Dota 2 Riyadh Masters: Global elite gunning for glory and $1.5 million at Gamers8

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       Brand-new competition is the second Professional Esports event at Gamers8 with $4 million total prize pool

·       Live land-play and elimination structure make Dota 2 Riyadh Masters a new and unique proposition for professional Dota 2 outfits

·       China’s PSG.LGD are widely considered the world’s best team and make their way to Riyadh as a pre-tournament favorite

RIYADH-: Gamers8, the biggest Esports and gaming event worldwide, is set to enter the next phase of its Professional Esports calendar with the inaugural Dota 2 Riyadh Masters, which gets underway this Wednesday, July 20. As the deepest multi-player action, real-time strategy (RTS) game ever created and one of the world’s biggest Esports titles, the five-day Dota 2 tournament’s “must-see” status is already cemented, with a $4 million prize pool and $1.5 million winners’ share adding to the widespread anticipation and excitement.

Held at Boulevard Riyadh City’s next-generation venue and streamed live across official Gamers8 channels, the greatest Dota 2 teams on the planet will compete against each other with one directive: destroy the enemy’s ancient before they destroy yours.

With teamwork, skill, a little luck, and the discovery of new tactics, players must work together in teams of five to progress through the tournament and emerge victorious. For every team, 123 heroes are available to choose from, each with unique capabilities, personalities, and backstories. And before entering to do battle, five must be chosen to form an all-star squad capable of conquering the opposing five-hero combination.

His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “Be it prestige, popularity, suspense, or gaming camaraderie, Dota 2 measures up with games’ all-time greats in every possible way. These same factors were central behind us feeling as much determined as we did compelled to stage a brand-new Dota 2 tournament at Gamers8 – the Dota 2 Riyadh Masters. The global appeal of this Esports giant was enough in itself for the gaming community to be thrilled ahead of the event, yet the resounding success of Rocket League has fueled the build-up even further both on-site and online. On behalf of the Saudi Esports Federation, I implore everyone to fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride. Dota 2 Riyadh Masters is a tournament not to be missed and destined for great things, with further editions already planned beyond Gamers8.”

‘A Dota 2 stage like no other’

The competition begins with the group stages, with the 10 teams placed in two groups of five as they play each other twice in a best-of-two round robin format. The teams with the best overall record in their respective groups will advance straight to the semi-final stage, while those who finish second and third will secure quarter-final spots. Both quarter and semi-finals will be best-of-five matches, with the grand final a best-of-seven matchup.

Given the competition format, Dota 2 Riyadh Masters will also see the world’s elite compete in high-intensity situations. While many Dota 2 competitions are held online over several weeks, Dota 2 Riyadh Masters is a standout tournament due to its live land-play, elimination structure, and total prize fund – which is the largest outside of ‘The International’ (TI), the biggest and most prestigious event on the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC).

‘Test against the best’

China’s hopes for Dota 2 Riyadh Masters victory are pinned on PSG.LGD, who are among the pre-tournament favorites with a roster boasting some of the world’s most skilled and admired players. Despite falling short in last year’s TI final against Team Spirit, the Chinese outfit is still widely considered to be the world’s number one – and relishing the upcoming test in the Saudi capital.

“Dota 2 Riyadh Masters is an excellent opportunity for us to play against pro players from different regions on the international stage,” said Yiping “Y” Zhang, PSG.LGD. “While we went through long, tedious yet must-play regional DPC circuits for the past three seasons in China, this new tournament will enable us to compete in a shorter but more pressurized Esports environment. Of course, we have huge admiration and respect for our Gamers8 opponents, and we are excited to test ourselves against them. After more than half a year, we finally have the chance to meet new opponents outside China and compete with them.”

The field between PSG.LGD and Gamers8 glory could not be more competitive, with nine big names and mouthwatering match-ups in waiting. 2021 TI champions Team Spirit, former two-time TI victors OG, and North America’s well-fancied TSM FTX are all finalizing their preparations. Nigma Galaxy is also in the running with some of the world’s biggest Dota 2 stars, as is hometown heroes Saudi Deboosters. How PSG.LGD fare against the world’s greatest remains to be seen, although the tournament itself is not the only reason the players are excited.

 “Much like China, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a vibrant Esports hub where many millions are gaming enthusiasts, while Gamers8 itself will shine a unique world-scale spotlight on Dota 2 and our team. With these factors in mind, it’s an honor for us to be representing our nation on foreign shores where Esports is similarly embraced,” explained Ruida “Faith_Bian” Zhang, PSG.LGD. “There hasn’t been many Middle East-based tournaments in the past. But in Saudi Arabia, which is a mysterious country to us, we can visit, play some Dota 2 and, besides this, explore and appreciate the attractive local culture and civilization, which we are also looking forward to.”

For more information on Dota 2 Riyadh Masters and Gamers8, please visit the event website

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