RIYADH: The world’s largest esports and gaming festival will return to Riyadh this summer for its second edition, with a world-record prize pool of $30 million.
Kicking off on July 6 under the title “Gamers8: The Land of Heroes,” the eight-week event will feature an array of esports competition, live music by renowned artists, shows, community gaming and education platforms, and secondary activities.
Taking place at the purpose-built venue in Riyadh Boulevard City, the event is looking to become the target destination this summer for gamers and entertainment seekers alike, according to chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation Prince Faisal bin Bandar.
Prince Faisal said: “The Land of Heroes is the place for world-class esports champions and gaming universe lovers. It is the ultimate occasion where you can compete for glory and become a hero walking among the worlds of your chosen story.
“Showcasing the most popular titles on the planet will be amplified even further this summer. To be frank, when we mean bigger and better this summer, we truly mean it. We cannot wait to reveal what we have in store for ‘Gamers8: The Land of Heroes.’”
Following the success of last year’s inaugural festival, which saw 1.4 million visits, the second edition doubles the grand prize pool of $15 million.
In 2022, gaming leagues from across the globe battled in top five titles, including Rocket League, Fortnite, Dota 2 Riyadh Masters, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, and PUBG Mobile.
It witnessed the participation of 391 top players from 61 countries and 113 international teams.
While the 2023 entertainment calendar has yet to be released, it promises bigger and better elite competitions, unlocking new challenges and experiences every week.
Paralleling last year’s agenda, Gamers8 will conclude with the Next World Forum, the first-of-its-kind esports and gaming platform. This will bring together industry leaders, global players, and investors from all over the world to engage in a sequence of panel discussions, workshops and activations. The forum hones in on the future of the industry.
Gamers8 is an initiative established under the Saudi Esports Federation that seeks to build an infrastructure around the gaming industry, create communities and ecosystems around esport, provide viable jobs for local creatives, and position the Kingdom as a global esports hub.
With more than 23.5 million Saudis considering themselves gamers, the esports festival hopes to create an avenue where people not only enjoy the games, but also forge a career path through their passion, Prince Faisal told Arab News in an exclusive interview last year.