RIYADH: Gamers8 on Saturday night saw Vampire Esports crowned PUBG MOBILE World Invitational (PMWI) champions at Boulevard Riyadh City.
The team from Thailand claimed $500,000 of the total $2 million prize pool after scoring 220 points. That points total was enough to edge out homegrown heroes Team Falcons from Saudi Arabia, who scored 197 points, into second place.
Team Falcons’ exploits earned them $300,000, while the 180 points scored by Stalwart Esports, from Mongolia, claimed third spot and $160,000. The MVP award, and with it $10,000, also went to Stalwart Esports — with star performer Action leading the individual rankings from day one of the tournament on Thursday right up until Saturday’s conclusion.
But the team of the tournament was far and away Vampire Esports, who celebrated their success by collectively — and delightedly — hoisting the spectacular PMWI Gamers8 trophy high into the air at the purpose-built arena at Boulevard Riyadh City.
Vampire Esports Leader Rvenclaw said: “This is the greatest achievement of our lives. It was our team goal to come here and win, and we are so delighted to have done so. We really encouraged each other to win.”
“The Esports Arena at Boulevard Riyadh City is a great venue and the fans created a great atmosphere. It was a great honor to be here in Riyadh and we have really enjoyed our time in Saudi Arabia — it is a beautiful country,” he added. “We have really enjoyed the culture here; the buildings are beautiful, the food has been awesome, and the people have been very welcoming. We will save the money that we have earned from winning the tournament in our bank accounts.”
Asked if the team had a message for the young gamers of Saudi Arabia who wish to follow in their footsteps, Rvenclaw said: “If you want to be a professional esports player, you must have the self-discipline to be able to study, practice and do your homework. When you see the best players in the world right now, they all have self-discipline and keep on improving. This is what makes you win and makes money for you and your family!”
The second annual PMWI tournament marks the fifth and final phase of the historic Professional Esports calendar at Gamers8, which is being organized by the Saudi Esports Federation.
Split into two parts, the main tournament welcomed 17 regional champions and one homegrown representative. The Afterparty Showdown — the second week’s tournament taking place from Aug. 18-20 — will see teams competing for the remaining $1 million on offer.
The Afterparty Showdown line-up will comprise the top five teams from the first week – the aforementioned Vampire Esports, Team Falcons, and Stalwart Esports, as well as Nigma Galaxy, who hail from the UAE and India, and DWG Kia from South Korea — alongside six teams chosen from different regions, and one given a special invitation to compete.
Faisal bin Hamran, head of esports at the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “The PUBG MOBILE World Invitational at Gamers8 witnessed high enthusiasm from the participating teams, the fans present at the Esports Arena at Boulevard Riyadh City, and the tournament followers on Gamers8 channels being broadcast live in eight languages.
“This is our fifth tournament of the Gamers8 season, and the PMWI only adds to the glittering roster of elite action that we have been delighted — and privileged — to have witnessed this summer. I congratulate all the participating teams, especially those who qualified for the Afterparty Showdown that will be held next week.”