Saudi Arabia Announces Groundbreaking Annual Esports World Cup
Saudi Arabia has unveiled its plans to host an annual Esports World Cup, setting the stage for a grand tournament that will feature some of the most popular games globally and offer the largest prize pool in the history of esports.
According to an official statement from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, this exciting competition is scheduled to kick off in the summer of 2024 and will become a regular fixture in the esports calendar, with Riyadh as its host city.
The Esports World Cup will serve as a battleground where gaming clubs from diverse genres will vie for supremacy and the title of Esports World Cup champion.
This significant development aligns with the broader vision of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, who has placed a strong emphasis on sports, esports, and gaming as part of the kingdom's transformation plan known as Vision 2030.
This comprehensive initiative seeks to diversify the country's economy and reduce its dependence on oil by investing billions of dollars.
Last year, the group announced an ambitious commitment to invest a staggering 142 billion riyals (equivalent to $37.8 billion) in various gaming-related endeavors aimed at establishing Saudi Arabia as a global gaming hub.
As part of this extensive strategy, Saudi Arabia aims to establish 250 local gaming companies, which are expected to generate 39,000 jobs and contribute significantly to the country's GDP, with a target of 50 billion riyals by 2030.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed his enthusiasm for this latest venture, stating, "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."
This endeavor is not only about advancing the world of gaming but also serves the broader goals of Vision 2030.
By hosting the Esports World Cup, Saudi Arabia anticipates bolstering tourism, creating employment opportunities, and providing entertainment for both its residents and visitors.
The Esports World Cup promises to be a transformative force in the kingdom's quest to diversify its economy and become a leading global destination for gamers and esports enthusiasts alike.
Aziz El Yaakoubi / Reuters