Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports has concluded its Winter Split Competition of the 2022/23 season, with more than 1,300 students from over 50 universities participating in the competition for a grand total prize pool of 12,500 dollars.
Students have taken part every week in a spirit of community and competition to determine the top teams in a range of games including League of Legends, VALORANT, Rocket League, Overwatch 2, Rainbow Six Siege, FIFA 24 and Super Smash Bros.
In addition to video game competitions, the project includes in-person and educational activities and provides students with the opportunity to take their first steps into this rapidly growing industry professionally.
The full list of winners
In Riot Games’ titles, the team ‘Kamikaze UAE’, won the League of Legends finals, comprised of students from Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai, Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates University, and the American University of Sharjah.
In VALORANT, ‘PifthePaf’ triumphed in the finals, with students from Rabdan Academy, Ajman University, Heriot-Watt University, University of Wollongong in Dubai and Zayed University.
Both winning and finalist teams will represent the UAE in the Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports Masters MENA Series.
This live event brings together the best university teams from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco to compete for the regional championship.
Community tournaments for Rocket League, Overwatch 2, Rainbow Six Siege, FC 24, and Super Smash Bros were also organized.
From virtual to on-site
Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports is not just an online gaming competition, it is also committed to reaching today’s youth, by hosting the UNIVERSITY Tour. This face-to-face event aims to introduce young people to the esports ecosystem.
For the second consecutive season, the UNIVERSITY Tour is being held in the UAE.
The Tour visited the Canadian University Dubai and the University of Wollongong in Dubai during the first split, where students could learn more about the competition.
During the second split, the tour will visit more universities across the country.
Rise of Esports in UAE
Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports and MENA Tech have seen the potential in the UAE’s gaming and esports industry. In 2022, it defied global gaming revenue trends by registering a 6% growth in the MENA region, totalling $6.8 billion.
Partly driven by the Middle East’s predominantly young population, the gaming surge in the UAE is notable, with nine out of 10 adults being gamers — the highest rate globally — and 23% engaging in gaming for over 11 hours weekly.
With government initiatives like ADGaming in Abu Dhabi, the capital city alone already hosts over 70 game developers and esports teams, with projections for considerable growth soon.
Supporting the student esports community
Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports is made possible thanks to the support of top-level publishers such as Riot Games, Ubisoft, Shahid and Deliveroo.
Registrations for the second split qualifiers are now open. Additionally, Ramadan activities will be held throughout March and April.
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