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Riyadh 2023 Global Esports Games triumphs in a unifying spectacle of talent & #worldconnected spirit

GEF CEO Paul J. Foster commends athletes for historic success, setting the stage for a thrilling future in esports

Team Malaysia secured Gold in Dota 2 Women at #GEG23. Photo: GEF

The Riyadh 2023 Global Esports Games drew to a thrilling close on Saturday, marking the end of a spectacular showcase of talent, camaraderie, and global unity. With five Gold medals awarded and a resounding sense of camaraderie, the event served as a testament to the unifying power of esports and the Global Esports Federation’s #worldconnected spirit.


In his closing ceremony speech, Paul J. Foster, GEF CEO, expressed gratitude to the athletes, gamers, and the entire #worldconnected gaming community. “You are now part of our proud history and your own limitless future,” he remarked. Paul extended gratitude to the Saudi Esports Federation for their generous hospitality and the remarkable staging of the event in Riyadh.

The #GEG23 witnessed remarkable performances across various esports titles, with the Dominican Republic claiming the inaugural Gold of the event in Street Fighter 6 and Ukraine's PUBG MOBILE team securing an emotional Gold on Friday. The Dota 2 Open saw a supremely talented Kazakhstan side emerge victorious, while Malaysia claimed the Dota 2 Women's title, topping the overall Medal Table. The eFootball™ 2024 event concluded with a nail-biting match, with Jordan securing the championship against Iran. 


Street Fighter 6 showdown

L-R: Malaysia, Dominican Republic and host, Saudi Arabia emerged top 3 in Street Fighter 6. Photo: GEF

The Street Fighter 6 Finals in Riyadh delivered an exhilarating showdown, featuring Bryan Diesel 'BryanD' Tineo from the Dominican Republic commanding a 3-1 victory over Wess of Saudi Arabia in the first semifinal. In the other semifinal, Great Britain's FlawlessDeku seemed poised for a conclusive win with an early lead, but a remarkable comeback from Malaysia's Ban 'IamChuan' Chuan secured a tense 3-2 triumph. Ultimately, 'BryanD' emerged triumphant, clinching Gold by defeating 'IamChuan' in the final.

“We want to show people what a strong nation we are”

Team Ukraine secures emotional Gold in PUBG MOBILE. Photo: GEF

A standout moment came from the PUBG MOBILE champions, Ukraine, represented by Dmytro 'TripleOldboy' Bui, Andrii 'madTUK1KA' Tulika, Denys 'FOOPSMAN' Kudinov, and Daniel 'KYIQQ' Havlicek. TripleOldboy shared the challenges they faced, highlighting the difficulties of living in Kiev during the ongoing war. Despite the adversities, the team expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support and love received from fans worldwide. “I am a full-time gamer, this is my work, and that is why I am here. We want to show people what a strong nation we are,” expressed TripleOldboy. 


Dota 2 classic matchups

Kazakhstan emerged triumphant in Dota 2 Open. Photo: GEF

In a thrilling Dota 2 showdown on Saturday afternoon, Kazakhstan and Malaysia faced off in a classic matchup on the grand stage. After the Kazakhs secured an early lead with a dominating performance in the first game, they faced challenges in the second, allowing Malaysia to level the score. Despite setbacks, Kazakhstan's devastating style ultimately propelled them to a triumphant 2-1 victory. Reflecting on the win, Alexandr 'v1olent' Pak expressed joy, attributing their success to excellent preparation, effective drafts, and the strong synergy among teammates. The bronze medal went to Serbia, who emerged victorious against hosts Saudi Arabia.

The Dota 2 Women's match unfolded with equal excitement, featuring Malaysia's dominant display in overpowering Peru. Stephanie 'Auroraa' Lim, who led Malaysia to gold at the Commonwealth Esports Championships in Birmingham in 2022, attributed their success to being a cohesive and resilient team capable of overcoming challenges. Proud of her team's remarkable performance, Lim acknowledged the significant achievement of being table-toppers. Tiffany 'Hishoko' Teoh emphasized the team's gratitude for the tournament, highlighting the opportunities it provided for team formation. Despite diverse play styles, the team showcased adaptability and teamwork. Meanwhile, Argentina secured the bronze by defeating Chile.


Triumphant clash in eFootball™ 2024

Jordan beat Iran in an intense eFootball™ 2024 competition. Photo: GEF

The eFootball 2024 concluded the day with a thrilling finale as Hassan 'Hassan_Player1' Pajani of Iran faced Sief Adeen 'S.HACKER55' Jaser Fahed Dababneh of Jordan in an intense match that extended to all three games requiring extra time. Both players showcased a defensive masterclass, but in the crucial final period, S.HACKER55, playing as FC Bayern Munich, scored against Hassan_Player1's AC Milan. 


The Jordanian's exuberant celebration marked one of the standout moments of the weekend. Expressing the significance of the victory, S.HACKER55 shared, “This means so much; it is the best moment of my life. I was dreaming of this, so it is such an amazing feeling. Everything here at the Global Esports Games has been so great, and I am proud to bring this victory back to my country and family.”

GEF 5.0 is a go

“You are now part of our proud history and your own limitless future.” ~ Paul J. Foster, GEF CEO, at the Closing Ceremony of Riyadh 2023 Global Esports Games. Photo: GEF

Reflecting on the success of the event, Paul emphasized, “To the millions of fans watching and the billions of gamers in the world, thank you for reminding us how to have fun and live our universal values of inclusion and fair play.”


The Riyadh 2023 Global Esports Games marked the GEF’s fourth anniversary and concluded with an eye toward the future, emphasizing a commitment to innovation. Looking ahead to 2024, the Global Esports Games will be hosted in China, promising another thrilling chapter in the world of esports.


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