Pakistan eSports team to compete for $1.5 million in China


Zuhaa bin Attiq

Islamabad: Electronic Sports Pakistan qualified for the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG), to be held in China this March.

The event has a prize pool of $1.5 million, making it one of the premier tournaments of the Defense of the Ancients 2 (DotA 2) video game. This will be the first time any Pakistani eSports team will represent the country in WESG.

Pakistan’s team consists of five players under the eSports brand Eximious eSports. All the five players are locals from Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Karachi. Shiraz Akhter (Sh1zzy), Musawer Khan (Ghost Khan), Muhammad Ahsan Hameed (Arrow), Muhammad Ibrahim (KSG), and Muhammad Shehwar (T1tan) form the squad. Four of the five players already represent Pakistan on the global leaderboard rankings of the video game.

The team won the local qualifiers and made it to the Asia Pacific regional qualifiers held in Fang Yuan Sports Center, China. The event took place from January 11 to 13. They came back from being a game down to eventually winning three series and qualifying for the main event where they will face off against the biggest of names in the world. Legends such as Joakim Akterhall (Akke), Jonathan Berg (Loda), and Alexei Berezin (Solo) will also participate in the tournament.

DotA 2 is played by around a million players daily and is famous for its ludicrous community-funded prize pools. The yearly tournament of DotA 2: The International, had a prize pool of 24.6 million dollars this year, the highest for any eSports tournament ever.

The record for the youngest eSports millionaire is also held by a Pakistani, Sumail Hassan, when he was only 16. In only half a year in the professional scene abroad, he was able to go from a complete stranger to being the international champion. Today he has earned approximately $2.6 million in eSports playing for Evil Geniuses, an American eSports organization.

With the stage set for Electronic Sports Pakistan to achieve the same results, they have a massive opportunity to become a mainstay in the global eSports scene. A feat not yet achieved before by any Pakistani team.