Gaming hardware brand ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) has partnered with the Saudi Esports Federation (SEF) to sponsor the Saudi eLeagues as well as the Gamers8 festival.
Alongside brand exposure, the deal grants ASUS ROG a booth at Gamers8, an eight-week event taking place in Riyadh this summer. Moreover, the brand will provide PCs to the Saudi eLeagues. Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed.
Set to be held from July 14th, Gamers8 promises to be ‘the largest esports and gaming event worldwide’, featuring esports competitions, music concerts, comedy and magic shows, as well as a forum with leaders and experts from the sector.
The Riyadh Boulevard City will host the event at a venue built especially for the occasion. Titles to be featured are Rocket League, Dota 2, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege and PUBG MOBILE, with a total prize pool of $15m (~£12,5m). Tournaments will be broadcast worldwide in at least eight different languages.
“Gamers8 is set to be an incredible, showpiece spectacle in Riyadh this summer, blurring the lines between the physical and virtual worlds, and providing elite esports action, concerts, shows and activities for all ages,” commented the Saudi Esports Federation Head of Communications, Marketing and Partnership Omar Batterjee.
ASUS’ partnership with the Saudi Esports Federation comes a few weeks after Mastercard also signed a deal with the federation.
Saudi Arabia has been significantly increasing its investments in esports, with government-backed Savvy Gaming Group notably buying both ESL Gaming and FACEIT. However, it has also been facing resistance from the community over the country’s human rights record and political environment, with accusations the country is using the scene for ‘esportswashing’.
Both BLAST and Riot Games faced backlash from fans when they announced partnerships with NEOM, a $500m (~£397m) Saudi government-backed development. It is worth pointing out that no Riot Games titles, nor CS:GO events, are among the featured games at Gamers8.