By Wali Zahid (@walizahid)
It’s 7.30am in Karachi, Pakistan, hometown until last year of Sumail Syed, 16, who just became the richest esports player by age in history.
It’s a Sunday and the people in this 20-million megacity are still asleep.
Very few parents like their kids to play online games because that requires unreasonably long hours in front of gaming laptops or in smoking-filled gaming zones. Even fewer have heard of Dota 2 game.
Sumail and his parents moved to Chicago last year where he started to play for team Evil Geniuses (EG).
In Seattle USA where Dota 2 TI5 is being played, it’s still Saturday night. And Sumail and his team EG have just won an incredible $6.6 million championship.
Sumail now is the richest esports player by age in history.
The 5-member team EG walked away with $6.6 million, with each player getting $1.33 million. In a tweet, Sumail called it easy.
Earlier on Friday, CDEC Gaming had beaten the EG, creating doubts if EG could win back.
This year’s TI5 prize pool was nearly $18.4 million, the biggest esports prize fund in history.
The winning team of five alone gets over $6.6 million ($1.33 million each).
The prize pool is bigger than top 10 traditional sports (chart below):
How the prize works
TI5 total prize pool: $18.4 million
First-place 5-member team gets: $6.6 million
Each player from top team gets: $1.33 million
It was a historic occasion as EG and Sumail pulled this off as playing two finals (with maximum of 8 games) in a day required unprecedented level of concentration, focus and energy.
TI5 (The International Dota 2 Championships 2015) was the fifth annual edition of The International (TI).
The tournament took place from 3-8 August in Seattle, USA, at KeyArena, a multi-purpose arena in Seattle Center, with a seating capacity of 17,000.
A total of 16 teams participated. In Dota 2 matches, all teams comprise five members.
According to Dota 2 official site, 16 teams played in a double elimination format over six days.
Eight teams began in the upper bracket, eight in the lower bracket.
First lower bracket game was best of one, Grand Finals were best of five, all others were best of three.
Dota 2 TI5 Finals results below
Many parents in Pakistan still loathe their small children when they are addicted to their PS4, Xbox or high-end gaming laptops. Or, even their iPads.
They may not have yet realised the emerging potential of esports – which can brings both celebrity status and financial success for their young kids.
Sumail’s success could ignite new passion among Pakistani kids to play online games professionally and make a mark for their country.
- Sumail makes it to Guinness World Records as youngest eSports millionaire
- Richest esports player by age in history
- Win against one of the top Chinese powerhouses that put Team Secret into the lower bracket
- Got run over in game 1
- Made epic comeback to win the next 2 games
- Sumail owned in the game 3, Lower Bracket Finals and Grand Finals
- EG lost to CDEC on Friday but still reached the Lower Bracket Finals
- His team EG won the Lower Bracket Finals and Grand Finals – both on the same day.
- His team EG already won the $1.2 million Dota 2 DAC15 Asian championship in February (Pakistani, 15, becomes Dota 2 world champ)
- Back in Karachi, Sumail played with Danyal (game name: Danger), the writer’s son
- The boy wonder tribute below is designed by Danyal for his pal Sumail
Our earlier stories on Sumail & sports
Also by Wali Zahid