Inside the Middle East’s growing love for eSports – ZDNet

Inside the Middle East’s growing love for eSports – ZDNet

eSports is one of the world’s fastest growing tech and entertainment industries, with audiences and revenues alike on the rise. Although COVID-19 has inevitably had an impact, the global eSports market is expected to be worth nearly $1.6 billion in 2023 up from $776 million in 2018, according to researchers.

And although much of the growth is driven by major markets like North America and China, the Middle East is also playing a role in the eSports boom.

“The Middle East is a fast-growing gaming market, evolving from casual gaming to virtual reality games and competitive sports. With a growing community of active gamers and a high internet penetration, Gaming & Esports industry in MENA is likely to witness a boom in the future,” said market researchers YouGov recently. “Our data shows, for an important sub-section of players, watching video games online has become as much of a pastime as gaming itself.” 

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A few examples: in October 2019, the Dubai-based W Ventures announced that it would spend $50 million to develop a local eSports and gaming ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa. Meanwhile, in Turkey, Europe’s largest eSports venue opened its doors in January 2019.

Other signs of growth and interest in this market