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Gamers8 Could Change Esports, But It Needs Work |

Gamers8 Could Change Esports, But It Needs Work |

Gamers8 Could Change Esports, But It Needs Work

In the summer of 2022, an esports event took place in Saudi Arabia that pulled together several games and boasted a $15 million prize pool – Gamers8. It was built on the back of a massive charity drive for Gamers Without Borders, and it was reportedly a monumental and impeccable esports and gaming festival that far too few people actually knew about. It’s back again in July 2023, and by all accounts, it’s going to be incredible, this time being backed by a massive, collective prize pool worth $45 million.

Once again, it’ll be hosted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a nation that has well and truly burst onto the esports and gaming scenes in recent months. In April, it was revealed that the Saudi Arabian government was investing an eye-watering sum of $38 billion in its gaming and esports infrastructure, and Gamers8 is a major part of that. Last year, Gamers8 played out almost in secrecy, but this time around, it’s an all-singing, all-dancing event, and esports professionals are extremely excited.

But what needs to be done to make Gamers8 the next best thing in the esports industry?

Could Gamers8 Be An Esports Revolution?

gamers8 tournamentgamers8 tournament

Are bright lights and flashy stages enough for Gamers8 to make history?

It’s clear that Saudi Arabia is attempting to well and truly cover all the bases when it comes to esports. At Gamers8, some of the most competitive games in the world are represented:

  • Fortnite
  • Rocket League
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • StarCraft II
  • Tekken 7
  • PUBG
  • Dota 2
  • CSGO

From July 6th, Gamers8, which is being dubbed ‘The Land of Heroes’ this year, will play host to the world’s greatest esports competitors, as some of the most recognisable brands in the business fly into the country to compete in some of the most valuable tournaments the world has ever seen.

For instance, there’s a Dota 2 tournament that will see competitors fight for the lion’s share of a $15 million pot and a CSGO tournament with a $1 million pool. However, it must be stressed that Gamers8 isn’t just about the money that goes to the organisations and the players – first and foremost, it’s about a charitable endeavour. In the run-up to Gamers8, most qualifying events are played out as charity tournaments, which are seeing millions of dollars donated to various organisations.

There have even been signs of progression, as the Saudi Esports Federation-backed Gamers Without Borders event featured an all-women CSGO tournament that was played from the 27th to the 29th of April. By today, Gamers Without Borders has raised more than $30 million for its charitable partners, and with Gamers8, the visibility for the drive is only becoming all that much more tangible.

This is only the second year that Gamers8 has been held, and already, there’s a buzz generating around the event. It has already been praised far and wide by esports professionals and industry personalities, and it could signify a shift taking place in the esports industry.

Records Could Be Broken, But Change Is Needed

gamers8 expogamers8 expo

It looks incredible, but is it enough to pull in the viewers?

Last year, Gamers8 barely made an impression on the esports industry. In fact, according to statistics supplied by, the event received almost nothing in the way of considerable viewership, with the most popular tournament being the $2 million Fortnite event, which pulled in just north of 110,000 peak concurrent viewers.

But, if Gamers8 is to succeed in a remarkable fashion, more hype will need to be generated ahead of the event. If it’s marketed correctly, then Gamers8 could break records and impact the face of the esports industry – and it won’t necessarily be doing so just by having a massive prize pool. For instance, taking a look at Gamers8’s social media growth, we can see that in the last thirty days, 1,200 new followers have backed the brand on Twitter.

Following the end of Gamers8 last year, the same Twitter profile haemorrhaged followers, losing up to 200 every week, as for several months, not a single Tweet was posted. It was the same story on Twitch – Gamers8’s profile gained tens of thousands of followers, but the channel went dead after the event, and hundreds of followers gave up their allegiance in the months that followed.

For Gamers8 to succeed, there needs to be a much bigger marketing play. Admittedly, that’s being achieved this time around by having some huge events take place at the event, such as the PUBG Global Series. There’s also a lot of buzz on social media being generated by the organisations and players qualifying for a spot at Gamers8, which wasn’t really a thing last year. And, in the words of the Deputy CEO of the Saudi Esports Federation, Ahmed Al Bishri:

‘There is much to build on from last year’s Gamers Without Borders and Gamers8 editions, as well as much to look forward to in 2023 … the gaming community can expect new surprises through the creation of engaging, attractive content and experiences tailored to their needs.’

The Sentiment Is Strong, But How’s The Delivery?

On social media, several prominent esports competitors have emerged to express how excited they are about Gamers8.

  • ‘Couldn’t be more hyped for Gamers8 this summer’ – Rome, Esports Caster and Host at CSA
  • Hope Gamers8 keep their production level this year, it looked sick’ – noa, Rainbow Six Pro Player
  • ‘Absolutely incredible experience last year, and knowing the passionate people there involved in this, it’s definitely gonna be even better. Best LAN in rl’ – Darth, Pro Rocket League Player
  • ‘Honored to be invited once again to probably the best gaming festival and Rocket League event on Earth’ – Snowyy, Pro Rocket League Player
  • ‘From a player’s POV, it seemed to have been the best LAN environment to date with impeccable accommodations’ – Adam Baguette, Esports Coach

It may have to overcome some geographical and political limitations, but Gamers8 truly does have the potential to become the defining esports event – the bar that every other organiser looks up to. It’s not the first time something like this has been done – it’s a concept that was arguably birthed by the likes of DreamHack, for example – but Gamers8 is doing it bigger and better than anyone else in the industry right now.

It all begins on July 6th, 2023 – let’s see how the event unfolds and what the numbers look like afterwards.


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