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IraqiZorro
200517-Ravi-Lakhani-Vainglory-Spring-Championship-0174 (1).JPG
Background Information
NameHamza Najim
Country of BirthIraq Iraq
BirthdayJune 18, 1996 (age 25)
Competitive
TeamGankStarslogo std.png GankStars Sirius
Soloqueue IDsIraqiZorro
Social Media & Links
Infobox Homepagelogo std.png
Infobox Instagramlogo std.png
Infobox Twitterlogo std.png
Team History
Jan 2015 - Jun 2016
Playerrole icon.png
GankStarslogo std.png GankStars Sirius
Jun 2016 - Dec 2016
Playerrole icon.png
GankStarslogo std.png GankStars Cerberus
Dec 2016 - Jul 2017
Playerrole icon.png
GankStarslogo std.png GankStars Sirius
Oct 2018 - Mar 2019
Playerrole icon.png
Logo std.png RingoFan Club
Mar 2019 - PRESENT
Playerrole icon.png
Logo std.png ??? ???
Hamza "IraqiZorro" Najim is a mobile esports professional player. Having competed and achieved championship level titles in multiple mobile games, IraqiZorro is one of the most internationally successful mobile pro players to date.

Biography

2015 Spring Season

Spring 2015 was the inception of Vainglory Esports with the launch of Vainglory League North America (VGL NA) & Vainglory League Europe (VGL EU) alongside other tournaments that launched regionally in: China, Korea, Japan, and SEA, that would qualify a set of teams to the first ever Vainglory international event, the Vainglory World Invitational, hosted by OGN.

At the time, IraqiZorro was one of the very top ranked Vainglory players around in North America. After deciding to pursue competitive gaming with Vainglory, and as a member of Gankstars, IraqiZorro brought together the very first iteration of rosters of the team Gankstars Sirius, with CullTheMeek, and Gabevizzle. [1]

IraqiZorro and Gankstars Sirius competed in VGL North America and took 1st-place after defeating team Fusion in the grand-finals, qualifying the team to the Vainglory World Invitational as NA's first seed representatives. [2]

2015 Summer Season

In the Summer of 2015, IraqiZorro, as a part of Gankstars sirius, traveled to Seoul, Korea, to compete in the Vainglory World Invitational where the team took 3rd-place after losing to Invincible Armada in the semi-finals, and beating Hunetrs in the 3rd-placement match. [3]

2015 Autumn Season

After returning from Korea, IraqiZorro and Gankstars Sirius were invited back by OGN, as one of two North American representative teams, to the first ever Vainglory International Premier League which hosted the best teams from around the globe, competing for a prize pool of over $70,000.00 and the title of World Champions.

After defeating Invincible Armada in the semi-finals, and Hunters in the grand-finals, Gankstars Sirius won 1st-place and became the first ever VIPL World Champions. [4]

2015 Winter Season

Trying to defend their title in the second Vainglory International Premier League, IraqiZorro and Gankstars Sirius made a deep run in the tournament, going undefeated until the the semi-finals, where they lost to Alliance. Gankstars Sirius secured 3rd-place at the event after overcoming WEV in the 3rd-placement match. [5]

Winter 2015 - 2016 Season

Following Gankstars Sirius's 3rd-place finish in the second VIPL, the team returned to North America to compete in the VGL NA Winter Qualifier 1 2016, and won 1st-place at the event after securing their victory over ALLIANCE in the grand-finals.

Ensuing the events of the first VGL NA Winter 2016 Qualifier, the team's Jungler, CullTheMeek, parted ways with the team which led to the second roster-iteration of Gankstars Sirius that included FooJee as the jungler, with IraqiZorro remaining as the Laner and team captain, and Gabevizzle as the team's Roamer/Support.

IraqiZorro and the new roster of Gankstars Sirius then competed in the second VGL NA Winter 2016 Qualifier. The team secured a 2nd-place finish at the event, after losing to Alliance and their ex-teammate CullTheMeek in the grand-finals.

