The Rise of Saudi Arabian Esports - An interview with Team Falcons and Twisted Minds
As a region in esports, Saudi Arabia has always had a presence. Mosaad "Msdossary" Aldossary is one of the most successful FIFA players of all time. According to Esports Earnings, he's amassed over $670,000 in prize money.
The scene is now hitting a meteoric rise. Off the back of Gamers8, which had a mind-blowing $40m prize pool across major titles, the dream of success has been turned into a reality. Home-based Twisted Minds succeeded in landing the prestigious and newly inducted Gamers8 Club Award, giving out $1.5m to the champions on top of their other earnings.
Saudi Arabian esports are on the rise
"Overall, it was an overwhelming experience. We learned a lot, and didn’t expect that much momentum although we were prepared for it." expressed Mohammed Jebreen, esports assistant at this year's Gamers8 for the team.
"It came as a surprise to be honest, but it’s a nice feeling." The team put together a slew of great performances, including a win in the opening Fortnite tournament by Jakpo, teaming with Gamin Gladiators' Kami, and second place for Hero. All of which was a sign of things to come.
For many of the most popular titles, a driving force for the region is Team Falcons, headed by Msdossary. Most recognisable in Rocket League, the squad headed by Ahmad took to the Semi-Finals on home soil at Gamers8, and that's something the team is proud of.
"Well, I'm very happy about our Rocket League players. We changed one of the players [in the roster] for Gamers8, and he's a very young and promising player.
"We lost that series, we could have gone the whole way but overall I think that Rocket League is a very important game for Falcons in general, and we’re looking to do more and more." said Msdossary, Chairman and Owner of Team Falcons.
Catching up on Rule One won't be easy
The two other sides from the region had contrasting performances in their own right at Gamers8 Rocket League, with Rule One making it all the way to the final, only to be swept aside by Version1. On the other hand, Twisted Minds had an underwhelming event, finishing 13th-16th.
When asked what the team needs to do to catch up to Rule One, Jebreen added, "I think more practice, maybe change the playstyle of it but that’s not up to me to consider."
As for historical star Senzo, he said "Senzo is a vital part, being the most experienced player in our RL roster. I think the guys have learned a lot from him, I think he’s a great leader for the team."
Outside of Gamers8, Twisted Minds has an impressive Overwatch Contenders roster, finishing in first place during the EU Spring Series. Impressively, they achieved this accomplishment while playing from Saudi Arabia, with Jebreen adding that they play on 90 ping.
The rise of Saudi Arabian esports has not gone unnoticed, and it's an added region we love to see at the top. To find out more about Msdossary and Team Falcons, check out our full interview with him here.