RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday announced the launch of the Esports World Cup to be held annually in Riyadh starting summer 2024.
Touted to be the largest global event of its kind, it will serve as a platform that supports the gaming and esports sector and consolidates Saudi Arabia’s position as a hub for international esports.
The launch of the tournament is expected to materialize the goals envisioned in Saudi Arabia’s National Gaming and Esports Strategy. The strategy aims to increase the sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product by more than SR50 billion ($13.3 billion) by 2030 and create 39,000 new job opportunities.
The crown prince also announced the establishment of the Esports World Cup Foundation, a nonprofit organization to increase collaboration between esports stakeholders.
These developments were announced during “The New Global Sports Conference” in the Saudi capital, said a press release.
“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,” said the crown prince.
He added: “The competition will enhance our progress toward realizing the Vision 2030 objectives of diversifying the economy, growing the tourism sector, creating new jobs in various industries, and providing world-class entertainment for citizens, residents, and visitors alike.”
Developing the esports sector is very crucial for Saudi Arabia, as the Kingdom is steadily diversifying its economy in line with the goals outlined in Vision 2030.
The annual esports event is also expected to increase the tourist inflow to the Kingdom.
The Esports World Cup will feature several popular games across various genres, and the tournament also boasts to provide the largest prize pools for winners ever offered in esports history. Moreover, the event will be complemented by a diversified set of activities and events for people who visit the event.
The press statement added that the Esports World Cup Foundation will reveal more details about the event in the initial months of 2024.