Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia sets up $10 million esports charity tournament for gamers

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Saudi Arabia has set up a new charity esports event to raise money to fight the coronavirus pandemic with a $10 million prize fund.

Gamers will be able to compete for their chance to decide where the prize money goes in the tournament, known as Gamers Without Borders by Saudi, and will take place between April 24 and June 7.

The competition comes as the COVID-19 coronavirus keeps people at home, shuts businesses, and restricts travel to a minimum. Countries around the world have implemented strict lockdown measures to combat the virus, which has caused over 175,000 deaths worldwide with untold economic repercussions.

“Much of the world is in lockdown. Many feel helpless in response and alone. Yet the simple beauty of esports is that it is digital by design and can be enjoyed by everyone, anywhere and at any time. It has never been more relevant and now is the time for all gamers to join together and contribute to the cause,” said Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, chairman of the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS).

SAFEIS is organizing the event with the technical support of ESL, the world’s largest esports company.

The tournament will be open to anyone, and feature a two-tier system. Amateurs and gaming enthusiasts can compete across six global community tournaments each week, with the best performers climbing up for a chance to compete in the upper tier against the world’s most elite gamers.

At the elite level, a share of the $10 million prize fund is up for grabs and set to be distributed to one of 12 different charities selected by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

All the tournaments will be streamed live with support in eight different languages, including Arabic, English, and Mandarin, according to a statement.

“In this difficult period where the world feels more disconnected and distant than ever before, we are extremely proud that, through Gamers Without Borders, our Kingdom will unite and connect the global gaming community in response to COVID-19 and ultimately help save lives,” added Prince Faisal.

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