Hailing from Saudi Arabia, Mohammed "Tarzannn" Ayman M Kharabah isn't your typical Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) pro player.
This medical undergrad is juggling both school and career to chase after his esports dreams, and hopes to achieve success with his team, Triple Esports.
He's had to take two weeks off school to focus on the M5 World Championship, and is trying his best to keep both his grades and in-game performance up.
But luckily for him, he's not going at it alone. The 23-year old jungler is battling alongside his 16-year old brother, Moayed "Trolll" Ayman M Kharaba, who plays the roamer role. And doing so has brought the siblings closer together, despite their seven-year gap in age.
"Gaming brought us even tighter. It's like our secret bonding sauce. We've learned to complement each other's strengths, both in and out of the game. It's not just about the competition; it's about growing together," said Tarzannn.
"Sometimes we do plays and calls where we don't even talk or communicate. We just do it because we understand each other. If a team offered me a contract without my brother, I wouldn't accept it."
Trolll, too, agreed, and added that their relationship at home is just like any other brothers, where they would quarrel. He also added that while they quarreled ingame as well, it was still best to be on the same team as his brother, as "if there are any problems or issues, I know he has my back."
"So basically, they are just fighting for 24 hours. Then once the game starts, they get serious and do their things," joked teammate and Exp laner Ayman "Sanji" Othman Bin Muidh Alqarni.
Luckily for the siblings, their parents have been quite supportive of their esports careers. However, there's an understanding that the brothers still have to prioritise their studies.
"This is because in Gulf countries, it is still not common for your primary job to be in esports," said Tarzannn.
But at the same time, Tarzannn and Trolll both credit their families as the "secret sauce" of their success, and that they support them both by watching their matches via online or in-person where possible. Their parents, eldest brother, sister-in-law, and younger brother all watched them at the MPL MENA Fall 2023 playoffs when Triple Esports took the crown and the ticket to M5.
Going up the best in the world, especially against the powerhouses in the Philippines and Indonesia will seem daunting for most players, but both Tarzannn and Trolll are "amped" to carry their region's flag.
"It's not just about us; it's about showing off the skills and dedication from our neck of the woods. We're gunning to leave a mark on the championship that screams MENA pride," said Trolll.
Even if we cannot win the championship, we will be sure not to let our opponents win easily," added Tarzannn.
Going up against the best teams in the world will be tough, and the brothers have singled out AP.Bren and ONIC Esports as the squads they are keeping an eye out for. Mostly because Triple Esports have lost to AP.Bren at IESF World Esports Championship 2023 where they "lost a tonne" and ONIC Esports are currently the "best in the world".
Lastly, Trolll claims to be the better player, but Tarzannn says it's more down to each of the siblings fulfilling different roles in the team.
"Both of us have our roles and importance to the team. Trolll claims it's probably him, but it's all love. We both bring something unique to the table, and that's what makes our team fire," he said.
Catch Tarzannn, Trolll and the rest of Triple Esports at the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang M5 World Championship taking place in Manila from Dec 2 to 17.
Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com