Earlier this month, the Middle East Stars League (MESL), a CS:GO esports tournament series, announced a partnership with match visualisation and analysis company Skybox Technologies.
As a result of the partnership, the MESL will use Skybox’s product suite to create analytical segments which will be utilised during its local broadcasts. According to the release, MESL’s CS:GO series spans across the Middle East, Pakistan, and India.
To learn more about the MESL and its new partnership, Skybox spoke with the tournament series’ General Manager, Abdul Hammad Fasihi.
Disclaimer: The Q and A was provided by Skybox and edited by Esports Insider for release
Skybox: Could you tell us how the MESL was formed and the reasoning for its inception?
Abdul Hammad Fasihi: As CS:GO was gaining popularity and teams/players were making a name for themselves at an international level, FACEIT was looking to help nurture talents from across the globe in the form of HUBs on their platform. Once they came to the Middle East region, they got in touch with Abdullah ‘t0ks’ Ghifari who at the time was an ex-professional counter strike player from Team Risky, a renowned caster in the Middle East, an ex-moderator for ESEA’s Rank S in the Middle East and had a huge reputation in the region. Safe to say, he was the right man for the job and so FACEIT decided to make him the founder and owner, for what is now called, the Middle East Stars League.
The organisation launched on the 18th of June 2018 and since then has been the base of Middle Eastern Counter-Strike, where players from different countries at all levels play and participate through the platform.
What is the CS:GO scene like in the Middle East, India and Pakistan and what do you expect will happen in the coming years?
AHF: The CS:GO scene in the Middle East has had its ups and downs. In the past years, the region was always involved in any major tournament whether it’s from DreamHack, ESL, or others. We haven’t had much of an impact globally but regionally, we were always a good competitor to Asian teams. The main problem we faced was during online competitions, ping was always a disadvantage
The scene at the moment isn’t as good as before since a lot of the professional teams and players quit due to the pandemic or moved on to other games. There are a few good teams that are still competing such as NASR eSports, YaLLa Esports and vSlash Esports. We also have a lot of young players and skilled players that have high elo on FACEIT and we feel that with Skybox we can help nurture this talent by helping them improve in a more statistical and analytical approach.
As for Pakistan & India, CS:GO is flourishing in India and Pakistan, every day there are new and upcoming talents that are highly committed to the game and have a positive outlook towards the game. We have many players from these countries across our divisions and we can evidently notice how passionate they are about the game and how willing they are to learn the meta and create their own. However, with the lack of competitions in the region and overall pandemic, the only thing remaining still is MESL. We have over 2300+ active subscribers and we do competitions on a monthly (and sometimes bi-weekly) basis. Hopefully, we can do more and provide more and grow even further.
What collaborations are planned between Skybox and MESL and what value will it create?
AHF: We are planning to use it in the tournaments and events we organise, by having an analysis segment providing a more in-depth approach to the rounds, this will be pushing the limits of CSGO broadcasting locally, and will assist our players and the viewers to improve beyond the cap people think the region is at. It can become the key point that brings the value required to our players and teams to break barriers and start competing regionally and internationally.
Why is this partnership important to MESL?
AHF: We always promote competitive play and are striving to grow and establish a high-skilled scene in the region. At MESL we fully believe that Skybox is the best tool to improve and can help a lot of our young raw talents improve and learn, both by watching their replays using Skybox 3D and by utilising statistics that Skybox provides.