Saudi Arabia significant esports goals


Esports WC launched in Saudi Arabia Image: Ministry of Sports and Esports Federation

Saudi Arabia has launched the Esports World Cup to be held annually in Riyadh starting Summer 2024, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud announced on October 23rd. Additional details on the competition will be revealed in early 2024.

‘ALARABIYA news’ stated that the event, said to be the largest of its kind, will include the most popular games in the world across all genres and have the largest prize pool in esports history.

The Crown Prince was quoted as saying, “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. 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 above announcement came during the New Global Sport Conference hosted in the Kingdom with senior officials and global leaders in sports, gaming and the esports sectors in attendance.

‘ALARABIYA news’ further stated that aiming to transform Riyadh into a gaming capital, the tournament builds on the gaming passion widely seen in the Saudi youth population and on homegrown esports successes, including the first and second editions of Gamers8.

Gamers8 is the world’s largest gaming and esports event. It’s held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The 2023 event ran for eight weeks from July to September.

Esports to Boost Kingdom’s GDP

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.

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