Saudi Arabia targets esports growth through new tech partnership

Saudi Arabia is aiming to expand its presence in esports through a new strategic partnership designed to provide technical support ahead of the country this summer hosting the world’s most lucrative esports competition.

The Saudi Esports Federation (SEF) and Stc Group will work together to strengthen the gaming ecosystem and support the country’s target of becoming a global hub for esports and gaming.

Through the partnership, Stc Play has been named a strategic sponsor for SEF’s major events this year, including Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, the Saudi eLeague, Voices of Saudi Esports, the EFC and the SEF Awards. SEF said all events across its calendar will benefit from high-speed internet, provided onsite by Stc.

The partnership will also offer support in a number of other areas at the upcoming Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, the huge gaming and esports event hosted at a purpose-built venue in Boulevard Riyadh City from July 6 for eight weeks. The gaming platform Stc Play will operate as the main tournament platform for community tournaments at the event as well as other gaming workshops alongside some of the biggest names at this year’s event.

The event is offering a $45m prize pool across the elite gaming titles taking place in the competition this summer – which SEF claims to be the largest esports prize pool in history.

An SEF spokesperson said: “The InspireU from Stc, the accelerator that promotes, supports and develops digital innovation and entrepreneurship within the kingdom, will have a major on-ground presence, connecting with up-and-coming Saudi companies in the gaming and esports industries.”

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