October 27, 2023
In a groundbreaking announcement, Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, revealed the creation of the Esports World Cup. This highly anticipated event, scheduled to take place in Riyadh in the summer of 2024, is set to revolutionize the Esports landscape and provide unprecedented opportunities for gamers around the globe.
The Esports World Cup will replace the renowned Gamers8 festival held in Saudi Arabia. Gamers8 featured 20 different competitions across popular titles such as League of Legends, Fortnite, DOTA 2, FIFA 23, Rainbow Six Siege, PUBG Mobile, and Starcraft II. With a staggering prize pool of $45 million, it became the largest Esports tournament in history.
While the specific games for the Esports World Cup have yet to be announced, it is expected to include the most popular titles across all genres. With an even larger prize pool, this tournament will undoubtedly attract the best gamers from around the world. The Esports World Cup marks a significant milestone in the growth and diversification of the Esports industry.
According to the recently published “India Games Market Report 2023” by Niko Partners, India is predominantly a mobile-first market, with 96.8% of gamers playing on smartphones or tablets. The opportunity to compete in the Esports World Cup with its substantial prize pools is expected to motivate Indian Esports athletes to explore different gaming titles and expand their horizons. This will contribute to the growth and diversity of the Esports industry in the country.
Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and VP of Asian Esports Federation, views the Esports World Cup as a historic moment for the global Esports community. This tournament not only celebrates Esports but also unites industry stakeholders on a global scale. The massive prize pool and diverse title offerings will undoubtedly inspire Esports athletes and aspiring gamers in India to broaden their horizons and branch out to different titles.
The previous edition of Gamers8 recorded a cumulative viewership of 1.3 billion, with peak concurrent viewers reaching 1 million. The Esports World Cup is expected to surpass these numbers, providing high visibility and prestige to Indian athletes participating in the tournament. This increased exposure will attract more investments from sponsors, legacy brands, and venture capitalists, further bolstering the Indian Esports community.
Animesh Agarwal, Co-founder of S8UL and Founder & CEO of 8Bit Creatives, believes that the Esports World Cup in Saudi Arabia will be a transformative journey for the Indian Esports ecosystem. This tournament will not only provide a platform for talented players to showcase their skills on the world stage but also foster international collaboration and inspire a new generation of gamers in India.
India has witnessed remarkable growth in Esports in recent years, with notable achievements in international competitions. The nation fielded a historic 15-member contingent in the Asian Games 2022, competing in titles like DOTA 2, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, League of Legends, and EA Sports FC Online. With the creation of the Esports World Cup and the Olympic Esports Games, India's Esports talents will have even more global platforms to showcase their skills.
Mayank Prajapati, who represented India in Street Fighter V: Champion Edition at the Asian Games 2022, sees the Esports World Cup as a window of opportunity for every gamer in India. This tournament has the potential to propel Indian players to prominence and expand the talent pool in various gaming titles, taking the entire sector to new heights.
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