Ahmed al-Meghessib, a 21-year-old Qatari footballer who has earned his reputation as one of the region’s top e-sport FIFA players, says he wants to create a national e-football team and make Qatar a regional power in e-sports.
“I started playing football when I was just eight years old. My passion for doing something myself without the help of others persuaded me to try video gaming. That’s how it all started,” al-Meghessib said.
He started to play at a professional level from FIFA15 and quickly managed to establish himself in the competitive milieu. He has become one of the key players in Qatar and was able to qualify for the FIWC (FIFA Interactive World Cup) after his first Regional Qualifier.
“…But I have never shifted completely from mainstream football to e-sports. I still play both while giving a lot of attention to e-football as I want to make it more popular in this part of the world, and simultaneously create a national e-football team,” al-Meghessib told Gulf Times.
Being a professional FIFA e-sports athlete, he first made his mark on Qatar’s competitive scene starting with the Electronic Games Tournament in 2015. Winning this tournament was a turning point in his e-sports career. From there, he went on to win the FIFA Mini Cooper Challenge and the Ajyal Tournament in 2016.
The young phenom broke through to the world stage when he marked his position in the regional finals to represent the “Rest of the World” at the 2017 FIWC.
As a graduate of Aspire Academy, he has played in the QNB Stars League and is currently with Umm Salal.
Speaking about the scope of e-football in Qatar, al-Meghessib said, “The scene is not really huge but there are many passionate gamers who want to explore their potential further. There are many tournaments going on locally and being the only pro e-footballer in Qatar, I’m closely watching them in order to extend my full support in nurturing their talents and possibly creating a strong national team.”
Al-Meghessib has taken big and bold steps moving forward with his career. After signing with PSG eSports, he has set his foot into the big leagues, seizing every opportunity to make his mark.
AAMeghessib’s Back-2-Back is a unique e-sport platform for FIFA20 on PlayStation 4 in Qatar. The e-football tournament, which kick started on 1 November and national finals being scheduled for 22 November, is supported and supervised by Red Bull while partners include Lagoona Mall, Fifty One East, FNAC, Vodafone, The Pearl-Qatar, UDC, I Love Qatar and 1UP Gaming Center.
Speaking about the tournament, al-Meghessib said, “The format is to create a 2-player team and compete in offline qualifiers leading to the national final. The sportive angle is that teams need to score 2 consecutive goals to win in 5v5 Street Mode.”
The 2 players versus 2 players format in 5v5 street football mode changes the whole game dynamics as well as supports the players to play with their favorite teammates using strategy and communication skills. Teams are now focused on how well they can coordinate with their teammate to score two consecutive goals.
“Tournament referees will be on site to monitor all games. They will signal participants to begin play and will record scores for each match. They can be identified by a special ID tag,” al-Meghessib added.
Al-Meghessib has come a long way and put a lot of efforts to be able to fulfil his goals. “I feel honoured to see an event under my own name. I’m so excited. My partnership with Red Bull helps me to explore myself more, especially in my pro scene and hopefully we will continue our partnership in the upcoming years too.”
More than 100 participants have already registered for the tournament and al-Meghessib believes that it will be the beginning of a new era for e-sport in the country. “If you feel like you can win, go ahead and explore your potential. Passion and desire to win is the key,” al-Meghessib concluded.
By Amjad Vanimal
© Gulf Times Newspaper 2020