Esports has become one of the fastest-growing industries in recent years, with millions of fans tuning in to watch their favorite teams compete in a variety of games. In Saudi Arabia, the Gamers8 festival has quickly become a highly-anticipated event for esports enthusiasts, and it’s now set to return in 2023 with an outstanding prize pool of over $30 million.
If you’re an Esports fan and want to learn more about this huge event, or you just want to better understand this world, keep reading to get lots of interesting details. We’re exploring the boom of eSports in Saudi Arabia, the teams participating in this event, and many more.
What is Gamers8?
Gamers8 is a Saudi Arabian esports festival that first launched in 2019. The inaugural event was a massive success, gathering more than 25,000 attendees and featuring a range of popular esports titles like FIFA 19, Fortnite, PUBG, CS:GO, and Dota 2. In addition to the tournaments, the festival also featured a variety of other activities, including a cosplay competition, a VR zone, and a gaming marketplace.
After the success of the first event, it was clear that there was a strong appetite for esports in Saudi Arabia. The country has long been interested in gaming, with a vibrant community of players and fans. The rise of esports has only added to this, with major tournaments and events taking place across the region.
Rise of eSports in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Araba is one of the leading countries in the world when talking about eSports development. The discipline has grown exponentially in popularity in the past decade. This boom is attributed to the around 30 million gamers in the country but also to the special support from the royal family and local government.
In 2017, the General Sports Authority established the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS) to oversee the development and regulation of eSports in the country.
Furthermore, The Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has been a strong supporter of the industry, recognizing its potential as an economic and cultural driver. In 2018, he announced the launch of the Future Investment Initiative (FII), which included a significant focus on eSports. The FII included the largest eSports tournament in the Middle East, with a prize pool of $2 million.
The prince is also the Chairman of the Saudi eSports Federation and said about the 2023 edition of Gamers8 that it’s showcasing the most popular titles on the planet and it will be bigger and better than ever before.
What to Expect from Gamers8 2023 Edition
Now, Gamers8 is set to return in 2023, and fans are eagerly anticipating what the festival has in store. With the biggest prize pool ever (and second biggest for an eSports event that is not a Major), this festival has everything needed to write history.
One of the most exciting aspects of Gamers8 is the sheer variety of activities on offer. While the esports tournaments are undoubtedly the main draw, there are also plenty of other things to see and do. For example, the VR zone is set to make a return, giving attendees a chance to experience cutting-edge virtual reality technology. To read about what happens at Gamers8 this year, check out the website www.arabic-casinos.org which covers everything happening in the Arab world concerning eSports and gaming. Gamers8 has also confirmed that there will also be a dedicated cosplay competition, where fans can show off their impressive costumes and compete for prizes.
Perhaps most interestingly, there will be a number of panels and talks featuring some of the biggest names in esports. These sessions will cover a range of topics, from the future of esports to the challenges facing players and teams. Fans will have the opportunity to hear from experts in the industry and learn more about the world of competitive gaming.
No Lack of Controversy
Even though everything surrounding Gamers8 sounds excellent, and fans simply can’t wait for the festival to start, there are a few things that still need to be ironed out. First of all, just like last year, one important Rocket League team – Moist eSports – will not take part this year either.
The controversy began during the first edition of the festival as a boycott to raise awareness of the country’s stance on the LGBTQ+ community. While this position is regrettable, as it would’ve been wonderful to see all the greats at the starting line, the ability to stand up for what the team believes in is admirable.
All in all, the return of Gamers8 is another example of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to diversify its economy. For many years, the country has been heavily reliant on oil exports, but this has left it vulnerable to fluctuations in the global market. In recent years, the Saudi Arabian government has been working to develop other industries, including technology and tourism. Esports is a perfect fit for this strategy, as it combines both of these areas.
Overall, the return of Gamers8 in 2023 is a hugely exciting development for esports fans in Saudi Arabia and beyond. With a range of tournaments, activities, and talks, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Additionally, the festival has the potential to bring significant economic benefits to the country, as well as promote the development of the lucrative esports industry in the region.