Girl gamers in the GCC, who are above 16 years, can now apply to compete for the biggest title for them in eSports.

Officials on Monday invited applications from female gamers to form the first Middle East eSports team to join the world’s largest gaming competition for women –Girl Gamer. The finals will take place at a Dubai eSports festival from December 11 to 14.

Eight teams comprising five players won in qualifying rounds held at Australia, South Korea, Brazil and Spain.

Efforts are now on to form the ninth team representing the Middle East. Authorities supporting the Girl Gamer Dubai Festival are facilitating the formation of the first all-girls team to represent the region.

Games played at the event will be League of Legends and CounterStrike Go.

How to apply

The first female Middle East team in eSports, will, however, play only the League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games.

Gamers can apply until November 12 through the website

Individual players’ applications are accepted only if they are a UAE national or resident. Only team applications are accepted from other GCC countries.

Telmo Silva, founder of the event’s organisers Grow Up Esports, a 17-year-old non-profit association for the gaming industry, said the mission is to give more opportunity and exposure to the girls in the world of gaming. “With this event we are creating a safe environment for them to compete and also be a role model for the young generation,” he said.

Abdulla Mansouri, head of 10x Media, said Dubai is trying to help build an identify for the local gamers and the festival will be a platform that gives an opportunity to connect with the youth and educate their parents as well.

With 450million viewers around the world, he said, there is a 25 per cent growth in the annual revenue generated by the industry.

The prize money has yet to be announced. In the last edition, $30,000 was given away in total to the winning teams.

Boosting analytical skills

Lamia Abdulaziz Khan, Director of Dubai Ladies Club, said the Club encourages women to participate in eSports and change the perceptions about the gaming industry.

“The young generation, whether we like it or not, [is] going into this industry. We want to encourage them as the UAE is encouraging women in STEM subjects and research has shown that the girls who go into gaming are those who study science, technology and innovation and it teaches them to be more strategic and have more analytical skills.”

Madiha Naz, a leading UAE-based gamer interested in participating in the festival, said there had never been a local platform like this for the girl gamers. She said she and two of her Emirati friends who are into gaming, are excited that they now have a female-only platform to compete professionally in a male-dominated field.

Dh255,000 up for grabs for Dubai students playing FIFA games

Dubai school students who play FIFA online soccer games can compete to win scholarships up to Dh255,000 as part of the Girl Gamer Dubai Festival, Paul Roy, CEO of the event’s local partners, Galaxy Racers eSports, said.

The interschool tournament will be open to boys and girls and will be held in partnership with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, he told Gulf News.

“It is the largest pool of prize money in scholarships [in gaming tournaments] that they are going to win in two categories.”

Competitions will be held in two age categories—from six to 11 years and from 12 to 16 years.

He said the winners can choose the prize money to be used as scholarship in their schools or as fees for professional training in gaming.

Young gamers from more than 100 schools have already registered for the tournament, he added.

The festival will also see an education fair in gaming, a pop culture show, an industry-focused conference and a big music concert.