The Middle East and particularly Saudi Arabia have seen some major strides in eSports of the last few years. For Saudi Arabia, 2018 was marked as one of their most eventful years with multiple national and regional tournaments and the announcement of the Electronic Saudi Professional League (eSPL).
Today, SAFEIS announces the eMBS Cup which is a knock out tournament that will span over the 14th and the 15th of May with only the top eight teams from the eSPL qualifying for it.
There are sixteen teams participating in the eSPL. Each team represents one of the Saudi clubs in the Saudi Professional League (SPL). According to the latest announcement by SAFEIS, Al Ittihad club is at the top of the table with 62 point with Al Ittifaq and Al Nasser in second and their places respectively. Al Hilal club sits mid-table with 34 points and Al Faisaly falls at the bottom with 8 points. The final round of the eSPL set to take place on the 9th of May will decide for sure who the eight teams participating in the eMBS cup will be.
Among the Saudi clubs’ players are some of the world’s best FIFA players such the raining FIFA eWorld Cup champion Mosaed Al Dossary and the GSA eSports Cup champion Ahmad Al Harbi in addition to some of the country’s best eSports athletes.
The star player Mosaed Al Dossary commented on the tournament by saying, “I am very excited to participate in such a tournament. It’s different from the league where stamina is what is important. In the eMBS Cup every game is like a final. There is no chance to recover. At the start of the league, I had a rocky start, now my team is at the top of the table. In a knockout championship, there is no room for recovery.”
The cup will be a two-day tournament that will see four home and away matches in its first round that will determine the semi-finalists. From there, the competing teams will play two home and away matches for one of two seats at the final. Each team will have a player on the PlayStation console and another for the Xbox console.
The competition will be hosted at “SARENA SAFEIS” the high-tech gaming arena that is equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure to support these events among other eSports such as “League of Legends, Overwatch, and Call of Duty.
In a comment about the importance of building such an appealing and integrated framework for eSports competitions, Turki Al Fowzan the CEO of SAFEIS said, “We are now in the era of eSports. The gaming and eSports community is massive both in Saudi and around the world. It’s necessary to provide them with an integrated and engaging environment, from the competitions all the way to facilities and management; and that translates to lucrative opportunities for those who want to invest. A few great examples of the investors that jumped on the opportunity early on are Zain telecoms, Vanguard, and SARENA SAFEIS.”
The Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS) is the regulating body in charge of nurturing elite gaming athletes and developing the gaming community and industry in Saudi Arabia. Its goal is for Saudis to be among the most accomplished gamers around the world and for Saudi Arabia to be a global gaming hub.
Since its establishment in late 2017, the federation has organized multiple world-class national and international tournaments attracted large-scale investment from local private sector actors and worked with international developers on opportunities in the Saudi market.
For more information, visit SAFEIS website: https://www.safeis.sa/
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