The Vainglory NA Winter Live Championship 2016 was the accumulation of the qualifiers, where the team competed next. Gankstars Sirius lost to Team SoloMid in the semi-finals, securing an overall 3rd-4th placement at the event. [6]

Fun fact: Despite the odd name of the 2016 Winter Championship, the events actually spanned the course of around December 2015 - Feb 2016.  

2016 Spring Season

Spring 2016 brought another change to the Gankstars Sirius roster where R3cKeD took the place of Gabevizzle as the team's Roamer/Support, bringing the team to its third iteration with: IraqiZorro, FooJee, and R3cKeD.

IraqiZorro and the new roster of Gankstars Sirius went on to compete in the first VGL NA Spring 2016 Qualifier where the team finished in 2nd-place.

Before the second VGL NA Spring 2016 Qualifier took place, the team was once again invited to return to the international stage in Seoul, Korea, to compete in the third Vainglory International Premier League. The team made the decision to drop out of the VGL NA Spring 2016 Championship and pursue the international opportunity instead.

Gankstars Sirius Won 3rd-place at the third VIPL, going 3-0 in the group stage, losing their semi-finals match 0-2 to Hack, and then winning the 3rd-placement match 2-0 against GL. [7]

2016 Summer Season

Upon the team's return from Korea and on June 28th, it was announced that IraqiZorro would depart Gankstars Sirius and instead join Gankstars's European team, Gankstars Cerberus, to compete cross-regions for the first time.

IraqiZorro and his new teammates: Emirking, L3oN, TetnoJJ, and nettetoilette competed in the Evil Eight EU Summer 2016 Split 1 as their first tournament together. The team finished in 2nd-place with a record of 11 wins and 4 losses.

The team would then go on to compete in the second summer split, securing 3rd-place with a record of 9-7.

Having qualified to the season finale, the Vainglory EU Summer Live Championship 2016, Gankstars Cerberus travelled to the ESL headquarters in Cologne, Germany, where the event was held. With a prize pool of $26,000.00, Gankstars Cerberus competed against Europe's best -- Finishing 3rd-4th following a disappointing loss in the semi-finals vs Team Secret. [8]

2016 Autumn Season

Continuing his journey with his European roster, IraqiZorro and Gankstars Cerberus competed next in the Autumn 2016 Season in the hope of becoming one of the two European teams to qualify to the 2016 Vainglory World Championship at the end of the year.

In the Evil Eight EU Autumn 2016 Split 1 the team finished in 2nd-place, behind G2 Esports, with a record of 13-10.

In the Evil Eight EU Autumn 2016 Split 2 the team finished in 1st-place with a record of 16-5, qualifying them as the first-seed EU representatives to the 2016 World Championship. [9]

2016 Winter Season

The 2016 Vainglory World Championship was the finale of the competitive year, with 12 teams from 8 different regions, and a prize pool of $110,000.00.

Gankstars Cerberus's run in the tournament was very short lived. After being drawn in a group with NA's #1 seed, Team SoloMid, and the Wild Card team, Korea's Hack, IraqiZorro and his teammates failed to make it out of groups -- finishing their tournament at a 9th-12th placement, with a record of 1 win and 3 losses. [10]

2017 Preseason

Following the World Championship and the unique circumstances that lead Gankstars to have two active teams to be present at the same international event, one North American, Gankstars Sirius, and one European, Gankstars Cerberus, Super Evil Megacorp announced a one-team-per-org rule, globally.

The news were accompanied by Gankstars's own announcement to close the chapter on Gankstars Cerberus, and have IraqiZorro return to North America to rejoin Gankstars Sirius. Alongside plans for a gaming house in California, creating the environment for the team to once again flourish competitively. [11]

2017 Spring Season

IraqiZorro made his return to North America with a new roster that included his old teammate, R3cKeD as the Roamer/Support, and the addition of a new Jungler in XenoTek. The team rebranded from Gankstars Sirius to just Gankstars.

Gankstars was one of the 8 franchised teams to compete in the newly formed Vainglory 8 League.

IraqiZorro and his teammates competed in the first spring split, finishing in 4th-place with a record of 12-11.

In the second spring split, the team once again ended in 4th-place, this time with a negative record of 6-11.

