Business

Why Middle East is a Great Place for eSports

By Muhammad Bilal Syahrir

Middle East is a potential region for sure.


A lot of people tend to focus on regions such as China, Korea or North America when talking about eSports. However, they tend to not realize that the Middle East is a great place for eSports.

Recently we have shared a quick report about the state of eSports in 2017. The article shows us that in 2017, eSports became a major hit in terms of revenue. Additionally, there is no doubt that Chinese, Korean and North American audience are the main actors for this success.

Despite that, we should not forget about the Middle East that, in fact, has a pretty good future in the eSports industry.

According to Statista, video game industry in the Middle East accumulated a total of around US$3 billion in 2017. Although the region is still considered new to the industry, it has a great potential to move forward.

Middle East is a Great Place for eSports

Saeed Sharaf, the CEO of eSports Middle East stated:

“The Middle East is one of the youngest regions in the world age-wise, as people of ages 15-29 make up to 25 percent of the population. However, diversion of wealth and different social structures have split the region into two: First is the Levant and North Africa area, where players mostly play on low to mid-range PCs, and the second is Gulf countries where it’s more popular to play on consoles which splits the type of competitions to some extent.”

In addition, the Saudi Arabian government has officially appointed a representative to support competitive gaming. It also looks like other Middle East countries are continuing the path that Saudi Arabia took.

Egypt, Tunisia, and UAE are the other regions that also used media to promote eSports for the new audience. The media also has an important role as stated by Sharaf that 80 million players share the same language and culture, making the region one of the largest and most important in the world.

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Despite the mentioned facts, there are still obstacles that slow down the Middle East’s eSports regime. One of them would be the fact that in many Arab countries, gaming itself is still frown upon.

Another reason that the Middle East faces is the fact that many people there think games to be a mere child’s entertainment. But as we know, most pro players are 18 years or above.

It’s really not fair to compare the Middle East to other Asian countries such as China and Korea. Nevertheless, what we know is that they are slowly but surely moving towards the right direction.

Edited by Devi

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My main mission: Making Indonesian Game Industry big!