Pakistani girl to lead UAE team in GirlGamer world finale
Dubai - Arwa, the youngest member in the team, said the training has helped with finding synergy among team members.
The UAE team competing at the Girl Gamer Esports Festival is excited to prove stereotypes wrong by showcasing themselves as tough competitors at the world finale.
Team Galaxy Racer is the only team representing the Middle East in the event taking place at Meydan Grandstand in Dubai from February 19 to 22. The team includes Emiratis Reem Faisal, 20; Fatima Saif, 24; and Amna Raad Alameri, 22; Madiha Naz, 23, a Pakistani national; and Arwa Hameed, 17, an Iraqi national.
"We formed our team two months ago after learning about the all-girl gamer festival. Not many people were aware of the fact that there were girls who played games with vigour, said Madiha, the team captain.
"We have had over a month of training and competing in qualifying rounds. Last week, we had an intensive boot camp under our gaming coach from Portugal, Rafael," she added.
Arwa, the youngest member in the team, said the training has helped with finding synergy among team members.
"League of Legends, the game we are competing in, cannot be won without team effort. We have known each other for just two months and now competing for a professional event. The training was a much-needed one and I am looking forward to the finals," she said. Five international teams are set to compete in the League of Legends, while four teams will battle it out to become the CS:GO game-winner.
"Playing the game with an audience watching might be challenging. It is going to be much different from winning challenges sitting in our comfort zones," said Amna.
"We call ourselves e-sports athletes and are marking a new era in the UAE gaming industry. We are not sure if we will be future gaming professionals, but we are here to compete and have fun," she added.
Gaming can be a profession
"Parents don't need to panic when kids are delving into games," said Madiha.
"There is a whole industry which thrives on gaming, and parents need to be aware that it's a professional pathway to a potential career that their child might be good at," she added.
Amna admitted that it could be hard to convince parents to believe in the benefits of gaming.
"Parents are reluctant to accept but it will change once they realise the sustainability and fun of being a gamer," she said.
Sharing how she developed her love for e-games, Amna said: "I started playing console games brought for my older siblings. I believed I was good at some games and enrolled myself in a competition and won it. That boosted my confidence and I hope to reach the finals at this festival."
The girl gamer finals will begin today and winners will be named on Saturday.
>> Don't miss: Girl Gamer E-Sports Festival Events
Girl Gamer World Finals: CS:GO and LoL competition
February 21 and 22
-Interschool Esports Tournament (with scholarships totalling Dh255,000)
-Cosplay Competition (with a prize pool of $5,000), features international cosplay icon Alodia -Gosiengfiao, local cosplay pioneer Saud Al Hazzani AKA Vega Cosplay, and Middle Eastern, professional cosplayer Sumi Cosplay, as judges
-Global rap superstar Gucci Mane will perform on stage on the final day