Saudi ‘gamer’ prince announces eSports World Cup


Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that the country will host an eSports World Cup next year. This tournament will include the most popular e-games in the world in all genres and have the largest prize money in e-Sports history, according to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Mohammed says the e-Sports World Cup “is the natural next step” in this country’s quest to become the leading global hub for e-games and e-sports.

The first eSports World Cup is expected to take place in Saudi Arabia next summer and will take the place of the eight-week long e-gaming and e-sports event Gamers8, which this year has prize money of a total of $45 million (about R852 million) had.

Mohammed says the eSports World Cup “will be complemented with a diversified set of activities and events that will attract visitors and tourists to Riyadh, the capital, and transform it into a gaming capital”.

The 38-year-old crown prince is himself an avid “gamer” and believes to be a Call of Duty player in particular. Saudi Arabia has invested a lot in this sector recently.

Just last year, Mohammed bin Salman announced a $38 billion investment strategy for the kingdom’s Savvy Games Group. The goal is to create a total of 39,000 e-sports-related jobs by 2030.

Officials also want to turn Saudi Arabia into an “Eden for game developers” who can produce new titles “that can promote Saudi and Arab culture”.

It was not specified Monday which games and activities will be offered at the first eSports World Cup next year.

More details about the tournament are expected to be announced early next year.