Football and music stars are set to compete head-to-head in a charity tournament on the football video game FIFA 20 as part of Saudi Arabia’s $10 million Gamers Without Borders esports charity event.
Some participants have been revealed ahead of the tournament, set to take place this weekend, including Juventus player Paulo Dybala, Spurs’ Dele Alli, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Portugal’s João Félix and Andre Silva.
For musicians, One Direction singer Liam Payne is set to join, with other stars set to be unveiled throughout the week.
“Lots of my teammates and footballing friends are massively into their gaming. Playing the likes of FIFA over the last few months has kept us connected and competitive for when we get back out there for real,” Dele said in a statement from Gamers Without Borders.
“Gamers Without Borders is a brilliant way for the gamers all over the world to come together for good causes and support these charities fighting COVID-19. I’m looking forward to seeing what Paulo has in the locker for our match!” he added.
Gamers Without Borders is Saudi Arabia’s esports fundraiser, which has since become the biggest esports charity event ever, with 120,000 players competing from over 72 countries.
Gamers from around the world have been competing in a variety of online multiplayer games including “Call of Duty,” “Fortnite” and “Rainbow Six: Siege,” with the winners deciding where the $10 million prize pool will be sent.
“Gaming has brought people together and provided a bit [of] fun for many over the last few months. I’m a massive fan and love FIFA, so I’m looking forward to a chance to join some amazing footballers in supporting these charities fighting COVID-19 with Gamers Without Borders,” said Payne in the statement.
The tournament has been organized by the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS) with technical support of ESL, the world’s largest esports company.
The tournament is open to anyone, and features 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 can be distributed to one of 12 different charities selected by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, including GAVI, UNICEF, Direct Relief, International Medical Corps, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRELIEF), Norwegian Refugee Council, and the International Telecommunications Union.
The tournament will end on Sunday, while $8.5 million of the total prize money has already been donated.
Fans will be able to watch the weekend’s match on streaming sites online including Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Huya.