Riot Games has taken another step in its commitment to shape the gaming industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the launch of the League of Legends themed ‘Nexus’ festival in Riyadh.
The Nexus festival, taking place from December 5 to 7, is part of the Riyadh Season, an initiative by the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) to transform Saudi Arabia into a global tourist and entertainment destination.
Since launching in 2006, Riot Games has established itself as one of the key video game publishers in the industry with a global presence of more than 20 offices around the world including Tokyo, London, Turkey and Shanghai.
Recognising the tremendous growth potential of the industry in MENA region, Riot Games took a major step to expand its presence by opening an office in Dubai in early 2018.
Onur Tamer, METAI General Manager at Riot Games said: “Our entry to the region couldn’t have come at a better time. In the same year of opening our office in Dubai, the region’s first dedicated esports stadium Dubai X-Stadium was announced while Tunisia revealed plans to open the Arab world’s first college dedicated to gaming.
“By establishing our presence in the region, we have been able to not just promote our brand but also get closer to our fans and provide them with improved gaming experiences.”
Hosting the inaugural ‘Nexus’ event forms a key part of Riot Games’ strategy to boost participation and attract new audiences in the region. The qualifying stages have been held in 13 countries across the region with all the action broadcasted live and streamed online on League of Legends Arabia Twitch channel.
During the ‘The Nexus’ festival, the participants will battle for a share of the USD 2 million prize money across six competitions.
Besides promoting esports as a spectator sport, Riot Games is aiming to make it more appealing to families with musical performances from international artists and a variety of interactive activities during the event.
Onur Tamer added: “It is really encouraging to see competitive gaming grow rapidly in the MENA region and with new tournaments being introduced, competitiveness in gaming is becoming more appealing for not just those who participate but for organizations and countries that are staging the events.
“There is enormous potential in this region and our aim is to build on this platform. We want to deliver the best possible experiences for gamers through hosting regular competitions that pits the best of the region under one roof while also attracting new audiences with family entertainment.”
He added: “The Nexus is only the beginning and this is the start of the journey where we want to make a positive impact by growing the industry in the MENA region just like how we did in other parts of the world. It is an opportunity that we will embrace.”
The festival also includes a theme park, experiential zones, tournaments and concerts and is expected to attract a total audience of 30,000.
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