October 31, 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 a new era of opportunity and competition 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 an unprecedented prize pool of $45 million, it became the largest in the history of Esports tournaments.
While the specific titles for the Esports World Cup are yet to be announced, it is expected to include the most popular games across all genres. With the largest prize pool in Esports history, this tournament will attract top talent and showcase the pinnacle of competitive gaming.
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 Esports World Cup presents a unique opportunity for Indian Esports athletes to diversify into less popular gaming titles and secure a spot at the tournament. 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 will not only celebrate Esports but also unite industry stakeholders on a global scale. The massive prize pool and diverse title offerings will motivate Esports athletes and aspiring gamers in India to broaden their horizons and explore different gaming titles.
The 2023 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, promote Esports growth in India, and inspire a new generation of gamers to pursue their dreams.
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 Esports World Cup and the planned Olympic Esports Games, India's Esports talents will have multiple global platforms to showcase their skills and represent their country.
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.
The Esports World Cup is set to be a game-changing event for gamers worldwide. With its massive prize pool, diverse title offerings, and global platform, this tournament will reshape the Esports scene and provide unprecedented opportunities for Esports athletes. Indian gamers, in particular, have a unique chance to showcase their skills and contribute to the growth and diversity of the Esports industry in the country. Let's embrace this historic moment and redefine what it means to be a part of the global Esports family.
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