Following the $30 million Gamers8 event this summer, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced the establishment of an annual Esports World Cup in summer 2024.
The Saudi Esports Federation and the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Sport launched the Esports World Cup at the New Global Sport Conference in Riyadh. The announcement comes barely two months after the Gamers8 tournament.
Gamers8, which took place in Riyadh last summer, offered a $30 million prize pool spread over ten different esports titles such as Fortnite, Rocket League, Dota 2, PUBG, and Rainbow Six Siege. Cristiano Ronaldo, whose new team Al-Nassr FC has close ties to the country’s royal family, even supported the event.
Gamers8 and the announcement of the Esports World Cup are part of Saudi Arabia’s National Gaming & Esports Strategy, which aims to make the country a global hub for esports events and to “take a bigger role in international esports federations to ensure the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a seat at the table.”
This is part of a larger national drive known as Vision 2030, a game-changing plan to diversify the country’s economy.