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Eye of Riyadh
Sports | Saturday 8 July, 2023 7:36 am |

Gamers8: The Land of Heroes officially starts eight weeks of incredible action

Riyadh’s night sky lit up this evening with dazzling fireworks and astonishing drone shows to announce the official start of Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, the biggest gaming and esports festival worldwide. Running for eight weeks until the end of August, the festival will host 15 elite tournaments from 12 top titles, rock the concert stage at Mohammed Abdu Arena with an electrifying lineup of global music stars and delight millions of visitors with entertainment zones and a raft of family-friendly activities.


The official opening ceremony was held at Riyadh Boulevard City and followed a press conference that welcomed journalists and media representatives at a dedicated media center. Speaking at the conference were Turki Alfawzan, CEO of the Saudi Esports Federation, and Ahmed Albishri, Deputy CEO of the Saudi Esports Federation, and Season Lead of Gamers8: The Land of Heroes.


“Gamers8 represents a vital step towards our grand vision of becoming a global gaming hub,” said Alfawzan. “We are driven by a commitment to providing cutting-edge entertainment offerings for our youth, invigorating the gaming and esports industry, nurturing and showcasing Saudi gaming talent, and expanding our tourism offerings to captivate audiences from near and far.


“Gamers8 Season 2023 is not just a standalone event – it is a testament to our ambitious global strategy. This strategy aligns seamlessly with the National Gaming and Esports Strategy, which encompasses six main pillars: esports, gaming consumption, game development, education and talent attraction, funds, and infrastructure, as well as technical and physical infrastructure. By embracing these pillars, we are forging a fruitful path and solidifying Saudi Arabia's position as a global leader in the gaming industry,” Alfawzan added.


With a $45 million total prize pool, Gamers8: The Land of Heroes will host: Fortnite, Tekken 7 Nations Cup, PUBG Mobile World Invitational, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six® Siege, Dota 2, StarCraft II, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Rocket League, PUBG Global Series 2, three FIFAe tournaments, and Street Fighter 6.




With a remarkable prize pool exceeding $45 million, triple that from last year, the festival sets a new standard in the industry,” added Alfawzan. “We are breaking records and pushing boundaries to pave the way for the future of gaming on a global scale. Our theme – ‘The Land of Heroes’ – represents Saudi Arabia as the ultimate destination for gamers from all corners of the world. Within the bounds of this extraordinary event, participants will discover a world filled with opportunities and endless possibilities.”


Organized by the Saudi Esports Federation, the Gamers8 action, which lasts for eight entertainment-packed weeks, began on July 6 at the purpose-built esports venue at Boulevard Riyadh City. The festival is renowned worldwide for bringing the virtual world of esports and gaming into the physical realm of Riyadh, a city which is the ideal setting for an ultra-modern entertainment extravaganza with big ideas and big ambitions. The big date blasts off a superb summer in Riyadh featuring the biggest esports competitions, live concerts from star local, regional, and international names, as well as festivals, shows, community gaming, education platforms, and fun-filled activities for all ages.


“For our esteemed visitors, this event will be unforgettable, acting as a gateway to unparalleled experiences that will leave you captivated and inspired,” commented Albishri.


“It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in elite competitions among the world's finest gamers, witness awe-inspiring global music performances, and explore your favorite gaming realms brought to life. You can also gain invaluable insights into the future of the gaming industry and connect with passionate gaming enthusiasts from all corners of the globe.


“Our next goal is to create a gaming, esports, and entertainment event that surpasses all expectations. We aim to present global premier talent, creativity, and technology that will position Gamers8 as a leading festival in the industry. With an expansive scope and unparalleled diversity, we aspire to compete with the most popular festivals worldwide. With that said, this season is built upon seven pillars that guide our approach, ensuring a comprehensive and fulfilling experience for all attendees.


“Gamers8 Season 2023 represents our unwavering dedication to the gaming, esports, and entertainment community. Together, with our visitors, gamers, artists, families and our esteemed sponsors – who have played a pivotal role in making this summer season a reality – we want to celebrate the spirit of gaming, embrace diversity, and forge lasting memories that will define the future of this industry,” concluded Albishri.


Gamers8: The Land of Heroes concludes with the Next World Forum, a gaming and esports forum held at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Center on August 30-31, that brings together sector leaders and experts from around the world.


Just some of the highlights from last year’s Gamers8 include: 


*1.4 million visitors


*132 million people watching the elite competitions


*392 professional players 


*113 international professional teams


*61 nationalities represented


*Eight nights of music at Boulevard Riyadh City throughout the summer that brought in an incredible total of 74,670 ticketholders, who enjoyed performances from 19 global artists, 10 Arab artists, and 17 local Saudi artists




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