The kingdom is driving investments and training local talent to become a powerhouse in eSports.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has announced the kick off of an annual eSports World Cup that will host the most popular games in the world and offer the largest prize pool in eSports history.
The online tournament, said to be the largest of its kind, is set to carve the Saudi kingdom’s name into the industry and create 39,000 eSports-related jobs by 2030.
“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,” the crown prince said.
“The competition will enhance our progress toward realising the Vision 2030 objectives of diversifying the economy, growing the tourism sector, creating new jobs in various industries, and providing world-class entertainment for citizens, residents, and visitors alike,” MBS added.
MBS, said to be an avid Call of Duty gamer, has pushed for investments in the industry in recent years. Since his appointment, the country has acquired over $3 billion worth of stock in US video-game developers, including Activision Blizzard Inc., which produces the Call of Duty franchise.
Last year, the kingdom announced a $38bn investment strategy for the Savvy Games Group, owned by the Public Investment Fund.
“We are harnessing the untapped potential across the esports and games sector to diversify our economy,” MBS said last September when he announced the creation of the Savvy Games Group.