RIYADH: PSG.LGD claimed the inaugural Dota 2 Riyadh Masters crown on Sunday night at Gamer8 with an exhilarating 2-0 victory over Team Spirit in the grand finale in Riyadh.
A capacity crowd at Boulevard Riyadh City’s Esports Arena watched on as the Chinese side defeated the Russian outfit to collect the $1.5 million first prize and bring the unforgettable and widely acclaimed five-day competition to a pulsating close.
Faisal bin Homran, head of esports at the Saudi Esports Federation, told Arab News: “For Gamers8, the idea is to make it a platform for the esports scene internationally. We have the biggest prizes, we have more than 115 teams from all over the world, we have more than 50 players coming from more than 50 countries, and the streams of these tournaments happened in over 15 languages.
“So for this, what we like to do is to enhance the perception and to showcase that the Kingdom can host such a big event.”
He added: “The teams are happy, the players are happy, and the experience is top-notch. We will have more tournaments in the future with more partners, and Gamers8 is a platform to showcase Saudi and international talents.”
The fifth and final day of Dota 2 Riyadh Masters began with two semi-finals, which saw PSG.LGD seal their final spot with a 2-1 win over OG, while Team Spirit secured their participation in the showpiece occasion with a 2-1 victory over Team Secret.
PSG.LGD then went on to claim glory with a team performance which forced Team Spirit to settle for runners-up and the $750,000 second-place prize at the biggest esports and gaming event in the world.
PSG.LGD No. 99 XinQ said: “We are very excited to win the Riyadh Masters, this is a special moment for us all. Hearing the cheers from the audience was wonderful. We are thrilled to be a part of, and win, the Riyadh Masters.”
Asked what it meant to claim the $1.5 million prize, XinQ added: “We are delighted but it is not just about winning such a huge prize. It is about the feeling of conquering and beating other teams – that feeling is better than the money.”
Collectively praising the Dota 2 Riyadh Masters as “a great tournament” and adding how much they had enjoyed their time in Saudi Arabia, PSG.LGD No. 10 Faith_bian had a special message for young players in the Kingdom who dreamed of following in their footsteps.
Faith_bian said: “We felt just how much they loved esports and Dota 2. Hopefully one day they can join us, be like us and be proud of their achievements.”
The Dota 2 Riyadh Masters prize pool distribution was as follows: First $1.5 million, second $750,000, third and fourth $425,000, fifth and sixth $200,000, seventh and eighth $150,000, and ninth and 10th $100,000.
Bin Homran said: “The spectacular success of the Dota 2 Riyadh Masters tournament encapsulates everything we wanted to achieve with Gamers8 when we brought this special and unique event to Riyadh. The player and fan experience has been exceptional, as has the quality of gaming on display from start to finish.
“This is just the beginning of this incredible tournament, and I can assure everyone that next year will be even bigger and better. Our plans include a yearly qualification period from across the gaming regions, with the finals set for a dramatic culmination in Riyadh,” he added.