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RIYADH: The Next World Forum, an e-sports and gaming forum that will bring together sector leaders and experts from around the world, is to be held Sept. 7-8 in Riyadh.

Hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh in the At Kingdom Center, the inaugural Next World Forum is where the global gaming and e-sports community will gather to discuss the development of this vibrant, economically flourishing and collaborative ecosystem.

Showcasing new ideas, investment, and talent development, the forum is also an ideal setting to highlight Saudi Arabia’s thriving role in the gaming and e-sports industry.

Organized by the Saudi Esports Federation, the Next World Forum brings the curtain down on the summer season of Gamers8, the world’s biggest e-sports and gaming event, currently being held at Boulevard Riyadh City.

With a highly impressive list of speakers, those attending the Next World Forum include ministers of sport from various nations, investors, gamers, developers, tech providers, start-ups, public sector representatives, brands and advertisers, publishers, broadcasters, and federations and leagues.

Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, chairman of the SEF, said: “The Next World Forum is an opportunity to shape the future agenda of e-sports and gaming — including the complete capture of full sector growth through investment and collaboration.

“All of us involved in gaming — an industry bigger than Hollywood and the music industry combined — are abundantly aware that there is still enormous room for development and advancement. But while we know that gaming is growing exponentially, the key aspect is about how we work together to make it even better.

“It is imperative that we propel a gaming and e-sports sector that offers rich opportunities for industry and governments while meeting and exceeding new expectations from gamers around business models.

“In pursuing that quest, Saudi Arabia, which has an aim to become not just one of the global leaders in e-sports and gaming, but the global leader, is a fitting host for the Next World Forum. We look forward immensely to welcoming the e-sports and gaming world to Riyadh on Sept. 7 and8, as we convene for productive, purposeful, progressive, and prosperous discussions.”

More than 1,200 delegates from across the globe will gather in Riyadh to discuss the most pertinent issues in e-sports and gaming at the in-person forum.

Joining Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan as speakers at the forum will be Chester King, CEO of British Esports and vice president of the Global Esports Federation; Mario Perez Guerreira, CEO of the MENA region and partner at GGTech; Sayo Olowabi, secretary-general of the Africa Esports Development Federation, and Grant Johnson, chairman and CEO of Esports Entertainment Group.

Specific Sept. 7 panel topics at the forum include the industry keynote speech “Gaming and E-sports as the Next Frontier of Media,” “Gaming as an Untapped Economic Powerhouse,” and “VR/AR and the Metaverse in the Spotlight.”

The following day will see panel topics include “Governments as Ecosystem Enablers,” “Leveling Up E-sports and Gamer Health,” and “Build it and They Will Come — The ‘Third Place’ Experience and Rise of Gaming Venues.”

The forum will also feature a series of activations, gaming masterclasses, and bilateral meetings.

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