When Saudi Arabia’s Mosaad Al-Dossary won the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018 in London, it highlighted that esports, already hugely popular in the region, was well on the way to becoming a profitable career path for its finest players.
Now, as gaming in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East continues to grow year on year, UAE-based firm Zone has developed a system that it hopes will transform the industry by providing users a unique play-to-earn environment.
Zone is a community-driven gamefi ecosystem formed on Algorand — a blockchain-based cryptocurrency platform — and founder and CEO Adi K Mishra says the new platform will allow a growing number of gamers, and not just the elite, to accumulate winnings by going up against participants from around the world.
“These are exciting times as we launch on-gaming challenges for the masses,” he said. “We can now bring together our million-plus gamers from South Asia via our existing esports platform and integrate them into our Zone play-to-earn economy.
“Esports are witnessing substantial business demand in the current market scenario, thus driving the overall gaming industry across the Middle East. Having achieved a more than successful funding round, we at Zone move forward with a clear vision of revolutionizing this space and in tandem creating a host of new challenges for like-minded gamers.”
With gaming on the rise in the Middle East, especially in Saudi and the UAE, the industry is now recognized as a platform for governments and brands to reach a global audience, and its popularity is now eclipsing the film and music industries.
In October, a Japan-Saudi Arabia esports competition was held over two days during the Tokyo Game Show 2021, Asia’s largest gaming fair, with hosts eventually running out winners in all the five different games that were contested.
The match-up had been announced in August 2018 by the Japan eSports Union at the invitation of Prince Faisal bin Bandar Al-Saud, president of the Saudi Arabia Federation of International eSports and the Arab eSports Federation.
The Saudi Arabian leg of the contest was originally scheduled to be held in July of this year but has been rescheduled for 2022.