Saudi Arabia Esports Drive: Beyond Allegations into Limelight

Esports has seen a significant surge in Saudi Arabia, marked by various major announcements and events.

Esports World Cup in Saudi Arabia: Pioneering Venture

A significant milestone is the announcement of the Esports World Cup, slated to commence annually from Summer 2024 in Riyadh, as unveiled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino. This annual competition aims to “push the boundaries of the industry,” enhancing Saudi Arabia’s position on the global esports stage.

Riyadh 2023 Global Esports Games: Celebrating Esports Culture

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is set to host the Riyadh 2023 Global Esports Games from December 12-17, 2023, which is a global, multi-title esports competition celebrating esports culture and entertainment.

Additionally, the Saudi Esports Federation announced the return of Gamers8 in 2023, a gaming and esports festival boasting a prize pool of $30 million and spanning eight weeks, encompassing esports competitions, panel discussions, workshops, and concerts.

Saudi Arabia National Strategy: Vision of Digital Evolution

The efforts to bolster the esports scene are part of Saudi Arabia’s National Gaming & Esports Strategy, aiming to transform the nation into a world hub for esports events. This is aligned with the broader Vision 2030 initiative which seeks to diversify the economy, enrich the tourism sector and create new employment opportunities across various industries.

Savvy Games Group: Orchestrating Esports Progression

The upcoming Esports World Cup is organized by Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games Group, which has strengthened its hold on the esports tournament landscape through strategic acquisitions.

This initiative, backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, reflects the nation’s investment in esports and traditional sports, despite facing allegations of “sportswashing” which, according to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will not hinder their plans.

This series of developments underscores the Saudi ambitious drive to become a central hub in the global esports ecosystem, fostering a vibrant community of gamers and enthusiasts while contributing to the nation’s socio-economic goals.

For a detailed exploration, you may refer to the original articles on Reuters,,, and Esports Insider linked in the citations.

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