Esports World Cup: Saudi Arabia launches one of the largest gaming events

The event, said to be the largest of its kind, will include the most popular games in the world across all genres and have the largest prize pool in esports history.

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Saudi Arabia has launched the Esports World Cup to be held annually in Riyadh starting summer 2024, the Saudi Crown Prince announced on Monday.

The event, said to be the largest of its kind, will include the most popular games in the world across all genres and have the largest prize pool in esports history, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

“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,” the Crown Prince was quoted as saying.

“The competition will enhance our progress towards 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.”

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The announcement came during the New Global Sport Conference hosted in the Kingdom with senior officials and global leaders in sports, gaming and esports sectors in attendance.

Aiming to transform Riyadh into a gaming capital, the tournament builds on the gaming passion widely seen in the Saudi youth population and on homegrown esports successes, including the first and second editions of GEMERS8, according to SPA.

Additional details on the competition will be revealed in early 2024.

Esports to boost Kingdom’s GDP

The Esports World Cup aims to increase the gaming sector’s contribution to Saudi Arabia’s GDP by more than SAR50 billion and create 39,000 new jobs by 2030.

The competition will be held to boost tourism during summer, a time when Saudi Arabia experiences an average 16 percent drop in hotel occupancy rates, an 18 percent decrease in tourism spending and a 13 percent decline in restaurant and cafe spending, according to the SPA.

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