Street Fighter 6 joins the Esports World Cup

27 March 2024

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Esports World Cup and Street Fighter 6
Image credit: Esports World Cup

Capcom-developed fighting game Street Fighter 6 has been announced as the latest title to join the Esports World Cup, a Saudi Arabian government-backed multi-title esports event.

Despite revealing the title’s inclusion, Esports World Cup’s initial announcement on X (formerly Twitter) provided little information regarding the scale and prize pool of the event.

ESI Lisbon 2024

The news is of little surprise as Street Fighter 6 was part of Gamers8 last year, a Saudi Arabian esports festival with a combined prize pool of $45m (~£35.6m). While Street Fighter is the first fighting game franchise to join the EWC, Gamers8 did feature other fighting games such as Tekken.

Street Fighter 6 joins a growing portfolio of EWC competitions, including StarCraft II, Dota 2, Overwatch 2, EA Sports FC and Counter-Strike 2.

Moreover, numerous major prize pools have been revealed alongside the recent EWC additions. The Mobile Legends’ Mid Season Cup, the Honor of Kings Invitational Midseason, and the PUBG Mobile World Cup will feature a $3m (~£2.4m) prize pool each. Free Fire has confirmed a $1m (~£792,100) EWC tournament.

Initially announced in October last year by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the EWC is a multi-title esports festival organised annually by the Esports World Cup Foundation. Its inaugural season is set to take place in Riyadh this Summer.

Due to its ties to the Saudi Arabian government, the EWC has been met with criticism from the esports community. Some individuals within the industry consider Saudi Arabia’s increased involvement in competitive gaming as ‘esportswashing’ to distract from its rulings on women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights and censorship.

Despite the mixed reception, the esports festival has secured several notable partners ahead of its first iteration. Sony signed a multi-year partnership with the EWC, and Saudi Arabian real estate project Qiddiya agreed to become the new EWC host once its construction is completed.

Lea Maas
Lea is a business student with too many passions and too little time. In addition to missing her shots in Valorant, she spends her free time advocating for mental health awareness and fostering inclusive esports communities.