Games publisher Riot Games has partnered with multinational technology company Intel to revamp this year’s Intel Arabian Cup (IAC).
As part of the deal, the IAC will feature a prize pool of $130,000 (~£100,000) as part of ongoing efforts to develop talent in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
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According to the release, the revamped IAC will feature separate competitions for Riot Games’ popular titles League of Legends, VALORANT and League of Legends: Wild Rift for the first time.
To celebrate the launch of the third edition of the IAC, Riot Games and Intel held a virtual press conference that was attended by key senior officials including Karim Hachani, Head of Publishing MENA at Riot Games; Marcus Kennedy, Intel’s General Manager of Client Computing Group — Gaming and Esports Segment; and Ali Riza Kucuk, Intel’s Regional Consumer Director — Middle East, Turkey and Africa.
Kennedy revealed more details about Intel’s new ARC graphic processor units and its 12th Generation processor. With Intel onboard since its inaugural edition, Kucuk said supporting the IAC is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to develop the gaming landscape and that its partnership with Riot Games is crucial to nurturing local talent.
The IAC will also consist of the IAC Playground amateur tournament which has a total prize fund of $30,000 (~£23,000). The IAC Playground will be held separately in three different sub-regions: the GCC and Iraq, Levant and Egypt and North Africa.
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Hachani commented on the IAC revamp: “We listened to feedback from previous participating teams and with the ongoing support of Intel, we have reworked the format of this year’s Intel Arabian Cup.
“The new format will not only significantly enhance the experience but also launch new tournaments based on our gaming titles which will help attract more experienced and aspiring players, so they can be part of what has become one of the most popular gaming tournaments in the region.”
He continued: “This is another important step to nurture the incredible talent that we have in this region and we look forward to seeing some enthralling matches over the next few months.”
Esports Insider says: Esports viewership in MENA is growing six percent quicker than global esports viewership, according to Newzoo data cited in the press conference. Investing in the IAC therefore seems like a smart move. Both esports giants are showing their dedication to growing the regional esports scene and upgrading the existing format of the competition to better cater to fans.