There were winners off the track in Saudi Arabia too as the champion of the ABB FIA Formula E Road to Ad Diriyah Esports Championship picking up a cool $125,000 in the process.
It has been a competition that had whittled thousands of competitors online from across the GCC, and Saudi Arabian entrants from Formula E roadshows in Jeddah and Khobar, down to just eight competitors, all from the Kingdom.
On the line in the exciting eSports competition was a prize pot of up to SAR1million, $250,000, held in the Allianz E Village, just one of the attractions surrounding the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site.
The contest featured celebrity Saudi gaming influencer Mr FIFA who helped bring the action alive for the spectators. Unlike the live action on the race track, with the drivers battling it out to win until the dying seconds, Ad Diriyah’s virtual champion took the lead early on and held it throughout.
Yasser Al Mansour, from Fara’a, a small town a few hours’ drive from Riyadh collected a cool SAR500,000 as his first-place prize, beat Mubarak Al-Dossary, from Dhaharan, who came second and won SAR250,000, and Abdulaziz Rayes, from Jeddah, who finished third and scooped SAR125,000.
Yasser hailed the event saying: “I kept my position even though it was tough. Every one of my competitors had impressive lap times. I’m just happy I came up on top.”
The champion, who collected a cool SAR500,000 as his first-place prize hailed the event, which was supported by the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic & Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS).
“This eSports tournament is amazing. Not only is eSport a popular among Saudi youth now it can be used to introduce countless people to the world of motor sports. The simulators we raced felt like real life,” he said.
Dale Buxton, EGaming Consultant to Formula E, said: "The response to this competition has been huge, thousands flocked to enter and the standard has been so high. It shows the passion that exists for eSports within the Kingdom and we are grateful for the support of the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic & Intellectual Sports."