The Next World Forum, an esports and gaming summit that brings together industry leaders from around the world, will be held in Riyadh in September. Organized by the SEF (Saudi Esports Federation), here’s everything you need to know about the event and the exclusive roundtables.
To close out the recent Gamers8 festival, a summit on the future of esports will be held. More than 1,200 delegates from around the world will gather in Riyadh to discuss the most relevant esports and gaming issues during the in-person forum. These include sports ministers from several leading countries, investors, gamers, developers, technology providers, start-ups, public sector representatives, brands and publishers. The next Global Forum will be launched by the “Saudi Spotlight: What Now, What Next?” panel, which will be followed by sessions featuring insights and conversations from some of the most bright and respected people in the global gaming and esports entertainment and business spheres. Roundtables include gaming and esports as the next frontier of media; Gambling as an untapped economic power; VR/AR and the metaverse in the spotlight; Play for good: the light side and the dark side of the game; and upgrading esports and player health.
Here are all the important details about the forum.
Next Global Forum: Important Details
- When: Wednesday 7 September and Thursday 8 September
- Where: The Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at the Kingdom Center
- notable speakers:
- His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, President of the Saudi Esports Federation
- Chester King, Director, British eSports
- Mario Perez Guerreira Director, MENA
- Grant Johnson, President and CEO, Esports Entertainment Group
Next Global Forum: Topics to Discuss
For two days, the Next World Forum will highlight:
- Major technological development challenges impacting the changing landscape of the gaming and esports ecosystem
- Trends such as cloud gaming, distribution platform development and appetite for new content
- The rise of impact-driven games thinking, real-world impact and games for innovation across multiple sectors
- Solution-focused discussion on government attitudes towards gaming, ecosystem talent development and infrastructure development
- The emerging Saudi market landscape and opportunities to be a part of its history
- Gender innovations, regulations and legislation
September 7 Panel Specific Topics
The first day is launched by the saudi spotlight. This is followed by the Gaming and Esports as the Next Frontier of Media session, at 11 a.m. on September 7. This session is moderated by Dr. Alex Schudey, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group. He will be joined by speakers Chester King, CEO of British Esports and Vice President of the Global Esports Federation; Stephan Fox, president of United Through Sports and vice president of GAISF; and Vlad Marinescu, president of the International Electronic Sports Federation. The session will focus on how gaming shapes entertainment.
At 11:40am, gambling like an untapped economic powerhouse will discuss why major brands are investing in the gaming and esports ecosystem at unprecedented levels.
Is followed by VR/AR and the Metaverse in the spotlight on September 7 at 1 p.m.which will tackle the intriguing prospect of whether VR/AR is the natural development in the gaming ecosystem – or simply an addition to gaming consumption.
September 8 Panel Specific Topics
Day two kicks off at 9:40am with a fascinating look at Gaming for Good: The Light Side and the Dark Side of Gaming, with Joana Pérez Martorell, Head of Partnerships at UNICEF; Houssam Chahine, Head of Private Sector Partnerships and Philanthropy for the MENA region at UNHCR; Désiré Koussawo, the international esports advisor; and Vlad Marinescu, president of the International Electronic Sports Federation. The panel will explore the power of play to drive strategic thinking, teamwork, communication, leadership and application across a wide variety of careers, including medicine, engineering and more.
This is followed by Esports and Player Health Upgrade at 11am. This panel will focus on the essential topic of health and wellness management models for both amateur and professional gamers. The panel for this event consists of Dr. Melita N. Moore, CEO of Levels Unlocked Enterprises and President of Health and Wellness at the Global Esports Federation, as well as a speaker from the renowned Saudi Arabia-based organization, Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib. Medical group.
What is Gamers8?
Gamers8, creators of Gamers Without Borders, is a global gaming and esports festival with a mission to blur the lines between what is physical and what is virtual. Created to bring the virtual world of gaming and esports to the physical realm of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Gamers8 will be held for eight weeks this summer from July 14 – Sept. 8
With elite and competitive tournaments, entertainment, activities and attractions, great concerts and music shows and much more, Gamers8 culminates in a gaming and esports summit that brings together industry leaders and experts from around the world.
Elite gaming leagues host the world’s largest esports teams in five different titles with a total prize pool of $15 million, all hosted in a state-of-the-art, purpose built location on Riyadh city boulevard.
Hosted by the Saudi Esports Federation, the event is hosted by a range of partners including Mastercard, SAVVY Gaming Group, ESL FACEIT Group, Spotify and Aramco, each working together to provide gamers around the world with an experience like no other.
What is SEF?
The Saudi Electronic Sports Federation is the regulatory body responsible for nurturing elite gaming athletes and developing the gaming community and industry in Saudi Arabia.
The activities of the federation are divided into two complementary sections. The first stream aims to develop all levels of competitive gamers, starting at the grassroots community level and working their way up to professional esports athletes capable of achieving global excellence. The second stream aims to develop the entire gaming/esports value chain by catalyzing the industry and enabling talent.
Since its inception in late 2017, the federation has hosted several world-class national and international tournaments and events, attracted investment from local private sector players and worked with international developers to open up opportunities in the Saudi market.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was your preview of the next global forum.