20 elite teams battled to be crowned Riyadh Masters 2023 champion, and Team Spirit claimed a share of the $15,000,000 prize pool

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, July 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Dota 2 Riyadh Masters 2023 competition wrapped up yesterday after 12 days of thrilling matches featuring 20 elite teams vying for victory and taking home a share of the $15,000,000 prize pool. As one of the premier tournaments in the Dota 2 calendar, Riyadh Masters 2023 ran the globe’s greatest teams through a round-robin group stage and then double-elimination playoffs in the popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA).

Among the teams competing for the top prize was Dota 2 powerhouse Team OG, the first team in Dota 2 history to win four Dota Major Championships. Team Tundra Esports, reigning champions of Dota’s iconic “The International” tournament, also headed into the 2023 Masters amongst the favorites. Of course, there could only be one winner, and this achievement went to  Team Spirit, who triumphed in the final, beating Team Liquid in an encounter for the ages.

The $15,000,000 prize pool is the largest available of any Dota 2 competition this season, and the action did not disappoint, with the stakes being so high. Over 120,000 fans tuned in to the official broadcast on Twitch to witness the epic showdown. Team Spirit reached the Grand Final for the second year in a row, knocking out the season’s most dominant performer, Team Gaimin Gladiators, along the way and beating Team Liquid 2-1 in the upper-bracket final as the team looked to banish last years demons and finish in first place rather than second. Team Liquid earned a shot at their redemption by crushing Team Talon 2-0 in the lower bracket final. But the result of this eagerly anticipated rematch in the five-game Grand Final went to Team Spirit, an unassailable 3-1. As champions, Team Spirit left Gamers8 and Boulevard Riyadh City $5,000,000 richer, the runners-up collecting $2,500,000 from the overall prize pool.

Faisal bin Homran, Chief Esports Officer at the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “The Dota 2 Riyadh Masters tournament at Gamers8: The Land of Heroes has captured the imagination of the thousands in attendance at Boulevard Riyadh City’s Esports Arena and the tens of millions watching avidly across the globe. Since July 19th, the global gaming and esports scene has been captivated by the exploits of the best Dota 2 teams and players in the world. Competing for a $15 million prize pool – the biggest third-party prize pool for a tournament ever – the action has been even more dramatic than anticipated and epitomizes the level of standard for which Gamers8 has become renowned. We congratulate Team Spirit on their success and thank all the teams, players, fans, sponsors, and partners at the Dota 2 Riyadh Masters for being part of a special moment in Saudi Arabian gaming history.”

Although the Riyadh Masters may have finished, there’s plenty more action on offer as part of Gamers8: The Land of Heroes in its 2023 edition. Esports athletes from around the world are competing in a 12-tournament lineup with a prize pool of $45 million to the soundtrack of musical superstars like Imagine Dragons, Alan Walker, and Metro Boomin’, who are putting on a show for the crowds at Gamers8. The festival, the world’s largest for gaming and esports, has been full of action since it kicked off in July, with seismic impacts such as Pakistan winning the Nations Cup in Tekken against a well-favored Korean team. Among the other titles taking center stage at Gamers8’s home in Boulevard Riyadh City are Rocket League, PUBG Mobile, FIFA, and Counterstrike.

Fans can enjoy further exciting events as the festival continues through August 27th, following which the Gamers8 festival will conclude with a gaming and esports forum.  Known as the ‘Next World Forum,‘ it brings together sector leaders and experts from around the world to Saudi Arabia. Gamers8 is playing a key role in developing the grassroots esports scene in Saudi Arabia and providing opportunities for esports athletes around the world. Over 67% of Saudi citizens are gamers, and multiple world champions have come from the Kingdom already to win on the world’s largest stages.

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About Gamers8 – The Land Of Heroes:

Gamers8 is the world’s largest gaming and esports festival and the destination for elite esports champions and gaming universe lovers. It’s the ultimate place to compete for glory and become a hero walking among the worlds of your chosen story. Located in Riyadh at the heart of Saudi Arabia, Gamers8 spans a period of eight weeks from July to September 2023, with new challenges and experiences unlocked every week. You can watch the world’s top esports teams compete for the highest prize pools, attend performances by global music artists, experience your favorite gaming platforms come to life, and learn the mysteries behind the creation of video games. Gamers8 is your world, and it’s your adventure to choose.

Gamers8: The Land of Heroes follows the success of last year’s Gamers8 at Boulevard Riyadh City. Gamers8 2022 saw the world’s best teams and players battle it out across five top titles – Rocket League, Dota 2 Riyadh Masters, Fortnite, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, and PUBG Mobile – for a prize pool of $15 million. The 2022 festival was visited by more than 1.4 million visitors and watched by more than 132 million people around the globe. A total of 391 professional players – representing more than 61 nationalities – and 113 international teams took part in world-class esports competitions. Gamers8: The Land of Heroes has a total prize pool of over $45 million – triple last year’s grand prize total – and will host the elite of esports in a state-of-the-art, purpose-built venue at Boulevard Riyadh City. The festival will conclude with a gaming and esports forum, known as the ‘Next World Forum’, that brings together sector leaders and experts from around the world.

About SEF:

The Saudi Esports Federation is the regulating body in charge of nurturing elite gaming athletes and developing the gaming community and industry in Saudi Arabia.

The Federation’s activities are categorized into two complementary streams. The first stream works to develop all levels of competitive gamers, starting with the grassroots community level and moving up to professional esports athletes that can achieve global excellence. The second stream works to develop the entire gaming/esports value chain by catalyzing the industry and enabling talent. 

Since its establishment in late 2017, the federation has organized multiple world-class national and international tournaments and events, attracted investment from local private sector actors, and worked with international developers on opportunities in the Saudi market. 

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