When discussing esports, casual gaming, and online gambling certain regions of the world will instantly come to the minds of most casual observers. Clearly North American and Asia are the hotbeds but the Middle East and Arabic speaking world are actually showing incredible growth in these areas. The community online gaming platforms are growing quickly in this region, which is an encouraging sign for interested investors for the industry. Will the eSports environment and all connected eSports betting continue to expand further in the Middle East?
Unstoppable expansion of esports and video gaming in the Middle East
There is no one single factor for the increased interest in this market; rather many factors and conditions converge to help drive high interest in eSports in the Middle East. One of the most relevant factors is the level of internet penetration in North Africa and the Middle East. Despite common misconceptions, high numbers of the population are connected; in some cases even more so than in certain European regions.
Certainly, another relevant factor for the growing success of eSports in the region is a lack of opportunities for watching and playing real-life sports. Covid-19 has caused these activities to be highly restricted or even canceled. This fact alone has led millions of sports-passionate people to begin following esports and placing bets on their favorite players and teams.
It is important to note that the diffusion and growth of the mobile industry has also contributed to the success of video gaming. Many gamers even use their mobile device as a primary means to play.
The Middle East also benefits from a large pool of local investors . As such the gaming industry in the region has found favorable ground thanks to large local investment. Market experts expect esports to grow quickly in this region. It should also be noted that esports is not monolithic and offers many sub-genres. There are games of all types which attract a varied audience and set of players. From casual fans to true professionals, esports offers much to its players and fans.
Betting on esports has smashed records in 2019 and 2020. The number of esports bets placed online surpassed all expectations. This growth has fuelled an even larger increase in investment. As an example, W. Ventures recently announced that it plans to invest $50 million to build an esports and gaming structure in Dubai. In January 2019, Turkey opened one of the biggest esports venues in the world. This is logical when one considers there are an estimated 15,000 teams all across the country with over 1,000 licensed esports professionals.
The gaming companies themselves are also assisting the growth in the Middle east. Many of these firms are building dedicated server infrastructure in the region to keep up with the growing demand. Activision and Riot Games have been particularly active in adding server capacity for their Call of Duty and Valorant titles respectively. Even local telecoms are becoming part of the picture as Kuwait’s Zain Group launched Zain esports to organize leagues and tournaments.
A Brilliant Future Ahead For esports Arab Gamers
Maybe not everyone knows that Prince Faisal bin Bandar of Saudi Arabia is an active video gamer beyond being the president of the Saudi Arabian Federation of Intellectual and Electronic Sports. His contribution to the expansion of the esports environment in the region is pretty interesting as he gave this industry special attention and put it center stage. Prince Faisal worked to transform esports tournaments into important worldwide sporting events like all the other specialties that are included in the Olympics. In simple words, Prince Faisal wants esports to become part of the sports in the Olympic Games. Probably, the project of a new dedicated esports stadium in Dubai should work to enable electronic sports games to level up to the Olympics.
Behind the brilliant future of the growth of esports, several investors are already looking at this new investment opportunity. It’s thought that the diffusion of 5G networks may increase and allow a further expansion of the esports environment among female gamers, as well.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the industry might seriously get to a worldwide diffusion in the next decade. The esports environment is actually moving toward a global horizon. The community of video gamers and esports gamblers in the Middle East and North Africa region is going to become an international reality very soon.