- Ebrahim Almubarak from Bahrain claims number one spot to represent the Middle East region in the 2019 McLaren Shadow Project Grand Finals
- 16 finalists from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco battled for the coveted spot to compete at the world finals to get a seat in the McLaren esports team
- Hundreds of spectators of all nationalities gathered to watch the inaugural Middle East finals at The Avenues Mall Bahrain
Ebrahim Almubarak has been crowned the winner of the Middle East finals of the McLaren Shadow Project, securing the opportunity to represent the region in the 2019 world finals at the McLaren Technology Centre in the UK in January 2019.
Held at The Avenues Bahrain on Friday 23rd November, 16 talented esports hopefuls went up against one another in the live final in front of a large enthusiastic audience with Bahraini Ebrahim Almubarak coming out on top, after winning a tournament comprising of timed qualifiers, quarter finals, semi-finals and a grand final.
Ebrahim Almubarak goes through to the McLaren Shadow Project Grand Finals where he will compete for a seat in the team’s 2019 F1 esports team. The eventual victor will not only win a seat in the new esports team but also join the McLaren esports development programme where they will hone their skills and work with the McLaren Formula 1 team.
Mohammed Jamal, also from Bahrain, finished runner-up in the competition, with Haitham Abdelkaber from Egypt in third position after a hugely competitive final.
Ebrahim Almubarak, commented: “I am delighted to have been a finalist in this competition and to win it is a dream come true. It has been an exciting opportunity for all the esport players in the Middle East, and to come out as the winner amongst the best players in the region is a huge honour. The prize is spectacular and I will be very proud to represent the Middle East in the finals in the UK in a couple of months. I hope to pave the way on the global arenas for other Arab esport players with this opportunity provided by McLaren and Tamkeen.”
McLaren Shadow Project Middle East has been made possible as the result of a partnership between Bahrain-based Atyaf e-Racing and the McLaren Formula 1 team with support from Tamkeen – a national entity which aims to promote human development and entrepreneurship in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
“This has been a fantastic event and opening,” said Faisal Alireza, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Atyaf e-Racing. “The competition will become a regular fixture on our national calendar and will expand further regionally. We are planning several events in the region in 2019 in association with our partner Tamkeen. We have enjoyed extending our relationship with the McLaren team and look forward to a fruitful long term partnership.”
“We’ve been blown away by the passion and talent of the sim racers in the region. The competition today was great to watch, and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming Ebrahim to the McLaren Technology Centre in January to go head-to-head with our other Shadow Project finalists,” said Ben Payne, Director of esports at McLaren.
In addition to the live finals, the three-day Atyaf e-Racing event featured a number of fun activities for the public, including a retro-gaming display which allowed families and gaming enthusiasts to discover early games such as Super Mario Kart, and various old consoles and TV sets. Visitors also enjoyed a free-to-play area to practice their skills on Xbox One and Forza Motorsport 7. Olli Pahkala, one of the world’s leading esports players and a member of the McLaren Shadow F1 esports team, was at the event to play against the visitors and share his know-how and experience in the world of simulation racing.
About McLaren Shadow Project:
‘McLaren Shadow Project’ is a virtual racing programme that shadows McLaren’s real world. The champion of McLaren Shadow Project 2018 will win a place on the new McLaren esports team and go on to race online against the best teams in the world. The winner will also win access to the McLaren esports development programme,.
About TIG Holdings:
TIG Holding WLL is a Bahrain-based group investing in technology ventures. It is notably active in TV and Home Entertainment services, web application development and has recently entered the esports arena through a dedicated subsidiary Atyaf e-sports.
Founded in 1984 by Jonathan Gill and Jeremy Clarkson, Motoring Press Agency (MPA) is an award-winning agency providing motorsport media, PR, communications and management services. MPA Creative in its existing form was founded by Deborah Tee in 2008 before expanding to include MPA Commercial in 2015 as a ‘sister’ agency with the arrival of former Haymarket Motorsport Director Ian Burrows and former IMG and MSV business development manager Daniel Bailey.