Kuwaiti telecom giant Zain has launched Zain Esports, a new esports initiative to boost the Middle East’s online gaming ecosystem.
The initaitive will host online gaming tournaments over the next twelve months including multiple flagship and community events. Moreover, these tournaments will feature cash and device prize pools.
“Zain esports marks a phenomenal opportunity for us to drive the business in new areas, while delighting our customers, especially the youth.”Malek Hammoud, Zain Group Chief Investment and Digital Officer
To kickstart the new initiative, Zain is hosting a regional FIFA 21 PS4 tournament over December 1-16. The tournament will feature former FIFA eWorld champion MsDossary who will promote the event. In addition, Zain is working with eGen, an esports agency and consultancy, to launch the competition and the overall initiative.
In addition to gaming tournaments, Zain hopes to draw attention to regional talent. For example, the company will host competitions to source Arabic-speaking commentators for its events. Also, it aims to work with local esports content creators and social media influencers.
Speaking on the recent announcement, Malek Hammoud, Zain Group Chief Investment and Digital Officer, said, “Zain esports marks a phenomenal opportunity for us to drive the business in new areas, while delighting our customers, especially the youth. The global pandemic has changed life as we know it and has created further demand for online connectivity and access to digital content. We are confident that the variety of esports games and attractive prizemoney offered by Zain to the wider regional community, will act as a catalyst to drive our progress in this domain further.”
The Bigger Picture
Zain says the launch is part of its broader strategy to evolve from being a telecom operator to a digital services provider. Since February 2020, it saw a 300% increase in gaming-related data usage across its operations. Zain believes the potential within regional online gaming is huge. It says it is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.
According to analytics company Newzoo, online games generated $152 billion in revenues during 2019. 23% of these revenues, or $34.7 billion, were generated in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
For more regional gaming coverage check out…
- Mohammed bin Salman Foundation invests $216.5 million in Japanese eSports Company SNK
- PlayStation 5 vs. Xbox Series X/S: What You Need To Know
- MENA region one of world’s fastest-growing gaming and esports markets, new study finds
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