’ve been the first organization in the region who understood this, now we see since December others like Oshtek, Power & Yalla creating & picking existing teams and that’s excellent!
- We’ve seen a lot of hidden potential among MENA players, yet the pro players pool always seems to be a bit limited. What are some of the reasons why local players hesitate going pro in your opinion? And how can they overcome them?
I go back to the previous answer of consistent competitive gameplay, that brings a lot of content which drives brands to approach and sponsor the content, then money comes in, which in reality and eventually leads to higher salaries that creates professionalism and breeds talent. The mentality of the Arab players is improving a lot, I’ve witnessed a positive change and i believe it’ll improve massively in the next year or so.
- What are some of the challenges facing the eSports scene in the region in your opinion as an organization owner? And how can it be made into a viable business?
The ability to attract top talent to coach and input on the team performance, is a big struggle since there is no esports ecosystem nor consistent competitive activities.
Why would global talents look here or why would brands invest in it? A viable business is not a question now, building the value for the future is the name of the game.
- Third place at Nexus Arabia, multiple event wins and more. What’s next for Divine Vendetta? What tournaments should fans look forward to? And are there any new games you’re planning to expand into?
We’re very happy that our underdogs scooped more than 130,000 USD in prize money in less than 6 months, that’s a great deal of business and the focus now is to maintain the caliber of the players and make sure to improve the level. After a great successful test in the Millenium CS:GO tourney scooping 2nd, our next big tournament to look for is the ESL Minor qualifier to Rio & the start of the PMCO for our PUBG Mobile monsters! As for new games we can’t reveal yet but most likely there will be a 2020 addition.
- What are some of Divine Vendetta’s goals that you plan to achieve in the future?
We are 100% focused on improving the level, we’ve just hired a top Spanish coach for our CS:GO team who coached previously Movistar Riders, and we’ve hired also a professional Greek coach for our League Of Legends team, we’ve also signed one of the biggest LoL streamers if not the biggest in the region (JellyFish) to work on our community. The goals are simple, become better at the games and grow our community.
- Anything you’d like to add in conclusion? You can plug some of your social media accounts here for the latest updates on Divine Vendetta!
We want every team who plays against us to fear us, instilling a winning mentality in each and every single player of ours and provide opportunities to players from our communities to reach the professional team.
Thank you for giving us the time to know a bit more about Divine Vendetta. We wish you the best of luck in upcoming events and continued success!
We are humbled & honored for you guys to recognise us and honor us.