Calyx and Riot Games partner to host Intel Arabian Cup Playground

Image credit: Calyx, Riot Games

Esports tournament organiser and production company Calyx has partnered with game publisher Riot Games to host the Intel Arabian Cup (IAC) Playground series.

The two-season-long esports tournament will feature amateur players from Iraq and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Specifically, tournaments will be played on VALORANT, League of Legends, and League of Legends: Wild Rift.

The VALORANT tournament will act as a regional qualifier for a place in the second season of VRL MENA (Middle East and North Africa). Meanwhile, the top two League of Legends teams will secure a place in the qualifiers for season two of the Intel Arabian Cup.

IAC Playground tournaments will also see players compete for a share of $15,000 (~£12,428) in prize money that will be split across the two seasons. Additionally, the seasons will be broadcast across the Calyx website, Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook.

Hakim Abu Nahel, Competitive Experience Professional at Riot Games MENA, spoke on the deal: “The IAC Playground is a grassroots circuit designed to provide a fantastic competitive experience to our League of Legends, VALORANT and WildRift players across the MENA region.

“We are proud to announce that the Playground circuit will also act as a stepping stone for aspiring teams and players to compete for an opportunity to qualify for high-tier tournaments such as the VRL for VALORANT and IAC Prestige Division for League of Legends.”

This isn’t the first time Calyx and Riot Games have teamed up for an esports event. In June 2021, the two parties collaborated on Battle of the Rift, the first League of Legends: Wild Rift tournament to take place in the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, VALORANT Regional League MENA: Resilience is another project between Calyx and Riot Games. The company is the current operator of the VRL.

Founded in 2018, Calyx is a subsidiary of Dubai-based gaming and esports company Hockwood Games.

Sunderesan Iyer, Vice President of Business Development at Hockwood Games, commented: “Our vision for Calyx is to be the home of esports in the region. Through this partnership with Riot Games once again, we are providing a professional platform to support the regional gaming community. We are proud to now offer a way for amateur gamers to compete at the global stage with Riot.”

Jonno Nicholson
Jonno is a Freelance News Writer for Esports Insider and has been part of the ESI team since 2019! His interests include the rapid rise of sim racing and its impact on the wider industry.