Having made just enough Championship Points across the two splits, Gankstars qualified for the finale of the Spring Season, the Vainglory Western Unified Spring 2017 Championship, that would see the top six teams from each North America and Europe come together for one head to head tournament, for a prize pool of $60,000.00, at The O2 Arena in London.

     After a challenging yet very productive boot-camp, the team would travel to London, England, with high hopes.

Gankstars faced off against Tempo Storm in the first round, winning 3-0. In the second round, they went to a nail-biting full 5 game series vs Team Secret, where they won 3-2. The semi-finals were against none other than G2 Esports, where IraqiZorro and his teammates took a clean 3-0 to advance forward. Finally, Cloud9 would await the team in the grind-finals where Gankstars lost a crushing 0-3, ending their run in the Vainglory Western Unified Spring 2017 Championship] in 2nd-place. [12]

2017 Summer Season

In the Summer of 2017, Gankstars faced lots of difficulties maintaining a stable roster due to a lack of interest, from some players on the team, in moving into the gaming house. At the beginning of the season, R3cKeD was announced to have parted ways with the team, and in his place vains would become the Roamer/Support player. Later on in the season, vains too was replaced.

IraqiZorro and XenoTek competed alongside their third interchanging teammates in the two splits of the Vainglory 8 Summer Season.

In the first split, the team finished in 3rd-place with a record of 10-9. However in the second split, the team ended with a disappointing 6th-place finish, with a record of 1-4, 1 point short of qualification for the Vainglory 2017 Summer Live Championship, marking the first time ever IraqiZorro had failed to qualify to a Live Championship he had played in the qualifiers of. [13]

In the following weeks, IraqiZorro would go on to announce (i) his departure from Gankstars, ending a 2 and a half year long journey with the organization, (ii) a hiatus from competing in Vainglory, and (iii) a transition to a desk-analyst role, joining the ESL NA broadcast team of the Vainglory 8 League Autumn Season. [14]

2017 Autumn & Winter Seasons

IraqiZorro transitioned into the role of a desk-analyst on the broadcast team of the Vainglory 8 League Autumn Season, hosted by ESL NA, that covered both the North American as well as the European sides of the Vainglory 8 League competitions.[15]

Continuing his transition, IraqiZorro was also a part of the 2017 World Championship's broadcast team, which took place in Singapore with a prize pool of $125,000.00. [16]

2018 Season

    2018 Saw the release of Vainglory 5V5, as well as the massive decline of Vainglory Esports. 

Although IraqiZorro made a return to competitive play in 2018, there was in fact very little to compete for with the rapid decline of Vainglory Esports. In the Fall of 2018, Vainglory was one of the games included in the World Electronic Sports Games. Being a Canadian Resident, and combined with the national nature of the WESG as a competition, IraqiZorro formed a team to compete to become the Canadian representatives.

RingoFan Club, as the team was called, fielded: IraqiZorro, MaxGreen, TSuki, Varrien, Zamatic, and C4bb4ge as its roster. RingoFan Club swiftly won the Canadian qualifiers for the World Electronic Sports Games, becoming the Canadian representatives for the international tournament that would take place later in Spring 2019, in Chongqing, China.[17]

IraqiZorro also made an appearance at the Vainglory Premier League Fantasy All-Stars show that was hosted by Estars Studios, in Las Vegas, in Autumn of 2018. IraqiZorro took 2nd-place at the friendly competition.[18]

2019 Season

The World Electronic Sports Games took place in Chongqing, China, in March of 2019, with a staggering prize pool of $5,500,000.00 across all of the hosted games, Vainglory being one of them. As the Canadian representatives in RingoFan Club, IraqiZorro and his teammates travelled to China for the competition.

RingoFan Club was in Group B alongside Loud from Brazil, Impunity from Singapore, and Sly from Germany. After a 1-3 record in groups, the team exited the tournament quickly in the 5th-8th place.[19]

Rules of Survival

2018 Spring Season

During his Vainglory Hiatus, IraqiZorro competed in the mobile Battle Royale Shooter game, Rules of Survival. A team with his former Vainglory colleagues: FlashX, BestChuckNA, and ttigers, was formed under the name of Vainglory Veterans.

