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RIYADH: Gamers8 welcomed the world’s best Fortnite teams and players to Saudi Arabia over the weekend, with the elite competition concluding with a second winning pair on Sunday night.

With a $2 million prize pool up for grabs in the eagerly anticipated four-day Fortnite tournament at a purpose-built arena at Boulevard Riyadh City, Malibuca, from Nigma Galaxy, and EpikWhale, from TSM, claimed the Standard version crown. The 359 points racked up in Sunday’s final earned them the $250,000 top prize in that format, with Malibuca also taking home an extra $100,000 for being the MVP of the weekend.

The victors of the Zero Build tournament, who also collected $250,000 in winnings, were Anas, from Guild Esports, and Pinq, from Tundra Esports. They scored 320 points during their event, which ended on Friday night.

Malibuca said: “I am delighted with the win. I think I will be three times more confident in my tournaments online from now on because (I) was really nervous to play this tournament and a huge boost to win. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the money yet; I don’t have a lot of money and I’m saving, so winning it is very nice. I may look to buy a house.”

Partner EpikWhale added: “The win adds a lot of confidence to my game, especially playing at a LAN event with the best players from every region, Brazil, Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America. Winning at that just makes going back to playing only against Western players that much easier. The money’s really cool, but I am also just glad that I can do what I love and succeed in it.

“I want to thank the Saudi Esports Federation for hosting us. I never before thought I’d be in Saudi Arabia playing and my time here has been really memorable.”

Meanwhile Anas commented on his Zero Build win, saying: “We’re so happy with this achievement. The competition was top level, and we felt the pressure throughout both days, but we’re glad we managed to bring it home in the end. Pinq is the perfect partner and I’m so glad that we got to win this tournament together. I’d like to thank the Saudi Esports Federation for organizing such a great tournament, it’s our first time here in the Kingdom and we really loved it.”

Pinq said: “This winning feeling is so special, but what’s more special is playing against some of the best Fortnite players in the world and coming out on top. The second day was the toughest, but we did well in working together and staying calm until the end. The atmosphere was great, we could hear the fans cheering and supporting us even with our headsets on.”

Pinq also had a special message to Saudi youth who aspire to one day be in his position, commenting: “Keep practicing and developing your skills, it will eventually pay off and you’ll be where you want to be.”

Zero Build — where building is disabled in this mode, but the Overshield is enabled — took place on July 28 and 29 across 12 matches and involving 44 duos, and on a points-based system. Second place in the tournament went to Trippernn and Hellfire, from Manchester City Esports, who claimed $150,000. Malibuca, from Nigma Galaxy, and EpikWhale, from TSM, earned $100,000 after finishing third.

Duo Standard Battle Royale, using the standard set of rules, took place on July 30 and 31 — also involving 12 matches, with 44 duos — with second place going to Chapix and zAndy, from Saudi Arabian side Team Falcons, who earned $150,000. Setty and Kami, from Become Legends, claimed $100,000 after finishing third.

Faisal bin Homran, head of esports at the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “The Fortnite weekend at Gamers8 has been a special occasion for players and spectators alike, and fully demonstrates the level of elite, global gaming events that Saudi Arabia is capable of hosting.

“By having top tournaments such as Fortnite at Gamers8, we know we can truly inspire and empower more fans and players in the Kingdom and further afield. The success of the Fortnite tournament, which follows on from the popularity of Rocket League and the Dota 2 Riyadh Masters, makes us very proud and determined to continue delivering an incredible Gamers8 season.”

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