Comparison between the USA and Gulf Countries — E-Gaming
As game manufacturers continue to roll out spectacular new video games at an unprecedented
rate, investors and stakeholders are integrating this culture into society by promoting e-sports.
This trend is especially prominent in the USA and growing in the Gulf region, with regular
competitive eGaming events and tournaments being held. However, despite the two markets
being rather famous, they’re both unique.
Egaming in the USA
Egaming was recognized as a sport in the United States in 2013 with the qualification of professional esports competitors as athletes to apply for the US temporary worker P1A visa. The eGaming scene in the USA is one of if not the most impressive you’ll find on the globe, with a projected 29.6 million viewers in 2022, a significant rise from 2021. The booming esports craze in the United States can be attributed to many factors; however, one can argue social media is the major one.
Social media has largely contributed to the explosion in esports, with video gaming streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube Gaming being at the forefront to ensure fans never miss out on players’ matches. Big names such as FaZe are accelerating aggressively into merchandise, gaining their brands more infamy than if they had limited themselves exclusively to esports. Big-time celebrities such as Drake, Michael B Jordan, and Marshmello, who have been making appearances in various Esport venues around the nation, have skyrocketed eGaming’s popularity.
Some famous Esport tournaments to watch are the Rocket League World Championships, Apex Legends Global Series Championship, and FIFA World Cup. Here, teams owned and sponsored by franchises compete against one another, with their eyes on the grand prize.
The US government initially had its qualms about esports. Still, realizing the enormous amounts of revenue it would gross, embraced it with open arms and even gave full support in providing facilities and arenas to facilitate eGaming. It is projected that esports will garner more than $1 billion in revenue, which is expected to rise. The major players in this industry are TSM, Cloud9, Team Liquid,100 Thieves and FaZe Clan.
Egaming in the Gulf Countries
Egaming in the Gulf Region is going through a period of rapid development. Even though the industry is relatively young it has phenomenal potential. In recent years, Arab countries within the Persian Gulf have heavily invested in esports both within the territory and internationally.
The Esport industry has progressed with various tournaments held in the Middle East. A testament to this is when famous tournament organizer Blast made the grand announcement that the finals of its Counter-Strike World Championships would take place in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi. Bahrain also jumped on the bandwagon by holding its first-ever national championship a few moments after its Ministry of Finance declared the island country a hive for regional gaming.
Oman doesn’t lag behind its neighbors as far as gaming is concerned. In 2021, the Omani Committee for Electronic Games and Sports was mandated to organize the Games and Esports Championship. In Kuwait, a famous non-profit organization, the Kuwait Esports Club was formed with the sole mission to develop esports, organize national championships, broadcast Esport activities, and train judges and coaches.
Aside from video games, other online games, such as casino games, can be played in the Gulf Countries. With the recent relaxation in the region’s gambling policy, players can enjoy some of their favorite casino games from a wide range of off-shore casinos. The rising fame of online roulette in Arabic led to popular casino operators accepting players from Arab countries and even setting up tournaments for them. Some of the most acclaimed roulette variations in the Arab world are Lightning Roulette, Arabic Roulette, European Roulette and Immersive Roulette. Players in this region can also enjoy poker games, online slot machines and jackpot games.
What necessitated the spike in gaming in the Gulf Region? Well, it was a slight push by the government that essentially aided in expanding the market. With worldwide Esport revenues expected to reach hundreds of billions in 2022, the pressure pushed Gulf governments to implement game-friendly policies.
The youthful population’s increased gaming activity in this region, which was surprisingly high, prompted new measures to be applied to necessitate professional gaming. Countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia pioneered competitive gaming by developing their capabilities. Saudi Arabia, for instance, implemented strategies to reel in entrepreneurs from two major Esport companies, ESL and FACEIT, for a $1.5 billion deal.
Although the USA and Gulf region have embraced eGaming as a modern sport, it is clear that the former has the edge over the latter for its longevity. However, the growing demand for gaming in the Gulf may just put it above the western giant in the future.
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