RIYADH: The Saudi eSports Federation’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) fundraiser Gamers Without Borders has smashed new records for charity gaming after uniting more than 160,000 global players online in just four weeks.
Since getting underway on June 7, the $10 million gaming festival has managed to confirm its position as the world’s biggest charity esports event by welcoming gamers from 77 countries to more than 100,000 online matches by only its halfway point – an increase of more than 30,000 gamers on the same stage in 2020’s debut event.
Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, the federation’s chairman, said: “Within a week of our debut Gamers Without Borders back in 2020, we could already see the impact that the festival had. Gamers united in support of those suffering most and those on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19.”
In its elite series – where the biggest esports athletes and franchises in the world go head-to-head for a share of the charity prize fund – more than $4 million has already been donated to the likes of UNICEF, Gavi, and Direct Relief to support COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the world’s most vulnerable nations, following epic tournaments on titles including EA SPORTS&trade, FIFA 21, Fortnite, and CS:GO, with another $6 million to go.
The events have drawn more than 35 million online streams, with a huge global audience tuning in for in excess of 5.6 million hours so far.
Gamers Without Borders’ elite series tournaments have also attracted several A-list superstars to its live stream broadcast from its virtual studio, including football names Ronaldinho, Sergio Ramos, Jesse Lingard, and Dele Alli, British boxer Anthony Joshua, and Chance the Rapper.
This has helped the esports festival to a whopping 178 million views on its social content, driving more than 1.7 million gamers to its website as it expands on its debut year.
“That global battle continues, with gamers across the world doing their part. The proof of that is in the phenomenal number of gamers already seen getting involved in this year’s Gamers Without Borders, where our mission is to leave no one behind and do what we can to get much-needed COVID-19 vaccines distributed in the world’s most vulnerable nations,” the prince added.
“Both our elite series and community tournaments have been at the heart of that, where we have seen some incredible action over the last four-and-a-half weeks. I look forward to seeing what the remainder of this year’s Gamers Without Borders will bring to gamers in every corner of the globe.”