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Saudi Arabia To Host Annual Esports World Cup From Next Year

The Kingdom continues to make big moves as it aims to become a global hub for esports and gaming

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince and prime minister of Saudi Arabia, has revealed that the country will hold the first-ever Esports World Cup in Riyadh next year.

The tournament will not be a one-off but will be held annually in Riyadh, starting in the summer of 2024. This global event is set to be the biggest esports tournament that will not only grow the gaming and esports industry but will see Saudi Arabia become a key location for global esports and sports competitions.

Crown Prince Salman also announced the establishment of the Esports World Cup Foundation, a non-profit organisation that aims to drive a new era of collaboration between esports stakeholders and to enhance the sector’s sustainability. The announcement was made at the recent New Global Sports Conference, where senior officials and global leaders in the sports, gaming and esports sectors gathered. 

“The Esports World Cup is the natural next step in Saudi Arabia’s journey to become the premier global hub for gaming and esports, offering an unmatched esports experience that pushes the boundaries of the industry,” said the crown prince. “The competition will enhance our progress towards realizing the Vision 2030 objectives of diversifying the economy, growing the tourism sector, creating new jobs in various industries, and providing world-class entertainment for citizens, residents, and visitors alike.”

The biggest esports tournament to come

Kicking off the Esports World Cup is part of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to grow the esports sector, as well as expand its entertainment and sports presence locally and worldwide. The upcoming tournament is fueled by the love for gaming among Saudi youth and the success of local esports like Gamers8.

The Kingdom also hopes that the competition will accelerate its National Gaming and Esports Strategy. This strategy aims to increase the esports sector’s contribution to Saudi Arabia’s GDP to over SAR 50 billion by 2030 and create 39,000 jobs.

Come 2024, the Esports World Cup will provide players and clubs with a sustainable environment and will include the most popular games across all genres as well as have the largest prize pool in esports history, which is currently held by KSA’s Gamer8 during its ‘The Land of Heroes’ event which had a $45 million prize pool. 

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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