Riot Games is set to become the latest rights holder to stage an event in Saudi Arabia, bringing ‘The Nexus’ League of Legends esports competition to Riyadh from December 5-7.
The three-day event will have a total prize pool of almost $3 million across six competitions and an expected audience of 30,000, featuring experiential zones and live concerts as well.
Riot Games METAI general manager, Onur Tamer, said the competition will form part of the Riyadh Season, an initiative by the Saudi General Entertainment Authority designed to boost tourism and entertainment in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.
“We opened our offices in the region over a year ago,” Tamer said.
“Since then, we have been working on ways to deliver local experiences to our communities and players across the MENA region.
“The Nexus is our first step in solidifying our presence in the region to support and celebrate our players.
“The launch of the Nexus festival is just one part of our plan to increase our presence in the MENA region.
“We are also looking at rolling out Arabic language support for all our products starting next year along with a localised version of League of Legends for all our players,” Tamer said.
The event will reportedly feature influencers, one-versus-one duels, ‘Teamfight Tactics’, cosplay events and a traditional fight on ‘Summoner’s Rift’, with entertainment including live performances from DJ Mako, Crystal Method and Jason Derulo.
The Nexus competition is the latest event to be added to the busy Saudi Arabia event calendar, with other sporting events including Anthony Joshua’s world title fight against Andy Ruiz Jr., a new international tennis tournament, The Diriyah Tennis Cup, and a five-stage cycling race organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation.