Qatar has the potential to become a hub for esports in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) regions, according to the chief executive officer of a company specialising in competitive video gaming.
“This is our ambition as a company; we want to build a sustainable ecosystem in Qatar. We want Qatar to be the hub for esports in the region, and hopefully in the international scene,” Quest CEO Elie Honain told Gulf Times during a recent launch event with Ooredoo.
Honain explained that esports revenues amount to “$175bn” worldwide, and about “$6bn to $8bn” in the Mena region. He noted that the “Qatari esports market is big” and that it is expected to grow further.
Earlier, Ooredoo launched ‘Ooredoo Nation - Gamers’ Land’ and signed a major agreement with Quest so that it could establish a significant presence throughout the rapidly emerging esports domain.
In a previous statement, Ooredoo said Quest is the first and largest Qatari-registered company specialising in the esports industry. “Its core business lines include the management of online and on-ground tournaments, professional team ownership and management, and production and content creation. Quest has been operating in the region for the past six years,” Ooredoo stated.
Following Quest’s partnership with Ooredoo, Honain also stressed that the telecommunications operator also has the potential to become a leader in the esports industry.
“We want to showcase that esports is not just playing video games. We want to show it as a rewarding career. Ooredoo wants to empower the youth, give them a voice, and give them an identity; and gamers have been really ignored in this region, so Ooredoo has made a very bold and strategic move by identifying the Gen Z and millennials and make them stars in this region. By doing that, we are inspiring other aspiring athletes to consider that esports could actually be a career that they could be proud of,” Honain emphasised.
He said the partnership also offers “very serious gamers” the opportunity to be discovered through tournaments that would be held in Qatar.
“The purpose of these tournaments is to really give a chance – a fighting chance to all talents that are hidden or undiscovered, and give them the opportunity to compete in our tournaments and really put their mark and show us their abilities because we will be scouting and watching every single play and every single player and we want to recruit them and train them in our facilities with Ooredoo to make sure that they are up to the international standards,” he said, adding that Ooredoo’s ambition “is to build teams that could compete on the international level against the biggest esports organisations.”