Meet the team an­swer­ing the Call of Duty

It’s cash not plau­dits gamers want to win

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - ma­hak@7days.ae

Ateam from the UAE shot their way to glory at a Call Of Duty tour­na­ment in Abu Dhabi, walk­ing off with a Dhs14,690 prize, but it’s small change for the gam­ing fa­nat­ics who want to make a full-time ca­reer out of their pas­sion.

The play­ers have called out to or­gan­is­ers, spon­sors and teams to bring to­gether more tour­na­ments in or­der to go pro and make a sta­ble, full-time in­come through gam­ing.

Af­ter six months of Call of Duty Black Ops III tour­na­ments across the Mid­dle East – with teams emerg­ing from Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Ara­bia – the Call of Duty World League Mid­dle East Fi­nals at Yas Ma­rina Cir­cuit saw UAEbased team Val­our eS­ports take top spot.

CEO and man­ager of the win­ning team Val­our eS­ports, 21year-old Bri­tish ex­pat Ja­son Mann, said the Mid­dle East is still a strug­gling mar­ket for first per­son shooter (FPS) and strat­egy gamers.

“The Call of Duty and Counter Strike scene is still grow­ing, but peo­ple are not tak­ing it se­ri­ously,” said a tri­umphant Mann. “Tour­na­ment houses and or­gan­i­sa­tions like us are ready to in­vest in the com­mu­nity but there is not much ma­tu­rity yet.”

Cur­rently a law stu­dent at Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity in Dubai, Mann said he took a Dhs25,000 loan from his fa­ther to start Val­our eS­ports and has al­ready made a profit.

“I started Val­our eS­ports in April this year and have built it to what I had never imag­ined,” he said. “There are a lot of fi­nances

in­volved, we need spon­sors, busi­ness part­ners and fund­ing for the team.

“We have also set up an on­line ap­parel store, which con­trib­utes.”

Cur­rently, Val­our eS­ports takes 10 per cent of tour­na­ment win­nings and the rest is split among the play­ers.

“The more tour­na­ments we have, and the bet­ter our play­ers per­form, we can start giv­ing more ben­e­fits,” Mann said.

“If you are a FIFA player in the re­gion, you can make mil­lions ev­ery year, but in Call of Duty, the av­er­age a pro player can make in­clud­ing on­line in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ments would be around Dhs20,000 a month.”

Twenty-year-old In­dian ex­pat De­vang­shu Rath, cap­tain of Sav­age Gam­ing and a stunted at Ma­ni­pal Univer­sity Dubai, said he started off win­ning smaller tour­na­ments held in malls.

He said: “The first time I won a gam­ing com­pe­ti­tion was a Dhs250 tour­na­ment at a mall, which I paid Dhs50 to get into, and now I make a cou­ple of thou­sand dirhams ev­ery tour­na­ment I win.

“This is the first time we have had a COD event of this level with venue, ac­com­mo­da­tion and travel cov­ered.”

FIREPOWER: There were thou­sands of dirhams in prize money for gamers in Abu Dhabi

TOP GUNS: Val­our eS­ports cel­e­brate out­shoot­ing the op­po­si­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.