The event is envisaged as a crucial catalyst for economic diversification, job creation, and world-class entertainment in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud has announced the launch of the Esports World Cup, an annual global gaming event that will debut in the summer of 2024. He made the announcement during The New Global Sport Conference in Riyadh.
The Esports World Cup aims to position Saudi Arabia as the premier global hub for gaming and esports, signaling a significant leap in the Kingdom’s commitment to diversifying its economy and boosting the tourism and entertainment sectors.
In addition to unveiling the ESports World Cup, Prince Mohammed bin Salman also introduced the Esports World Cup Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering collaboration within the esports community and ensuring the sector’s long-term sustainability. The announcement marks a pivotal moment in Saudi Arabia’s journey to becoming a central player in international esports and sports competitions.
The Crown Prince emphasised the tournament’s role in realising the Vision 2030 objectives, citing the Esports World Cup as a crucial catalyst for economic diversification, job creation, and world-class entertainment. He described the event as the “natural next step” in Saudi Arabia’s evolution into a global gaming powerhouse, offering an unparalleled esports experience that pushes industry boundaries.
Building on the success of local esports events like GAMERS8, the Esports World Cup aligns with Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to nurture and expand the esports sector. The tournament will feature a diverse array of popular games and boast the largest prize pool in esports history, creating a unique cross-game competition format to determine the ultimate Esports World Cup Champion.
Moreover, the Esports World Cup aims to provide a thriving environment for players, clubs, and the overall esports sector, supporting the National Gaming and Esports Strategy. This strategy, targeting a contribution of more than SR50bn to the Kingdom’s GDP and the creation of 39,000 new jobs by 2030, is expected to gain momentum through the tournament’s implementation.
The Esports World Cup will be complemented by a range of activities and events, turning Riyadh into a gaming capital and attracting visitors and tourists. This strategic move aims to mitigate the traditional summer decline in hotel occupancy rates, tourism spending, restaurant & cafe spending, and consumer purchasing power, presenting a significant opportunity for Saudi tourism.
As the Esports World Cup Foundation prepares to reveal additional details in the coming year, the gaming world eagerly anticipates the transformative impact of this ambitious venture on the global esports landscape.