JEDDAH: The chairman of the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS) said the $10 million charity electronic sports event Gamers Without Borders (GWB) has underlined the Kingdom’s role as a leader in humanitarian endeavors.
Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan was speaking on the sidelines of the SAFEIS-organized seven-week e-sports tournament, which has united gamers around the world online in the battle against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The virtual tournament, involving players from 20 countries, began on April 24 and ends on June 7.
Running across both amateur and elite abilities, the tournaments and have-a-go gaming events will see $10 million donated to charities involved in the fight against COVID-19.
With a young population that includes nearly 20 million passionate gamers, the Kingdom was in a unique position to lead such an initiative.
And with $750,000 already donated to four charities, and thousands of gamers staying indoors to both play and watch the action, Prince Faisal is proud of the global impact of the event.
Prince Faisal said: “Hosting such an event shows the Kingdom’s role in being a leader in humanitarian assistance especially during a time of crises. Bringing the global gaming community together for GWB is essential to instill a sense of unity and provide relief in such unprecedented and confusing times.
“With the world more distant than ever, we are hosting this initiative from Saudi Arabia to bring together the passionate community of gamers to unite and compete in a spirited manner in fighting COVID-19.”
He added: “Electronic and intellectual sports have long been an important part of the social fabric in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi youth have always been technologically savvy and as a result they have established themselves as some of the most talented gamers globally.
“Alongside the gaming nature of GWB, we have partnered with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology to bring free training programs and prized competitions to advance game development and gaming industry know-how for developers, gamers, investors and entrepreneurs.”
GWBs’ academy scheme is aimed at helping the next generation of Saudi gaming industry talent thrive and further establishing the Kingdom as a digital hub.
Prince Faisal said the tournament and academy form part of the long-term ambitions of SAFEIS in line with the Vision 2030 reform plans.
“The infrastructure for a vibrant e-sports scene has been laid out by Saudi youth with their passion for gaming. This makes our role at SAFEIS all the more vital in building an integrated e-sports ecosystem with economic benefits for the country.”
He added: “70 percent of the Kingdom’s population is under 30 and we have 20 million people who are either gamers or gaming enthusiasts. With electronic and intellectual sports witnessing a dramatic rise, we are eager to provide all the necessary support for investors looking to be part of this exciting and economically rewarding industry.”