Gamers8 Riyadh Masters Dota 2 kicks off this week with insane lineup

Gamers8 Riyadh Masters Dota 2 ranks second in tournaments with the highest prize pool in Dota 2 esports. For the uninitiated, Gamers8 Riyadh Masters’ $4M prize pool is worth eight Valve-sponsored majors’ combined. Couple that with the fact that the prize pool is not community-funded makes the third-party tournament the greatest of its kind.

An impressive line-up of teams has been confirmed in attendance, as we are suddenly head into a Major level event in the middle of July.

Riyadh Masters Dota 2

Gamers8 tickets already sold out for both Rocket League and Dota 2

Gamers8 Riyadh Masters Dota 2 Tournament Format and Teams

The Gamers8 Riyadh events are the finals for several Gamers Without Borders events played earlier in May. Gamers8 Riyadh Masters Dota 2 invites seven powerhouses: PSG.LGD, Team Secret, Team Spirit, Team OG, Tundra Esports, Nigma Galaxy, and TeamSoloMid. They join the original teams that qulified through GWB events: Team Liquid, Royal Never Give Up and Deboosters.

Nigma’s invite raised mayhem in the community as they are no longer a formidable candidate from the Western European scene. Yet, it just seems complimentary for Nigma Galaxy to earn an invite to anything Esports-related in the Middle East region.

At the very least, the rest of the competition isn’t just glorified esports brands namesake, like when ESL One inivted Alliance to Malaysia. Inviting TeamSoloMid and Tundra Esports are reasonable options since they have been phenomenal in the DPC (2021-22). Specifically, both were runner-up in Stockholm Major.

Tournament Format

Fortunately, Gamers8 opts in for a standard tournament format, where group stage consist of two groups of five teams. Matches are single round-robin best-of-two, where only the top three teams proceed to Playoffs. In the Playoffs, top seed of each group earns a spot in semifinals, while second and third seeds compete in quarterfinals. Matches are single-elimination best-of-three. Unfortunately, the grand finals will only be best-of-three, which is a bummer since there’s $1.5M at stake for winning.

Fun fact, that’s equivalent to winning the International 3, which is good motivation for teams to deliver their best performance.

Teams to watch & honorable mentions

Team Liquid with a shocking addition

Gamers8 just got infinitely better with the appearance of Anathan “ana” Pham. The two-time champ’s unexpected entry at Gamers8 Riyadh Masters Dota 2 will certainly be a blast from the past. After all, who doesn’t miss his unbeatable carry Io or elusive Ember Spirit performance?

Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen was unable to attend Anathan was selected as a stand-in. Fans are now aching to know is whether he can still rock his prime performance in 2022.

Defending champs finally get to play

TI10 Champions Team Spirit are making an appearance at Gamers8 Riyadh Masters. Their performance at Stockholm Major was a massive flop for a team of such calibre, but we all know the type of season they are having (all things considered). However, they weren’t too shabby at the recent DPC Eastern Europe Tour 3, and may just be starting their season now instead of earlier.

Stockholm Major Favorites Galore

Coming from the last major: OG, TeamSoloMid, and Tundra Esports are fan favorites for delivering phenomenal performance.

Notably, OG had the crowd go crazy after they won the major against all odds. Former OG player, Sébastien “Ceb” Debs took charge as captain and support when his team needed him, and he delivered. While we probably won’t be expecting another Ceb appearance, OG is in good hands of the young blood.

Tundra Esports, on the other hand, is at peak performance, albeit Neta “33” Shapira’s absence might cripple their strength going into the million-dollar dream tournament. As for TSM, they have fallen off drastically in DPC North America despite being NA’s strongest team in Stockholm not too long ago.

Fuelling the Esports craze in the Middle East

The recent surge of Esports events in the Middle East region is part of initiatives organized by the Saudi Esports Federation. Their mission is to nurture elite gaming athletes and develop the gaming community in Saudi Arabia.

Furthermore, they are pouring millions to host these events, which is a luxury many regions’ Esports scene did not have. The Gamers8 Riyadh also features other Esports titles, notably Rocket League, which has long included Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a regional representative.

Gamers8’s various Esports tournament titles

As such, we might just see a new generation of Esports players rise into the headlines, such as the Middle Eastern representative, Deboosters. Although Deboosters isn’t a full-fledged Middle Eastern team, hopefully, its current players can find rising talents to pursue Esports. For the uninitiated, Abdimalik “Malik” Sailau from PuckChamp and Stoyan “lil pleb” Kostov from DGG Esports are stand-ins for Deboosters.

Nevertheless, the Gamers8 Riyadh Masters Dota 2 is a step in the right direction if Saudi Arabia’s goal is to shine the spotlight on the region as an Esports hub. Catch the Gamers8 Riyadh Masters Dota 2 in action on July 20-24