ESL FACEIT Group secures five-year partnership with Qiddiya City

Image of ESL FACEIT Group and Qiddiya City logos on black background
Image credit: ESL FACEIT Group, Qiddiya City has announced as partnership with

Esports tournament organiser ESL FACEIT Group has announced a partnership with Saudi Arabian entertainment and tourism megaproject Qiddiya City.

As a result of the five-year deal, the two parties will collaborate to develop experiences within the city’s dedicated gaming and esports district.

ESI London 2024

According to a release, ESL FACEIT Group will develop ‘immersive experiences, in-game missions, and stage takeovers’ during its events to help build future projects in Qiddiya’s gaming and esports district. In addition, the tournament organiser will have exclusive access to new developments in the district during events.

The five-year deal aims to support the sustainable growth of the esports industry by capitalising on fandom within Saudi Arabia and the Middle Eastern markets.

In December 2023, former Team Liquid COO Mike Milanov joined the Qiddiya project to help develop the district which will cover 500,000 square metres. ESL FACEIT Group has been owned by Saudi-government-backed company Savvy Games Group since 2022 after merging esports entities ESL Gaming and FACEIT.

ESL FACEIT Group and Qiddiya City will commence their partnership on April 12th during the IEM Chengdu Counter-Strike 2 tournament. 16 teams will compete at the Wuliangye Chengdu Performing Arts Centre for a share of a $250,000 (~£197,677) prize pool.

Saudi Arabia is no stranger to expanding its esports efforts through megacity projects. In 2020, tournament organisers BLAST and the LCS cancelled their deals with NEOM amidst backlash due to the country’s human rights records.

Franck Guignery, SVP Middle East and Africa of ESL FACEIT Group, spoke on the partnership: “The growth of gaming in the Kingdom has transformed its young and progressive esports scene into a powerhouse that will fuel the global community.

“This partnership brings us parity that pushes the landscape forward through compelling narratives and must-watch global events. Together with Qiddiya City, we’re inviting the community to help shape the future home of gaming and esports and create a positive impact across the industry.”

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.

Disclaimer: Qiddiya was the Presenting Partner of ESI London 2023