Saudi Arabia is strategically positioning itself as a global hub for gaming and esports, as the Kingdom continues to embrace technology and its nuanced advances. At a world forum in Riyadh, Mohammed Saud Al-Tamimi, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission, revealed that “89% of the Saudi population are gamers, It is the highest per capita globally.” Not too long ago, Bloomberg also released an article stating that the Kingdom is making drastic strides in diversifying its economy, and investing a total of $38 billion to become the world’s premiere hub for gaming, so let’s see what the Kingdom has in store for all the gamers out there.
Well, for starters Gamers8 is back again for its second edition with an event dubbed “The Land of Heroes.” What makes this year’s edition of the esports tournament ever so special? The worlds of music and gaming will be colliding with performances by four-time Grammy Award-winning rapper and Thrift Shop singer Macklemore on July 14 as well as chart-topping band Imagine Dragons on July 28.
Organized by the Saudi Esports Federation, Gamers8 concerts will be held every Friday night at Mohammed Abdu Arena at Boulevard Riyadh City for the festival’s eight-week duration. In addition to the two global acts, Local favorite Rabeh Sager has already been unveiled as the opening night headliner on Friday, July 7. A lineup of local, regional, and global stars also appearing throughout the summer in Riyadh will continue to be announced.
Ahmed Al Bishri, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Saudi Esports Federation, comments: “We are thrilled to announce Macklemore and Imagine Dragons as headliners for the Gamers8 concerts in July. These concerts mark that magical moment where gaming and music unite, offering a unique experience to fans across Saudi Arabia and beyond. We believe that this artist lineup will hugely excite fans and usher in concert nights at Gamers8 that create memories to last a lifetime.”
In its first edition in 2022, Gamers8 saw the likes of afrobeat Nigerian legend Wizkid, Sudanese rapper Dafencii, Egyptian musician Afroto, and many more regional talents take to the stage. The 2023 Gamers8 saw the world’s best teams and players battle it out across five top title – Rocket League, Dota 2 Riyadh Masters, Fortnite, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six® Siege and PUBG MOBILE– for a prize pool of $15 million. This year’s total prize pool is over $45 million– triple last year’s grand prize total– and will host the elite of esports in a state of the art, purpose-built venue at Boulevard Riyadh City. The festival will conclude with a gaming and esports forum, known as the Next World Forum, that brings together sector leaders and experts from around the world.
For anyone looking to attend the concerts, head to this link for tickets and more information on the event.