Danish esports tournament organiser BLAST has announced a new partnership with NEOM, a planned cross-border city in Saudi Arabia, to help it develop into a regional esports hub.
The global partnership aims to propel the growth of esports in Saudi Arabia and will seek to engage, educate and benefit the local and global esports ecosystem. As part of the partnership BLAST will develop technology and share expertise to help build an esports academy and develop the sport in the country.
NEOM, which is set to introduce a new model for urban sustainability, setting new standards for the effective and productive use of technology, last year signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Arabian Federation of Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS) to help support and promote esports in the region.
“NEOM aims to become a global hub for sport that unites communities, enables active, balanced lifestyles and accelerates innovation,” said Jan Paterson, Managing Director, NEOM Sport.
“Esports is growing at a rapid pace and NEOM is perfectly positioned to become the regional esports hub. We are excited about the experience and benefits NEOM can bring to the industry. We will have an advanced technological base and venues designed specifically for esports. In addition, we aim to inspire the development of young Saudi and international talent through a fully immersive esports academy.”
The last six months has seen BLAST content and tournaments delivered to a global audience in over 100 markets and 152m households while the esports company’s social media has similarly enjoyed significant recent success with the increase in followers and subscribers by 107% during this period.
Robbie Douek, CEO for BLAST, said: “Esports is at the centre of NEOM’s exciting plans for Sport, we’re delighted to be able to assist them in shaping this long-term goal. This is a record deal for BLAST and testament to our recent growth and standing in the industry right now”
“We have a strong track record when it comes to producing global events that encompass a leading broadcast product and inspires lovers of esports, we hope to leverage this knowledge and expertise to help build a first-in-class partnership that will allow NEOM to create a thriving esports ecosystem.”