The eyes of video game lovers turn to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, specifically the city of Riyadh, where the capital hosts, for the second year in a row, the final of the “Gamers” season organized by the Saudi Federation for Electronic Sports, which is the largest event for games and electronic sports in the world.
The event opened under the slogan “Gamers Season: Land of Champions” on July 6 and is scheduled to extend over 8 weeks in Riyadh, where it will host professional e-sports competitions, in addition to entertainment shows, concerts, educational activities, and much more.
The total prize pool for the competitions is $45 million, which is three times the total prize pool for last year’s edition.
In exclusive statements to Al-Arabiya.net, the CEO of the Saudi Electronic Sports Federation, Turki Al-Fouzan, said: “The launch of the second edition of the Gamers season represents, for us in the Saudi Federation for Electronic Sports, another important step towards our vision for the Kingdom to be at the forefront of the international scene. For the sector, which is not just an independent global event, but is evidence of our ambitious global strategy, which is in line with the national strategy for games and electronic sports launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, which means our commitment to development and providing more to reach and achieve the vision.
He also explained that the sector has the national strategy for games and electronic sports, which will make it launch economic contributions amounting to 50 billion riyals by 2030, and will create more than 39,000 job opportunities in development, publishing, infrastructure and other professions.
“We are all part of one national strategy, and our work is complementary to one goal.”
In his statements to Al-Arabiya.net, Al-Fouzan stressed the importance of the role of youth in the Kingdom, one of the main target groups in the gamers season, he said.
“The real revenue from Gamers Season: Land of Champions is the youth who will lead the future of the sector, and they are the real investment and inexhaustible wealth.”
In general, Al-Fouzan revealed that the Saudi Electronic Sports Federation, like any other entity, generates revenue from multiple sources such as sponsorship, broadcasting rights, ticket reservations, as well as the licenses it provides. It also works with other private and public entities to fund certain activities.
In addition to the youth category, the two pillars of competition and challenge are among the most important pillars of the season.
The first (competition) in which 12 e-sports tournaments are held in competitions with the participation of the best professional teams globally and locally, with a total prize pool of $45 million. While the second (challenge) is inclusiveness as its basis, as the federation believes that games and electronic sports should be available to everyone. “.
Therefore, Al-Fouzan says that Saudi Arabia holds community tournaments for amateurs, in which members of the e-sports gaming community participate. This ensures that everyone gets the opportunity to experience and feel competitive and challenged.
Regarding the union’s potential future investments, Al-Fouzan affirmed that the union has many projects and things that it is working on in the future.
“We aim not only to make new investments, but also to enhance our existing investments. Everything will be revealed in due course. Our investments mainly focus on providing platforms and support programs.”
The first edition of Gamers Season was held last year, and managed to establish the event as the largest gaming and esports event in the world.
The first season, according to special data from the Saudi Federation for Electronic Sports to Al Arabiya.net, witnessed the participation of 113 international professional teams and 391 professional players from 61 countries in multiple tournaments in the world’s most powerful electronic games such as “Rocket league”, “Dota 2” and “Fortnite”. and “PUBG Mobile” and “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege”, which awarded $15 million in prizes to the winning teams.
The competitions also witnessed the attendance of about 1.4 million visitors, and about 132 million people around the world watched the professional e-sports competitions.
In this context, Al-Fouzan affirmed that the federation is committed to continuing to build on this success and elevating the “Gamers Season: Land of Champions” to new dimensions.
This year’s competitions will feature some of the best professional players and teams from around the world who have been invited. In addition to the professional players and teams who qualified through competitions at Players Without Borders, the world’s largest esports charity event, which concluded recently. Community competitions will also be held within the “Gamers: Land of the Champions” season, and will be open to all who wish to participate.
Participation in esports events in Saudi Arabia has grown exponentially over the past few years, including the attendance of the world’s best esports players in in-person team tournaments. In addition to hosting high-level matches for professional and amateur players alike.
In November 2021, Saudi Arabia launched the “Safi Games” group, which is a group of electronic games affiliated with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, and its board of directors is chaired by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Public Investment Fund and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The group aims to develop the gaming and electronic sports sector, both locally and internationally.