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Esports World Cup: Ronaldo rubs shoulders with Saudi Crown Prince

Riyadh: Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday shared a panel with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss what he said the future of esports.

Saudi Arabia said on Monday it was launching an annual Esports World Cup, which will include the most popular games in the world and have the largest prize pool in esports history.

The international footballer shared multiple photos with the Saudi leader from the event and shared them on his Instagram and Twitter accounts.

His tweet was seen by over 16 million people within a few hours.

The competition will be held annually in Riyadh starting summer 2024, a statement from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.

Clubs will compete across games from various genres to become the ultimate Esports World Cup champion, the statement said.

Sports, esports and gaming have been part of the crown prince’s transformation plan, known as Vision 2030, in which the government is pouring hundreds of billions of dollars to diversify the kingdom’s economy and reduce its reliance on oil.

Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games Group, owned by sovereign wealth fund PIF, said last year it will invest 142 billion riyals ($37.8 billion) in initiatives aimed at making Saudi Arabia a global hub for gaming.

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