Esports World Cup at Riyadh SEF Arena


New Esports Arena complex in Riyadh Image: Saudi Esports Federation

SEF Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the largest esports arena in the world, is set to host the prestigious Esports World Cup tournament in July.

The Esports World Cup aims to increase the gaming sector’s contribution to Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by more than SAR50 billion and create 39,000 new jobs by 2030.

The competition will be held to boost tourism during summer, a time when Saudi Arabia experiences an average 16 percent drop in hotel occupancy rates, an 18 percent decrease in tourism spending and a 13 percent decline in restaurant and cafe spending.

The SEF Arena where the event will be held offers fans and players an unparalleled, one-of-a-kind experience and is set to revolutionise esports in Saudi and set new global standards.

New Esports Arena complex in RiyadhImage: Saudi Esports Federation

As the new epicenter of esports in the Kingdom, the gigantic SEF Arena will boast state-of-the-art facilities and impressive capacity.

The arena covers a total area of more than 34,000 square meters with a main building at over 18,000 square meters.

The main building contains four venues with capacities of 1,571 people, 1,565 people, 1,570 and 1,252.

Building 2 covers 7,308 square meters and has an arena with a capacity of 2,245.

The Saudi Esports Federation said, “We’re driving the meteoric rise of esports, positioning the kingdom as a global hub for gaming and esports. Join us in making history and witnessing the future of Esports unfold!”

New Esports Arena complex in RiyadhImage: Saudi Esports Federation

The Saudi Esports Federation is the regulating body in charge of nurturing elite gaming athletes and developing the gaming community and industry in Saudi Arabia.

Since its establishment in late 2017, the federation has organized multiple world-class national and international tournaments and events, attracted investment from local private sector actors, and worked with international developers on opportunities in the Saudi market.

In late 2022, global architectural design firm Populous, in partnership with the media company YouGov, released new data on the rapid growth of esports in Saudi Arabia.

The findings underlined not only huge interest in esports, but how this is driving demand for purpose- built esports venues and live experiences over online streaming.

‘Populous’ stated that with almost one-third of the national population interested in esports and driving significant Government investment, a 250 percent growth of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA’s) gaming market is expected from 2022-203.

The research demonstrated the appetite for esports destinations to form a key part of the gaming industry’s future in Saudi Arabia.

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