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Pakistani Video Game Player Among World's Top 10 Earners

Karachi-born Pakistani Syed Sumail Hasan, 19, is the world's youngest video gamer to surpass $1 million in earnings. In fact, he has earned $3.6 million so far as an international Dota 2 player, ranking him the 10th biggest winner in the world, according to website which tracks players' earnings. Sumail started playing Dota 2 at the age of 7. He now lives in a Chicago suburb as a permanent resident of the United States.

Syed Sumail Hassan

Arsalan Ash Siddique, 23 years old player from Lahore, Pakistan, caused a stir in Fukuoka Japan when he defeated world's top players to win EVO championship in February, 2019, according to Asahi Shimbun. In his victory speech, Arslan acknowledged many unknown Pakistani players who are also quite strong but could not join the competition because they could not get the visa to travel to Japan.

It wasn't easy for Arsalan to reach Japan to participate in the contest. He had to jump through many hoops and travel through several transit countries each of which made it difficult for him. When he arrived at Haneda airport in Japan,  he only had Pakistani rupees and no exchange would accept them. Hungry and tired he tried his luck at the food court but no one would accept the Pakistani currency. His next flight was from Narita airport an hour away by public transport. To travel he needed to buy a ticket but did not possess any local currency, according to SBS Urdu.

Arsalan Ash Siddique (Center)

Arsalan was exhausted and ready to give up his dream when he finally got through to his Japanese sponsors who helped him out. Needless to say he got no help from Pakistani diplomats through his challenging journey.

In spite of visa denials and other travel challenges faced by Pakistani players, the country ranks 25th in the world for players' earnings in 2019, according to  Ranked above Pakistan are  mainly rich industrialized nations from North America, Europe and East Asia. All South Asian nations rank below Pakistan. Players from India rank 63rd, Sri Lanka 98th, Afghanistan 108th, Bangladesh 115th and Nepal 123rd.

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Views: 32

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 25, 2019 at 7:46pm

#Pakistan penetrates top #esports gaming echelon, giving hope to #Mideast players. #SouthKorean players had been considered the world’s strongest in international Tekken 7 competitions. #Pakistani players beat them in international contests via @AlMonitor

In February, during Evo Japan 2019 in Fukuoka, a rising star from Pakistan surprised everyone by winning one of the biggest and hardest tournaments of the year. In August, he did it again and won the absolute biggest tournament of the year in Las Vegas by roundly beating the legendary Knee.

The Pakistani player, Arslan Siddique, who plays under the name “Arslan Ash,” is now sponsored by Team Vslash. In the past he had trouble getting visas to compete in countries like Japan and the United States, which explained his and other Pakistani players’ absence in overseas tournaments. Without his persistence, along with skill and practice, of course, it would have been impossible for him to become the best player in the world or to put his country on the esports map. According to Siddique, Pakistan has a huge Tekken community and he has been practicing with skillful players.

Awais Parvez (“Awais Honey”) is another player from Pakistan who has made a name for himself. In August he won the first major international Tekken tournament he had ever entered, solidifying Pakistan and its players as a force to be reckoned with.

Success stories like these indicate there are many great players yet to be discovered in other countries. The small number of esports organizations and the lack of international esports events in areas such as Pakistan and the Middle East are some of the reasons more players from there haven’t competed globally.

Amman, Jordan-based Fate Esports was established in early 2017 with a team of five Jordanian Dota 2 players. The company has expanded into global esports by adding teams/players and more games such as CSGO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) and Tekken 7. It currently operates in Jordan, Bulgaria, Pakistan and South Korea and is considered a beacon of hope in Middle East.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Fate Esports founder Mohammad Majali said, “[Global Masters] was a pilot event, we planned it at the last second specifically to bring world-class players to Jordan and grow the country’s image as a pioneer in esports.”

He added, “Over 6,000 people tuned in to watch the event live across different streaming platforms and we’re expecting to see this number grow dramatically in the upcoming years.”

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