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Saudi, not France, is World Cup champion after all

The FIFA World Cup might have come to a close last month, but a World Cup of a different kind just ended this weekend.

Its winner? A young Saudi man who goes by the username “Msdossary.”

The second Saudi to take the big prize

Mosaad Aldossary, an 18-year old gamer from Saudi Arabia, took home a trophy and $250,000 this weekend. He won FIFA’s eWorld Cup, formerly known as the FIFA Interactive World Cup, an eSports tournament held by FIFA and its presenting partner EA Sports.

20 million people from around the globe competed, and 32 made it to the Grand Final.

In the end, however, one Saudi man took the grand prize at the O2 in London.

‘Msdossary’, the winner of April’s FUT Champions Cup Manchester, claimed earned a trip to next month’s The Best FIFA Football Awards and, of course, the new FIFA eWorld Cup trophy, according to a news story by FIFA.

“I’ve made my country proud by bringing home the trophy. This is my second event in the UK and it’s my second win, so I think this is my second home. I’m strong on both consoles and I defended very well on both games. I deserved to get two clean sheets in both legs.

“I haven’t decided what to do with the $250,000 USD. My aim every year is to win more trophies. Last year I got one and this year I’ve got two. It’s an honor to be the first winner of the new trophy. Hopefully I can keep getting better and better.”

Abdulaziz Alshehri, a fellow Saudi, won the 2015 edition of the competition, then known as the FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC).

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eSports on the rise

eSports as a whole have become a major force in the gaming industry, with sponsorships raining on contestants the same way they would prior to a Formula One tournament, or the World Cup itself.

Global esports revenues will grow 38% to $906 million in 2018 and further grow to $1.65 billion by 2021, according to an annual report on esports by market researcher Newzoo.

Just last year, Lebanese gamer Maroun Merhej won $10.8 million In an international Dota 2 tournament. Dota 2 is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Valve Corporation.

The title is a major force in the gamer scene: it reached its record high peak concurrent player number in March 2016, when nearly 1.29 million gamers were playing at the same time, according to digital distribution platform Steam.

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UAE to construct Middle East’s first eSports stadium

Back in April, the Dubai Media Office and free zone operator TECOM Group announced plans for the Middle East’s first E-Sports stadium.

The facility, part of the government’s 10X initiative, is intended to position Dubai as a global hub for hosting video gaming events.

This stadium is an effort for the nation to get in on the ever-growing e-sports industry and to help bolster tourism.

The cost of the stadium was not revealed but the Dubai Media Office said it was intended to tap into the $100 billion global video game industry.

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