Saudi Arabia has just signed a massive contract in the field of e-sports. One goal: to become the leader in a sector that is popular worldwide, and the leading cultural market in many countries.
On January 26, 2022, Saudi Arabia announced the merger-acquisition of the European e-sports leagues ESL Gaming and FACEIT.
#PIF announces the launch of Savvy Gaming Group, chaired by HRH Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Chairman of PIF.
The Group aims to lead the national and international gaming and e-sports industry.https://t.co/5Lsp0ABAKE pic.twitter.com/yDv9FV2bGJ
— Public Investment Fund (@PIF_en) January 26, 2022
A transaction valued at a cool 1.5 billion dollars. An impressive sum considering that the Swedish entertainment company Modern Times Group, offered less than $100 million to acquire ESL Gaming in 2015.
“The new company will create the ultimate platform for competitive gaming”The ESL-FACEIT website.
Gaming, an asset of the “Vision 2030” plan
This is not the first time the Kingdom, host of several e-sport tournaments in recent months, has shown interest in the burgeoning discipline. The Savvy Gaming Group, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, himself a notorious gamer, aspires to become a leader in the gaming sector. Saudi Arabia is already considered the most developed market in the Middle East in this sector, with a value of one billion dollars in 2021.
According to a statement from the Saudi Public Investment Funds (PIF), the establishment of Savvy Gaming Group is part of the diversification of the Saudi economy’s revenue sources. The PIF plans to invest $40 billion per year in the Saudi economy for five years. The video game industry has a bright future ahead of it in the Middle East.