England midfielder Dele Alli has admitted he gets more nervous playing rival gamers on Fortnite than he does performing in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley, as he competed online in Gamers Without Borders’ Fortnite tournament.
Dele, a huge fan of the game, was joined by his Spurs teammate Kyle Walker-Peters as the pair faced 50 duo teams from around the world – ten from the Middle East & Africa and 40 from across Europe. Each duo battled it out to win a share of a massive US$1million charity prize fund, which they then donated to organisations of their choice leading the global fight against COVID-19.
On joining Gamers Without Borders, Dele said: “Hosting a tournament like Gamers Without Borders is a great idea. It unites people like myself who love gaming to come together with players from all over the world to donate to charities fighting COVID-19.”
Gamers Without Borders has been created by the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS).
Despite competing against some of the world’s best Fortnite talent including benjyfishy (NRG), mitr0 (Team Liquid) and Mongraal (FaZe Clan.EU), Dele managed to get one opponent elimination as the Spurs pair finished 41st in the tournament leaderboard with 31 points. The tournament was won by OVA Zeston and OVA Scout 405 points.
Dele, whose gaming name was ‘Delstroyer’, went on to discuss how gaming often brings footballers together off the pitch: “Fortnite was the game that brought us all together. Kyle Walker Peters is a very good gamer, and I play Fortnite a lot with Jadon Sancho. It's good to bring everyone together and get to know each other off the pitch.
“It’s very different [to playing football]. I feel a lot more nervous playing in this than I do playing in a stadium!”
“To be honest I didn’t really realise how many footballers played PlayStation until Fortnite. I think that was the game that sort of brought us all together.
“It’s just a way of being with your friends, footballers you know well or you’ve played against, people like Kevin de Bruyne or Sergio Aguero, or players from the lower leagues. It’s good to bring everyone together and get to know each other through PlayStation off the pitch. Everyone has the same interests, so it’s good”.
With a prize-fund of US$10million, Gamers Without Borders is the biggest ever charity gaming event of its type. All of that money will be shared between charities fighting on the frontline against COVID-19, including UNICEF, Direct Relief, Gavi and the International Medical Corps, before the series ends on June 7th.
The 24-year-old commented on being a gaming fan, adding: “I’ve been gaming ever since I was younger, whether that was Nintendo, or PlayStation, PS2. I’ve always enjoyed playing PlayStation in my free time and now Fortnite is great to do in your spare time to relax. It’s good to have a great hobby like that. I loved Mario Kart when I was younger and James Bond games. It started on FIFA after that, where I used to play on manager mode.”
When asked about how he had found the lockdown, Alli said: “Mentally it was tough just training every day at home by yourself. We were doing a Zoom call every day and training with the whole team, but still mentally obviously waking up and trying to stay to a strict diet and stuff like that was tough because you didn’t know when the ending was going to be or when you’d be back playing. But the boys stayed fit and healthy and we all helped each other.”
The Fortnite broadcast in which Dele featured also included a fundraiser for viewers to directly donate to the charity of their choice. The feed was available in seven different languages, amongst them Arabic, English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin, providing a truly global experience to reach all gaming communities across the world.
The Gamers Without Borders International Elite events are supported by the world’s largest esports company, ESL, as technical partner who are providing the highest standard of experience to gamers and viewers alike.
Full broadcast information is available at watch.gamerswithoutborders.com/.
Keep up to date with all the news surrounding the event by following the event’s social channels:
Twitter / Instagram (English): @GWBPS
YouTube: Gamers Without Borders: @GWPBS
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