Team Qatar have qualified for the FIFAe Nations Cup! Led by team captain & Red Bull Athlete Ahmad Al-Meghessib and Jassim Eid, the duo represented the Qatari national team in the online qualifiers for Middle East and Africa. We caught up with the duo to find out more about their first success together and the challenges that lie ahead.
The all-new Qatari e-football national team launched their roster very recently, giving the opportunity to Qatar’s best e-Sports talent to compete at international tournaments. The team roster consists of Ahmad Al- Meghessib on PlayStation and Jassim Eid on Xbox.
I’m proud to be taking on the role of Captain. I am very happy to see positive results this soon and I feel confident playing alongside my talented teammates
“It felt like a dream come true. Every professional player’s main goal is to represent their country11, so it was an honor for me and Ahmad to be the first two players in Qatar to represent the nation. I’m looking forward to the future of e-Sports in Qatar.”, says Jassim Eid.
With the lack of tournaments and regular competitions due to the pandemic, athletes like Ahmad and Jassim have faced new challenges. Figuring out their routines, being consistent and always practicing has kept them in shape.
It’s hard. You can lose focus easily. Especially during the holy month of Ramadan. It can be difficult to perform under pressure while fasting. I had to step it up myself. I sacrificed my social life to play up to 50 games per weekend.
“The most challenging thing about the pandemic was knowing how to cope with it. We used to face others in live tournaments, but everything turned online. it was hard at first but then I realized there was more time to play and practice from home.”, says Jassim Al Eid.
Al-Meghessib and Al Eid faced Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, India and South Africa in the online group stages. The duo edged out their opponents to take on India in the winner’s bracket. Putting on a stellar performance, team Qatar qualified for the 2021 FIFAe Nations Cup that will take place in Denmark during August 2021.
For Al Meghessib, being at the world stage is nothing new. The Red Bull athlete represented the “Rest of the World” region at the FIWC in 2017 and has been building his way to an opportunity like this ever since. But its one thing to compete with your name, and another to represent your country.
“I kept fighting and challenging myself since 2017. A lot of the online events I took part in were tough, and that’s why I’m really happy we qualified for the Nations Cup. I am always motivated when competing, but it’s different when you’re representing your own country. Representing Qatar has pushed me to perform at new levels, especially knowing the amount of people that I would make proud.”, says Al-Meghessib.
Although Ahmad and Jassim compete on different platforms, building chemistry between each other has been a key to their success. Being familiar with each other’s tactics and always communicating will but now, the duo will have to prepare to play alongside each other for the 2v2 format of the FIFAe Nationas Cup in Copenhagen.
“Ahmad and I did really well at the qualifiers. We understand each other and we will prepare for the 2v2 format. We never played alongside each other, but practice is key. Understanding each other’s play styles and combining them together will be important”, says Jassim Al Eid.
“It’s going to be a LAN event in Copenhagen. I always perform better at LAN tournaments. So, I am happy that the upcoming format is changing things up. Its 2v2, and that is very different from 1v1. I have a team mate now, there are a lot of aspects we need to consider. But most of all, we need to practice.”, says Ahmad Al-Meghessib.
Ahmad and Jassim will represent Qatar at the 2021 FIFAe Nations Cup this summer. The 2v2 tournament is set to host 24 qualifying teams from around the world on August 20-22 in Copenhagen, Denmark.