Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans to initiate an annual Esports World Cup, set to feature some of the world’s most popular games and offers the largest prize pool in esports history, according to a statement from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
This competition is scheduled to become a recurring event in Riyadh, commencing in the summer of 2024. Participants from various clubs will engage in diverse genres of games, all striving to clinch the title of Esports World Cup champion.
Sports, esports, and gaming have all been integral components of the Saudi Crown Prince’s ambitious transformation initiative, Vision 2030. This strategic plan involves substantial investments, amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars, to diversify the Saudi economy and decrease its dependency on oil.
Savvy Games Group, an entity owned by the sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, had previously announced its commitment to invest 142 billion riyals (equivalent to $37.8 billion) in endeavours focused on positioning Saudi Arabia as a global epicentre for gaming.
As part of this initiative, the nation aims to establish 250 domestic gaming companies, generating 39,000 job opportunities, and elevating the gaming sector’s contribution to the Saudi GDP to 50 billion riyals by 2030.
In the crown prince’s words, “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.”
Furthermore, this competition aligns with the objectives of Vision 2030, envisaging a boost in tourism, job creation, and entertainment offerings for both residents and visitors alike.