Esports lounge company True Gamers expands into Saudi Arabia

24 January 2024

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True Gamers
Image credit: True Gamers

True Gamers, a network of esports lounges, has sold its master franchise rights in Saudi Arabia to Nawaf Albishri, the CEO of Falak, a venture investment firm.

As a result of the deal, the company noted that $45m (~£35m) will be invested towards opening 150 esports lounges within Saudi Arabia.

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The deal aims to capture a new market in Saudi Arabia, which according to Standard Insights, has approximately 21m gamers which accounts for about 58% of the population. The rights sale also attributes to True Gamers’ mission of making esports more accessible to the citizens of Saudi Arabia.

True Gamers was founded in 2019 and currently runs five esports lounges within the United Arab Emirates as well as venues in Eastern Europe. The company has an approximate monthly client base of 300,000 and recently raised $13.5m (~£10.6m) for an expansion into MENA.

The company has been hosting tournaments for casual players in its Dubai locations, bringing in players who compete with one another against the other ‘clubs’ that True Gamers run. True Gamers aims to expand these tournaments to Saudi Arabia after this deal.

Nawaf Albishri, the CEO of Falak and investor in True Gaming spoke in a release about bringing esports to Saudi Arabia: “True Gamers’ unique blend of entertainment, technology, and esports tournaments resonates perfectly with the Saudi gaming community. I am committed to bringing this concept to life across the Kingdom.”

The agreement falls in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, a programme that intends to make the nation a leader in economy through sectors such as entertainment. Over the last few years, Saudi Arabia has expanded into esports through multiple investments which has included forming the ESL FACEIT Group, buying stakes in multiple major game developers and announcing the Esports World Cup.

Vlad Belyanin, CPO and co-founder of True Gamers, also commented on the deal, stating: “The expansion into Saudi Arabia will elevate True Gamers’ global presence and play a pivotal role in propelling the growth of the Kingdom’s esports industry.

“We at True Gamers value cybersport enthusiasts, and we are honoured to bring new opportunities for such people in the Kingdom and develop the gaming culture to the next level. By providing unparalleled gaming experiences and hosting premier esports tournaments, True Gamers will attract new players, raise the profile of esports, and foster a vibrant gaming community within Saudi Arabia.”

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