In January of 2018, Vainglory Veterans competed in the Rules of Survival 2018 World Championship NA Qualifiers. IraqiZorro and his teammates came in 1st-place, winning $30,000.00 and the crown of the North American Champions, and qualifying as the first-seed North American representatives.[20]

The team would then go on to travel to Shanghai, China, where the RoS 2018 World Championship was held. Due to travel visa issues, IraqiZorro could not accompany his teammates and instead Hami took his place. The team finished in the 5th-8th place at the championship.

Command & Conquer: Rivals

Winter 2018 - 2019

The real-time strategy mobile game Command & Conquer: Rivals released in December of 2018. With his history since childhood with the Command and Conquer franchise, IraqiZorro showed interest in competing in the newly released game. After climbing to the top of the ranked ladders, IraqiZorro was invited to the Global Launch Celebration event where he would compete against three other players in a knockout-format tournament.

IraqiZorro won his semi-finals match vs 13lade, only to lose in the grand-finals against Alicia, finishing the friendly competition in second place. [21]

Trivia

  • Alongside being a player for Gankstars, IraqiZorro was also a co-founder and a co-owner of the esports organization.
  • IraqiZorro is the only Vainglory professional player ever to compete and win titles in more than one region.
  • "Zorro? Do you mean the pro laner"? is an easter egg that Super Evil Megacorp placed in the voice lines of the hero Blackfeather, upon release, in honor of IraqiZorro's achievements in the scene. [22]
  • During his analyst-desk detour, IraqiZorro inattentively served the infamous line "That Gauntlet was 'SO FUCKING BEAUTIFUL'" as he commentated over a gameplay highlight, that would later be one of the most remembered Vainglory memes.

Achievements

Interviews

  • 2016

External Links

References

  1. https://twitter.com/iraqizorro
  2. https://www.toornament.com/en_US/tournaments/435870088873973282/matches/435870091088567034/
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y88KJjJFvok&list=PLvEkgn9uepVSRAoWa570Z-nuxCdwe2uW-
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTuLitBhfTY&list=PLvEkgn9uepVTwDZRrZPpbN5rm65YDRg8N
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eQ5P4jxO84&list=PLWQeRMoEALvog7jQROE-4PTzkeg8PjboC&index=6
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1DRhc9Do7A&list=PL1HmJufEkMstUfRQ6-BmjtJo-KBOSp5jf&index=3
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_NQ-eqUA_Y&list=PLWQeRMoEALvqa8GhUrDa9jdMB-cOT8QW6
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHwNuo3m6yo&ab_channel=TheVaingloryVODProject
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMN_vYuWGgc&list=PLpLu_I_lWpdQ9jlPlAXljKbJNHui9SQ1a&index=2&ab_channel=VaingloryEsports
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMvfAyPa7go&list=PLAGAPHDIM7XjI1EnJ-N_UDf6bRf0Drqll&index=4&ab_channel=TheVaingloryVODProject
  11. https://twitter.com/iraqizorro
  12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUUarfCM4-g&list=PL1HmJufEkMssv9K4Q3bkyfkP7SiTUCPZo&index=12&ab_channel=Vaingloryesports
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J95bZSPFwU&list=PL1HmJufEkMsvDF6FxzPPxCR-bOoVUJvxL&index=53&ab_channel=Vaingloryesports
  14. https://twitter.com/iraqizorro
  15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TGYTPpSsBQ&list=PL1HmJufEkMsvHC6iJbM5rqXK7bvgmNxki&index=12&ab_channel=Vaingloryesports
  16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahWsDKhKXwo&list=PL1HmJufEkMst87KEZ0EYhz-aoL0Z3uNd6&ab_channel=Vaingloryesports
  17. https://youtu.be/EEfQSEp1-6A?t=901
  18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scr9tLfGm5E&list=PL1HmJufEkMstVnVStb9f4a8n_MFt1dPFc&ab_channel=Vaingloryesports
  19. https://youtu.be/A194aIvmm0M?t=227
  20. https://mobileesports.news/2018/01/25/rules-of-survival-finalists/
  21. https://youtu.be/1EUtz_8ZWFY?t=7840
  22. https://youtu.be/QL2XKewLs4k?t=66