GWB draws to a thrilling close with German Gültekin winning $10m FIFA20 title on penalties

June 09, 2020

RIYADH – Record-breaking COVID-19 charity esports series Gamers Without Borders drew to a nerve-shredding close Monday night when the final of its $1.5 million prize-fund FIFA20 tournament had to be decided by penalties.

After seven weeks of edge-of-the-seat esports action that saw more than 150,000 gamers unite online to help in the fight against coronavirus, GWB’s closing tournament on footballers’ favorite FIFA20 came down to the lottery of spot-kicks after nothing could separate its two Elite-level finalists.

Those two were 17-year-old Umut Gültekin (@UmutFIFA) from Germany, and Damian Augustyniak (@damiefifa) of neighboring Poland, who between them saw off six of the world’s best FIFA players over three-days to secure their spot in Sunday night’s final.

Battling it out for not only the bragging rights but also the lion’s share of the tournament’s $1.5million charity prize fund, both players put in a Herculean effort for the thousands of gaming fans who streamed their final live around the world.

After the two opening matches each player had won a game apiece, forcing a decider that Gültekin looked to have in the bag when he was 1-0 up heading into the 90th minute. However, with only seconds to spare, Augustyniak found an equalizer, blasting into the top corner and forcing extra-time.

Those additional 30-in-game-minutes came and went with the deadlock unbroken, forcing penalties, where Gültekin saved twice while finding the net every time to be crowned GWB’s FIFA20 champion.

For his efforts, the Hamburg native won a mammoth $400,000, which he donated to UNICEF to allow the children’s charity to continue their work on the frontline combating the spread of the virus. Augustyniak donated his second-place earnings of $250,000 to the same charity.

Those donations saw Gamers Without Borders — which was organized by the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS), and started back in April — make the final contributions of its $10million charity prize fund to non-profit organizations based around the world, all of whom are leading the global fight against coronavirus.

As well as UNICEF, those charities have included Gavi, International Medical Corps, Direct Relief, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Fund, the International Telecommunication Union and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Last night’s action drew a close to what had been seven weeks of online gaming for esports fans of all abilities based anywhere in the world. It featured seven International Elite level tournaments that welcomed the best gamers in the business to compete on the most popular titles in gaming, as well as more than 150,000 amateur gamers.

For its closing FIFA tournament, GWB also welcomed some of the biggest names in football and music to compete too — including Dele Alli, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Paulo Dybala, Joao Felix, Andre Silva, former One Direction singer Liam Payne and hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg. — SG

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