QLASH Egypt qualified for The Nexus, the first official League of Legends tournament for the MENA region.
It had been a close run, but QLASH Egypt's League of Legends team pulled through to qualify for the first official League of Legends tournament in the MENA region!
The Nexus tournament is supported by Riot Games and will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Nexus comes with a USD2,000,000 prize pool - the largest of any eSports event in the region - that will be distributed across six competitions. QLASH Egypt qualified for the classic 5v5 tournament, where they will compete for its USD850,000 prize pool.
In discussing QLASH Egypt's qualifiers, Ahmed Diaa - director and manager of QLASH Egypt - told CairoScene, "We beat over 180 teams across Egypt and other countries in the Levant." Referring to their rivals in the qualifier finals, Diaa added, "Our biggest obstacle has to be Nasr eSports. They are the only team to have defeated us going into Riyadh. But while we've had our fair share of mistakes, this time, we'll be ready for them."
It hadn't been an easy journey. Just as in any game of League of Legends, the path to The Nexus is fraught with competition, none of which can seem more daunting than starting a team in a region where eSports is relatively unsupported. "It was difficult because I wasn't familiar with the League of Legends community," Diaa said. "I reached out to admins of Facebook groups dedicated to this game, and they charitably helped me form the strongest team in Egypt."
While regions such as China, Korea and West Europe have a developed infrastructure that allows them to more easily procure players and produce world-class teams, QLASH Egypt is undeterred in their journey to become the best. "The MENA region isn't any less important than Europe or Asia or North America. We have many of our own legends across many games," Diaa told CairoScene. "But some things in Egypt can be improved on to make MENA a stronger region, such as the inconsistent internet connections and how difficult it can be to get visas so the team can participate in more international events."
Despite the challenges, Ahmed Diaa is optimistic in the face of his team's recent successes. QLASH Egypt participated at the second edition of the Insomnia Egypt gaming festival last October, where they won 3rd place at the League of Legends 5v5 event. "Many eSports companies are starting to flourish in the MENA region, and QLASH Egypt is among them."
The Nexus will run from December 5th to December 7th. The gaming festival is focused on entertainment produced by Riot Games, and will host events such as a League of Legends 1v1 tournament among streamers and other internet celebrities, a Teamfight Tactics tournament, and a cosplay competition.
With the scene growing every year, and the rewards stacking ever higher, it's only a matter of time before eSports becomes a permanent fixture in the MENA region and a viable path of success for gamers in Egypt.