Saudi-owned EFG announces partnership with Saudi-owned Qiddiya City project

All in the family.

Tournament organizer ESL FACEIT Group (EFG) announced a new, five-year partnership with Qiddiya City on Monday. Both EFG And Qiddiya City are affiliated with the Saudi Arabian government through the Public Investment Fund, the country's sovereign wealth fund.

Qiddiya City is a new project within Saudi Arabia as "the world's first mixed-use gaming and esports district that will attract gamers from across the globe." The goal of the city is to become a major esports hub by creating massive video game-specific infrastructure with venues for esports tournaments.

The EFG partnership is said to "engage our worldwide fanbase of 225 million gamers" and will invite them to "share their vision and help shape the future global Gaming & Esports District in Qiddiya City."

Information about the district will be advertised throughout DreamHack, ESL, and IEM events, as well as on FACEIT. For the next five years Qiddiya City will be shown throughout the ESL Pro Tour, ESL Challenger, and ESL Impact events.

"Qiddiya is a city built for and inspired by the global esports and gaming community in one of the industry’s fastest-growing markets. As a pioneering global destination for gaming and esports, Qiddiya City will grow and develop in collaboration with the community, an important cornerstone for a more sustainable future," Craig Levine, Co-CEO of ESL FACEIT Group said in a statement. "We’re confident and honored that EFG’s decades of experience will create value for the city’s scalable, fan-first vision."

The partnership between the ESL FACEIT Group and Qiddiya is the latest in the growing entanglement between esports and the Saudi Arabian state, which critics have criticized as a clear case of "sportswashing". Saudi Arabia has been criticized for its historic and ongoing mistreatment of the LGBTQ+ community, women, religious and ethnic minorities, among others, and its reactionary and regressive positions on human rights.

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#1(With 0 replies)
April 9, 2024 05:09PM
Oh shit 2022 world cup 2.0
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