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Pro gamer Musaed AlDossary triumphed over more than 20 million other players to be crowned the champion of the FIFA 2018 eWorld Cup Final last week.
The Saudi Arabian persevered in the gruelling finals tournament, which took place over three days at the O2 Arena in London, England last week and featured 32 players from 19 countries.
The 18-year-old, who competes as ‘MSDossary’, secured a 4-0 aggregate victory over Belgium’s Stefano ‘StefanoPinna’ Pinna to secure the $250,000 (BD94,500) top prize.
“This win makes up for all the hard work and dedication me and my team have put into this,” said MSDossary.
“It is fantastic to see competitive FIFA gaming grow, but this is nothing I could have ever imagined.
“Winning the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final and becoming world champion is a dream come true for me, my friends, family and supporters.
“To get the opportunity to win in front of a live audience this big is absolutely unbelievable. I am truly lost for words in this moment.”
Qualification for the tournament began in November, with more than 20 million hopeful gamers entering online looking to qualify for live tournaments.
The most successful then progressed to the play-offs and live events throughout the season, with only the world’s best reaching the London showpiece.
Jean-Francois Pathy, FIFA’s director or marketing services, said: “The FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018 provided an outstanding opportunity to drive forward the professionalisation of competitive FIFA gaming.
“This year’s landmark event has experienced advanced levels of growth and has played a key role in engaging new players, fans and audiences on both digital and traditional platforms.”
“As the wider ecosystem continues to develop, FIFA gaming is playing a key role in encouraging more young people and the wider public around the world to play football - either virtually or in person.”
AlDossary is also the first Arab gamer to sign a professional contract with a major American eSports organisation where he represented ‘Team Rogue’ for the first time in the global playoffs, paving the way for Arab gamers.
He was signed following his successful stint at the Manchester FIFA18 Global Series cup, where he won the grand prize of $22,000 by beating his opponent 6-4, receiving global recognition.
Known for yielding champions in multiple games, Team Rogue was founded in May 2016 in Las Vegas. It was recently acquired by ReKTGlobal, a US eSports infrastructure company that has a significant presence in the Arab world through its investment into eSports content provider and Bahrain-based OverPowered Network.
Being part of a professional team, AlDossary will also benefit from incentives to further develop his game with him being fully-sponsored to compete in any competition he qualifies for around the world, as well as receiving a monthly wage for his time to train and further improve his skills.
AlDossary added: “I hope to set an example to both local and regional players, and show how to turn your passion into a career. I hope that by seeing what I have done, I’ll open up possibilities for interested players from the region to develop and be recognised by international teams and ultimately be signed to a professional contract like me.”