Saudi-backed Esports World Cup to pay orgs thousands in new program

Declan Mclaughlin

The Saudi-backed Esports World Cup’s foundation is setting up a program that gives esports organizations who participate in the EWC Club Program a chance to be eligible for an annual six-figure payout.

The Esports World Cup is a Saudi Arabian-backed esports tournament featuring multiple titles. The tournament is said to have the largest prize pool in esports history and is set for a summer 2024 start date. The event is another recent step that the country has taken in the esports and gaming space from its PIF foundation.

Details about its actual schedule, and game lineup, have yet to be revealed. The tournament will replace the Gamers8 event series held across 2022 and 2023, which feature titles like Fortnite, Rocket League, and Counter-Strike.

Riot Games is reportedly interested in featuring its League of Legends teams from its top close circuit leagues in the event, making it a historic event in terms of the games feature, prize pool, and team prominence.

Esports World Cup announced EWC Club Program

The EWC announced on February 1, 2024, that it will be launching a program for 28 esports companies that will give them an “annual six-figure payout to support their existing operations and their entrance into new competitive titles within the Esports World Cup.”

Six teams will be able to apply for the program through an open application, with 22 have been given direct invitations. The participating teams have not been announced, the open application period ends on February 15.

The announcement stipulated that teams accepted into the program that show “competitive excellence, draw the most viewership, and generate social engagement leading up to and during the World Cup” will be able to receive an annual six-figure sum.

“This incentive will offer a sustainable opportunity for the Clubs to maximize their participation in the World Cup, based not just on their competitive performance but also on their ability to grow their international esports fanbase,” the announcement said.

Teams in the club will not be guaranteed spots at the event, however, as even those who win the award will have to use “traditional methods to earn their spot in the tournament for each game,” according to a press release.

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