The match was streamed live on the internet to thousands of fans around the globe…

Esports is quickly becoming a big deal in the UAE. Earlier this year it was announced that a purpose-built stadium just for gamers is in the works in Dubai, and there have already been several tournaments in 2018 offering tens of thousands of Dirhams in prize money.

And now it it looks like the UAE’s eSports athletes are making a name for themselves overseas, as well. Mohammed Al-Banna, an Emirati gamer, clinched the gold medal at the Neo Geo World Tour in Malaysia over the weekend.

The tournament is part of a global tour celebrating the 40th anniversary of Japanese video game company SNK that published many popular fighting games in the ’90s.

Al-Banna took top honours in the King of Fighters category, with his winning match broadcast live on the video streaming platform Twitch to thousands of fans around the globe.

The Emirati eSports athlete (who goes by the handle @Zantetsu_UAE on Twitter) now advances to the tournament’s global finals in Hong Kong at the end of August. He’ll square off against 300 other gamers clamouring for the championship title – we wish him luck!

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