x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

World finals next on the agenda for Team A-List

Dubai triumph earns a place in Germany for big cyber showdown.

DUBAI // Five Emiratis will represent their country in the World Cyber Games grand finals in Germany after beating stiff competition from fellow video gamers in Dubai. Team A-List emerged triumphant at the Dubai World Game Championship yesterday at the Dubai World Game Expo. They will now take on more than 800 gamers from at least 70 countries from Nov 5 to 9 to try to win the world title for Half-Life Counter-Strike, one of the world's most popular computer games.

The team also picked up a Dh10,000 cheque for winning the first gaming exhibition ever in the region. "A-List have been phenomenal throughout the competition and won the final round emphatically," said Ibrahim Abdul Malik, one of the three presiding judges. The team made it through after five gruelling rounds, taking on 120 Emirati hopefuls from 24 teams. The Emiratis will compete with the world's best Counter-Strike players in front of thousands of spectators attending the annual world finals in Cologne. "Participation in such events is encouraged and more should be set up as this only serves to help the young to participating in activities that will help them socially and academically," said Abdul Malik, the secretary-general for the UAE Youth and Sports Authority.

Counter-Strike is a tactical "first-person shooter" game that originated in Half-Life and has been expanded into a series. During the championship the teams were pitted against each other as either counter-terrorists or terrorists, depending on who won a coin toss, said Tareq Abdullah, who refereed. "Competition involved five-versus-five matchups," Mr Abdullah said. "The first team to win 16 rounds wins the match."

Each player was armed with 15 bullet rounds and each round lasted one minute and 45 seconds. Founded in 2000, the World Cyber Games use a year-long tournament format, which begins with online, regional and national competitions in each country. The competition attracted more than 1.5 million players in 2007. More than 29 million people tuned in to watch the competition unfold, making it the largest global, live satellite broadcast for an electronic sporting event.