- Title: Playing hard, more Dubai youth professionally take up esports, gaming
- Date: 23rd October 2019
- Summary: DUBAI, UAE (OCTOBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF GAMERS PLAYING PUBG ON COMPUTERS
- Embargoed: 6th November 2019 14:25
- Keywords: Gaming Gaming in the Middle East International Esports Federation Dubai
- Location: DUBAI, UAE
- City: DUBAI, UAE
- Country: UAE
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA009B2BGCWL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Youth in the Middle East have been increasingly playing hard to put their region on the world map of esports and gaming.
As the industry continues to boom globally, a growing population of Arab youth are vying to leave their mark, particularly players in the Gulf.
The multi-billion-dollar industry is already cemented in North America and Asia but more can be done to reach the full potential of talent in the Middle East.
Yalla Esports, a Dubai-based esports team that was founded in 2016 has pushed its way from a hobby team, into a full-time professional team, and has already qualified to three international tournaments, according to the group's founder, Klaus Kajetski.
Kajetski said that as more funding comes to the group, they can nurture local talent, which could mean more games focused on Middle East audiences.
The UK's biggest gaming festival, Insomnia, recently came to Dubai as part of the International Esports Federation's efforts to expand the industry.
Chairman of the International Esports Federation, Colin Webster has lauded Dubai as a great place for esports to grow, claiming that the city has the desire and the required infrastructure to flourish as a gaming hub.
"Middle East is actually up and coming," he said.
Despite the relative lack of movement in comparison to other physically-demanding sports, Webster said esports athletes are equal to those playing games such as rugby and cricket.
He dreams of one day adding esports to the Olympics, calling this ambitious feat the organisation's "holy grail".
(Production: Abdelhadi Ramahi And Tarek Fahmy)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Footage contains computer game or software screenshots. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing this clip.