UAE: India, Pakistan to renew rivalry with esports battle this weekend in Abu Dhabi

True Rippers Esports from India and Team WahWah from Pakistan will come together for a special match


Ashwani Kumar

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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Wed 13 Dec 2023, 5:33 PM

Esports, a global phenomenon, is truly transcending traditional boundaries. While Abu Dhabi is hosting the prestigious Blast Premier World Final this Sunday, the iconic Etihad Arena will also witness a high-voltage clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan.

Yes, the India-Pakistan rivalry, one of the biggest and most intense face-offs across any sport, be it cricket, hockey or kabaddi, will now see a rare clash in esports as gamers from the respective countries battle for Counter-Strike supremacy.

True Rippers Esports from India and Team WahWah from Pakistan will come together for a special match with the chance to claim bragging rights in the Tier One tournament. India and Pakistan will include two elite global esports Blast Premier players in their ranks, which have been selected by fans on They will have the chance to play in front of thousands of fans at the Etihad Arena and a global audience spanning more than 150 territories.

The exhibition match is part of a partnership between Blast, an esports entertainment company, and Nodwin, South Asia’s leading esports and gaming media company, which launched the ‘The Draft’ – a Counter-Strike tournament to kick off next year that will give teams from India and Pakistan the chance to play with tier-one players on the global stage.

Faye Marlborough, brand director for Blast, said: “We’re thrilled to be announcing the special Showmatch between True Rippers Esports and Team WahWah at the Blast Premier World Final.”

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A recent report by esports market research firm Niko Partners revealed that the Asia and Mena regions accounted for more than 56 per cent of global esports revenue in 2022. India and Pakistan were the countries with the strongest number of active esports players in the South Asia region in the same period.

“Both countries have a strong following when it comes to esports and gaming, especially Counter-Strike and we cannot wait to see them play in front of a vibrant atmosphere at the Etihad Arena. With the World Final title decider also taking place on the same day, we encourage everyone to book their tickets now for this amazing spectacle,” Marlborough added.

Tickets to the final can be bought on Ticketmaster and Etihad Arena with prices starting at Dh160, and there are discounts of up to 20 per cent for those who book four or more tickets. Hospitality tickets are also available.


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