Esports is a fast-growing field worldwide. Many games come under the head including DOTA 2, League of Legends and Counter-strike:Global Offensive. Today, I will be covering the Pakistani side of the Esports scene. Although, not a very well-known country for the industry, but certainly does have talents. Esports in Pakistan is yet to be known widely, but I am sure the day is not distant.
I will be first highlighting the community presence and the demographics.
The Global Offensive community of Pakistan has a majority of people aging between 10-30. From the youngest high-skilled players to the eldest bright minds. The community has roughly ten teams. Some underdogs, some semi-professional and some even just for the heck of CS fun with friends.
Unfortunately, a lot of players in the community use cheats. To separate the abusers from the genuinely skilled players, the community of Pakistan follows strict rules. The players who are caught using hacks recently are not allowed to participate in official Pakistani tournaments. Most proving their skill on LAN make it to a more professional scenario.
Most people in Pakistan are restricted from playing video games as it is frowned upon by their families and seen as a waste of time, as elsewhere. And the leftovers play casually because the exposure of the country is so little to the world of eSports that they believe they would be spending their time trying to get to a professional level.
The players here usually get 70-90 (Karachi) or 80-140 (Lahore) ping in Singaporean servers. While in EU, they get 120-200 ping. Dubai being 20-300 depending on the internet connection and city. These lags make Valve’s official matchmaking and other match platforms hard to use.
Inception of the state of Esports in Pakistan – CSGO
Electronic Sports World Championship: Pakistan was first selected as a country to organize a national qualifier for ESWC finals, which were to take place from October 30th-November 3rd 2013. The company which was supposed to host the qualifier was never mentioned, and Pakistan was removed from the ESWC country list without an explanation.
The World Championship 2-16: Pakistan also appeared in The World Championship (TWC) and faced off against Mongolia. Both teams met with high pings. Mongolia, however, beat Pakistan with the score 2-0. It was a first time for Pakistan to participate in a semi-major event. And the team performed exceptionally well losing to Mongolia 14-16 in Cache and 11-16 in Mirage.
The lineup of Pakistan for The World Championship 2016:
- Syed ‘Naughtyyy’ Rohan Sajjad
- Abdul ‘HSB’ Haseeb
- Hamza ‘Avg’ Sabzwari
- Umair ‘shoTT’ Ahmed
- Zeeshan ‘Zeeky’ Khan
- Zubair ‘$Bills$’ Jafar
- Zaki ‘KLnT’ Nasir
- Syed ‘HARMZ’ Arsalan
- Arsalan ‘ForayZ’ Razzaq
DreamHack Masters Malmö 2016 Asian Qualifier
Pakistani team G4G participated in the open qualifier and played against Skyred (now known as Threats). They lost 16-6 against the Vietnamese team. They faced high pings around 150-200 ms, yet still managed to put up a fight. The team’s sniper KLnT managed to get an AWP ace as the highlight of the match despite their loss.
WESG South Asia Qualifier
Three teams from Pakistan took part in World Electronic Sports Games (WESG). The teams that played were Elusive, Game4Glory, and Intex. Elusive and G4G were pit against each other, Elusive losing to G4G by a score of 2-1. Intex played against GEx, a team from Iran. They lost which led to final between G4G and GEx. The games against GEx were played on a Russian server even though the qualifier was for Asia which turned out to be a disadvantage for the Pakistani teams. G4G lost to GEx by a score of 2-1.
Other than the international events, the teams in Pakistan have an active and rock solid participation background migrating from the older version of the game to Global Offensive. I will do a quick overview of the groups and the individual talents in Pakistan for my next feature.