His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman Announces Inaugural Esports World Cup in Riyadh
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, has unveiled an ambitious endeavor aimed at propelling the Kingdom into the forefront of the global esports and gaming landscape. In an announcement of great significance, the Crown Prince has declared the establishment of the Esports World Cup, a monumental annual event set to debut in the summer of 2024 in Riyadh.
This groundbreaking initiative seeks to bolster the gaming and esports industry while simultaneously elevating Saudi Arabia's standing as a premier global destination for international esports and sports competitions. In conjunction with the Esports World Cup, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman has inaugurated the Esports World Cup Foundation, a non-profit organization with a clear mission of fostering cooperation among stakeholders in the esports ecosystem and advancing the sector's sustainability.
The momentous revelation transpired during "The New Global Sport Conference," a prestigious event hosted by the Kingdom. This conference drew senior officials and distinguished global leaders from the sports, gaming, and esports sectors, setting the stage for the landmark announcement.
HRH the Crown Prince articulated the profound impact of the Esports World Cup on Saudi Arabia's multifaceted objectives, stating, "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 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."
The launch of the Esports World Cup is a testament to the Kingdom's unwavering commitment to nurturing and expanding the esports sector, as well as its aspirations to extend the frontiers of entertainment and sports both domestically and internationally. Moreover, this tournament will serve as a catalyst, capitalizing on the remarkable passion for gaming among Saudi Arabia's youth-majority population and building on homegrown esports accomplishments like the first and second editions of GAMERS8.
The Esports World Cup holds the potential to expedite the realization of the National Gaming and Esports Strategy, which aims to increase the sector's contribution to the Kingdom's GDP by more than SAR50 billion by 2030 and generate 39,000 new employment opportunities.
At the heart of the Esports World Cup is a commitment to providing a nurturing environment for the growth and sustainability of players, clubs, and the sector as a whole. It will encompass the most popular games across all genres and feature the largest prize pool in the annals of esports. Furthermore, a unique cross-game competition format will incentivize clubs to vie for the coveted title of Esports World Cup Champion, bolstering the growth and resilience of esports clubs worldwide.
The Esports World Cup extends beyond the confines of traditional gaming competitions, offering a comprehensive array of activities and events designed to enthrall visitors and tourists, ultimately transforming Riyadh into a hub for gaming enthusiasts. In addition, the indoor tournament will play a pivotal role in boosting Saudi tourism during the summer season, addressing the common ills of a 16% drop in hotel occupancy rates, an 18% decline in tourism spending, a 13% reduction in restaurant and cafe spending, and a 9% dip in consumer purchasing power during this period.
The Esports World Cup Foundation will unveil further details about this groundbreaking event in the early months of the forthcoming year. The future promises a new era of esports and gaming excellence, marked by Saudi Arabia's unwavering commitment to fostering innovation, collaboration, and sustainable growth in the sector.