RIYADH: The first Gamers8 champions were crowned Sunday night as FURIA Esports emerged victorious following an exhilarating Rocket League final in Riyadh.
In front of a sellout crowd at Boulevard Riyadh City’s spectacular Esports Arena the South American side defeated Guild Esports 4-0 in a best-of-seven matchup to collect the $500,000 first prize and close the curtain on an unforgettable competition.
Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, chairperson of the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “As the first international elite tournament series to headline our professional Esports calendar, all parties involved with Gamers8 had high expectations ahead of Rocket League, from our partners and us as organizers, to the attendees and players themselves. And tonight, when reflecting on an incredible four days, Rocket League has unquestionably surpassed these expectations, setting an envious standard for the competitions that follow.
“Through the talent and teams on show and the passion and excitement displayed by audiences, Rocket League has showcased to the world the true value of Esports: Embracing goodwill competition, promoting international camaraderie, exploring the limitless potential this industry presents. As such, I wish to extend my gratitude to those who have made this possible.
“A huge congratulations also for our champions, FURIA Esports, as well as our finalists, semifinalists, and every team who has graced us with their participation this week. As a result of their individual and collective involvement, the profile and popularity of Esports and gaming have been elevated further at the local, regional, and global levels.”
With non-stop drama and world-class gameplay from start to finish, the fourth and final day of Rocket League began with two mouthwatering semifinals. The newly crowned champions sealed their final spot with a 4-3 win over local Saudi team, Falcons, while Guild Esports secured their main event passage with a 4-0 victory over North American side, FaZe Clan.
FURIA Esports then went on to claim glory in front of the hundreds in attendance and countless more tuning in on official Gamers8 channels from around the world, with caard and yanxnz playing starring roles to force Guild Esports to settle for runners-up and the $300,000 second place prize at the biggest Esports and gaming event worldwide.
In the aftermath of their stunning final win, Wesley William Silva, FURIA Esports coach, said: “We’re proud to be the first South American team to win a tournament of this magnitude, especially in this unique format. The game against Team Falcons was incredibly difficult as we had to adapt to their playing style, but we managed to maintain our composure and confidence to deliver the win.”
“It was such a great pleasure taking part in this tournament, we didn’t know what to expect in Saudi Arabia, but the fans were amazing and the venue looked incredible with the very impressive screen walls,” he added.
With shares of a $2 million prize pool up for grabs and the opportunity to shine on the world stage, 24 teams made their way to Riyadh for Rocket League, which began on Thursday with the group stages. The format of the contest would allow the top two teams from each group secure their places in the playoffs, with matches played in best-of-five, ‘crew battle’ manner, entailing singles, doubles, and 3-on-3 encounters.
In Group A, Guild Esports and Complexity fended off DeToNator, Twisted Minds, G2 Esports, and Luminosity to reach the playoffs. Group B saw Spacestation and HEET follow suit as Rogue, ANKAA, Team Secret, and Endpoint CeX were unable to find their absolute best form. In Group C, FURIA Esports — widely considered the pre-tournament favorites — and FaZe Clan qualified at the expense of SMPR Esports, F16 Esports, Pirates Exdee, and OWL Esports, while Team Falcons and 01 Esports completed the playoffs line-up as AllMid, Renegades, Gladiators, and Dignitas could not avoid multiple defeats.
Following two action-packed days of group stage fixtures, the Rocket League best-of-seven playoffs began on Saturday with four semifinal spots on the line. Guild Esports beat 01 Esports 4-0, FaZe Clan defeated Spacestation 4-1, and FURIA Esports and Team Falcons both sealed 4-2 wins over Complexity and HEET, respectively, to set up Sunday’s remarkable final day.
The Rocket League prize pool breakdown is as follows: 1st $500,000; 2nd $300,000; 3rd and 4th $200,000; 5th and 6th $115,000; 7th and 8th $75,000; 9th to 12th $50,000; 13th to 16th $25,000; 17th to 24th $15,000.