RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup winner Mosaad Al-Dossary was the kind of role model young players should be looking to emulate, according to the Kingdom’s esports gaming chief.
President of the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronics and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS), Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, told Arab News he was “proud” of Al-Dossary for his esports achievements and for showing “his class as a human being.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum, in Riyadh, the prince said the fast pace of technological advances was changing not only how people lived but their view of sport.
Equating esports to traditional sports, he stressed it was important that young people moderated their time playing video competitions.
“Moderation in everything,” he quoted his father as telling him.
“Everything has its positives, within reason. I don’t expect our professional (esports) players to be playing for 18 hours a day. What we advocate is having good mental health, social health as well as good physical health.”
Prince Faisal said it was important that youth chose their heroes carefully, and Al-Dossary was an example of the perfect role model.
“I’m proud of him for all of his many accomplishments in gaming, but I’m prouder of who he is as a person.”
He noted that during Al-Dossary’s winning participation in the Manchester FUT Champions Cup, in the UK, one of the tournament’s young competitors had fallen ill and was taken to hospital. Al-Dossary had ducked out of victory celebrations to go and visit his sick opponent, taking with him the green scarf awarded to world cup qualifiers which he left on the young man’s bedside table as a gift.
“I’m prouder of him for doing that, brightening up his opponent’s day, than I am of him winning the world cup,” the prince said.
“He showed his class as a human being, not as an esports player. And that’s what we expect of all of our athletes and all of our young kids across all industries and sports.
“That’s the caliber of person that we have in Saudi, in our communities and that’s what I want to showcase to the world.”
Prince Faisal admitted that online harassment could be a problem, but said it was a global issue that could only be solved through education.
“There are errors, and esports and gaming is a new era, and it’s a new era of accessibility. Along with that comes a learning curve and an education curve,”he added.