One of a few nations newly competing in the Overwatch World Cup this year, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a lot to prove going into Blizzcon. The Middle-Eastern country’s inaugural roster has been dubbed the Falcons. Will they soar above expectations, or will they dive out of the first round?
Other World Cup teams, such as Ireland and Brazil, struggled to secure sponsorships to cover the associated costs of international travel and competition. The Saudi Arabian team didn’t have securing money, as their trip is almost entirely funded by the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports. The SAFEIS provided a training facility so that Team Saudi Arabia can experience low-ping practice before taking the stage at Blizzcon.
The SAFEIS is a government organization dedicated to promoting esports within the nation. They also promote other non-traditional competitions such as chess. SAFEIS has previously hosted the Overwatch Saudi Regional Tournament for teams from Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia or the United Arab Emirates. It was here that many of Team Saudi Arabia’s players made their name locally.
KssarPlayz is a flex DPS for the Osh-Tekk Warriors, a Saudi team which competed in Contenders 2018 Season 3 Trials: Europe. He’s got a strong Doomfist and a deep hero pool. The team’s other DPS, simpleFnk, was ready for his chance in the spotlight of the World Cup. Unfortunately, his university did not grant him time to go to Los Angeles and compete. The team’s seventh, Light, will fill as a substitute for the role simpleFnk intended to play.
Their main tank, BeCanBauer, also played for Osh-Tekk Warriors alongside KssarPlayz. Oddly enough, he played a different role for Osh-Tekk Warriors. Moving away from Lucio, BeCanBauer has played a lot more Orisa in preparation for the World Cup. Only one player on the team is currently on a Contenders roster. Young & Beautiful’s flex tank, KSAA, played for the team during the Contenders 2019 Season 2: Europe placing seventh.
Ryanchu, the team’s flex support, has played in a number of small tournaments in Europe and the Middle East. The World Cup will be his first experience on an international stage. Saudi Arabia’s main support and team captain, Boostio, has had a long path to this stage. Boostio was able to beat cancer years ago and is ready to take his fighting spirit to the World Cup stage.
The Saudi Arabia team is one of few nations competing in the Overwatch World Cup from outside of Contenders’ seven region system. Very few of the team’s players compete outside of regional and local tournaments. Even when playing on the ladder, they’ve got to deal with a minimum of 100 m/s ping. While not exactly a roster of famous names at the top of the game like Canada or Korea. For the Falcons this is their first chance to show the world what Saudi Overwatch can be.