Video gamers battle it out for Dh1 million

Up to 50,000 armchair footballers are expected to battle it out in The Million Player competition video game tournament set to be held in Abu Dhabi.
Players take part in last year’s video football competition. This year they will be playing for prize money of up to Dh1m. Pawan Singh / The National
Players take part in last year’s video football competition. This year they will be playing for prize money of up to Dh1m. Pawan Singh / The National

ABU DHABI // Top footballers earn huge salaries thanks to their talent and extreme fitness. However, even if you are totally unfit and have two left feet you can still earn up to Dh1 million by sitting down and using only your quick wits and quicker thumbs.

In just over a month’s time up to 50,000 armchair “footballers” are expected to battle it out in The Million Player video game tournament in Abu Dhabi.

Now in its second year, the tournament hopes to attract gamers from all over the country and beyond to play each other in the Fifa 14 game on the PlayStation 4.

“Last year we did it on Pro Evolution Soccer game, but this year will be more exciting on Fifa,” said Obaid Al Alili, head of technical for The Million Player. “This was at the request of players, they have been emailing and asking for Fifa. The million dirham grand prize is one of the biggest in the world,” he said.

Even runners up will win big, with second and third places both being awarded a car, fourth place receiving Dh15,000 and fifth place Dh10,000. Other “value gift” prizes will be given to anyone finishing in up to 256th place.

“Anyone can enter from any country in the world and can register online on our website or at the UAE Wrestling, Judo and Kickboxing Federation.

“Last year we had players from France, Germany, Turkey, Brazil – from all over the world. The youngest one was six and the oldest was 49,” Mr Al Alili said.

The event will kick-off at Al Jazeera Sports Club in Abu Dhabi on the second day of Ramadan.

“The length of the tournament depends on how many players register, but it will all take place during Ramadan,” said Mr Al Alili.

“Gaming is just like a normal sport, but everyone is playing in their homes and challenging each other. With this tournament they will be able to challenge everyone, from all over the world, and come together and compete for a million dirhams.

“In Ramadan we will bring people together and meet new friends, it is like a small community. They are connecting together.”

Khadem Al Qubaisi, managing director of International Petroleum Investment Company, the tournament’s sponsor, said: “The tournament is an opportunity for the UAE’s youth to show off their skills in a competitive environment, meet like-minded people, and be part of the wider community of gaming and football enthusiasts.”

Last year’s winner was Moeen Amozadeh, from Iran, Playing with his favourite side, Real Madrid, he beat Emirati Abdullah Saleh Mubarak, who played as Barcelona, 8-6 after extra-time.

“The 2013 tournament was a huge success and we expect it to be bigger and better this year as gamers compete for their chance to win the incredible prize,” said Sultan bin Salim bin Thaloub Al Dari, chairman of the E-Football Committee.

Entry is Dh80 for a single knock-out game or Dh700 for a pass that allows for up to 14 defeats. Fees will increase to Dh250 for a single entry as the tournament draws closer.

Once the registration phase is complete, a full schedule for all players will be posted on the tournament website.

More information and registration forms can be found at www.themillionplayer.com.

ksinclair@thenational.ae

Published: May 20, 2014 04:00 AM

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