SumaiL has been shortlisted as one of the most influential teens of 2016 by Time.com. The young mid player of the TI5 championship team, Evil Geniuses, is the youngest player to win the prestigious event and to also earn over $1 million playing esports. Far from done yet, SumaiL continues to forge ahead with more prize earnings and titles under his belt, continuing to find a place in history and future career.
Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan has been named as one of the 30 most influential teens of 2016 by Time.com. At the tender age of 17, the Pakistani is already gracing the pages of esports history and grabbing the attention of mainstream media.
Considered a Dota 2 prodigy, SumaiL rose to stardom as one of the best mid players in the world. By the age of 15, his talent and drive to excel landed him the opportunity of a lifetime, when he was recruited by North American team Evil Geniuses.
At an age when most children are playing hopscotch and learning how to read and write, SumaiL was already toying with dreams of a competitive gaming career. In Pakistan, where he lived for almost his entire life, gaming resources were not as readily available. He didn’t have his own computer so, in order to be able to go to the Internet Café and play, SumaiL, his cousin and other friends would often pile up on a small motorbike built for only one person. He even had to sell his bicycle once, to keep his dream alive.
I lived in Pakistan for 15 years. Growing up, I wanted to play so bad that I sold my bike just to be able to play for more hours.
SumaiL takes his career very seriously. He practices for at least nine hours a day and is grateful to his father, who has worked very hard to get him and his family over to the United States.
Hassan has become the youngest champion in the history of The International, earning the highest paycheck ever awarded to a Dota 2 player, $1.3 million. The International 5 total prize pool reached a staggering total of over $18,300,000 and The International 5 champions, Evil Geniuses, walked away with over $6.6 million.
For former Evil Geniuses manager, Charlie Yang, the most prominent thing that stands out about SumaiL is “his desire to compete at the highest level”. SumaiL’s family members echo that sentiment:
He’s really ambitious. He’s always been saying to his mom and dad: ‘let me do this and one day I will make you all really proud of me!’ And he’s doing it, he’s on his right path.
After dubbing the young prodigy “a Michael Jordan-like figure in terms of skill”, Time.com reports that SumaiL has recently used some of his $2.3 million earnings to buy a house for his family of eight: parents and five siblings.
Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan
In his TI5 player profile, the young Pakistani player shared his inspiring life story and talked about his dream of winning The International 5 – an accomplishment he achieved just shortly after.
He first made a name for himself in 2014, when he was playing in the North American Elite League (NEL). After a short period of time playing for various lesser-known teams, the 15-year-old was recruited by Evil Geniuses in January 2015, during the big Western reshuffle.
Immediately upon joining, Evil Geniuses placed third in the Dota 2 League Season 5. However, SumaiL’s real debut would be at the Dota 2 Asia Championship (DAC), often dubbed “The International of the East”.
SumaiL and his team would take the championship title and a prize of over $1,200,000 – an incredible achievement for any Dota 2 professional player, let alone one as young and inexperienced as SumaiL.
Since then, Evil Geniuses then took top placements in numerous premier tournaments. Their glorious season’s run culminated with a well-deserved direct invite and ultimately championship title for the most prestigious Dota 2 championship in the world, The International.
Known for his Storm Spirit and aggressive Aegis steal attempts, SumaiL continues to demonstrate his exceptional talent and focus.
TI5 was SumaiL’s first International event, but not his last. Still a part of Evil Geniuses, SumaiL then landed third place at TI6 just last August.