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Saudi presence in esports grows with 6-figure annual payment program for 28 orgs Dot Esports

The Esports World Cup, a project backed by the Saudi Arabia-owned gaming organization Savvy Gaming Group, has released information today related to a new “EWC Club Program” that looks to stimulate 28 esports organizations with annual six-figure payments.

Twenty-two organizations will receive “a direct invitation” to the program and six slots will be made available through an application that is open from today until Feb. 15. The program will consider active organizations “with a history of participation in one or more esports, and success in domestic and international tournaments.”

The EWC Club Program announcement post on X.
The EWC Club Program announcement. Screenshot via @ESWCgg on X

Organizations that accept an invite into the program will be eligible for an annual payment in the six-figure range that’s “directly tied to … performance and ability to drive viewership and fan engagement.” This payment will serve as an “additional revenue stream” for each organization. Additionally, organizations will have potential access to a one-time payment in 2024 if they “want to enter into new esports titles to compete in a cross-game tournament.”

Despite the program’s ties to the Esports World Cup, entry into the program “does not guarantee participation” in the Cup later this year, though it could financially open up an organization to pursue titles that will be present there. The one-time 2024 stimulant payment appears to incentivize teams that want to participate in the Esports World Cup.

Saudi Arabia’s influence and presence within esports have done nothing but grow significantly over the past few years. ESL, FACEIT, DreamHack, Esports Engine, Vindex, and others have all been scooped up by Savvy Gaming Group in recent years. Just this past week, Blizzard announced that ESL FACEIT will be spearheading the new Overwatch esports circuit. Riot Games, who once cut ties with a Saudi-backed partnership after public backlash, will reportedly send some of its best League of Legends teams to the Esports World Cup later this year.

No teams have been officially announced as EWC Club Program participants as of yet.

Scott Robertson

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