As the MENA region dives into the esports and gaming industry, Pérez discussed how it plays a key role in education
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Mario Pérez, CEO of MENA Tech (a GGTech Entertainment company), was one of the keynote speakers at the Next World Forum, where he shared his expertise on how the education, esports and gaming industries work together are intertwined. The Forum was the conclusion of Gamers8, one of the largest gaming and esports festivals in the world, hosted by the Saudi Esports Federation at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh At Kingdom Center.
In a panel entitled Education Town Hall – Skin in the Game, Pérez joined other gaming education experts and discussed the role of gaming education in the industry. He explained: “We want to cover the entire spectrum of the eSports industry, not only educate players, referees, broadcasters and all disciplines that the gaming business requires, but also try to bring some stability and values to these young talented people , because they are the future of the industry.”
He also analyzed that most of them have gained popularity through their gaming expertise and are playing on the stages of the world, gaining followers and being part of some of the best teams in the world. “It’s a quick change for anyone, especially a young person,” he added.
Entry level career
Recently, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud unveiled the National Gaming and Esports Strategy, which aims to make the country the global gaming hub by 2030, in line with Vision 2030 goals of diversifying the economy and creating new jobs to accomplish. There are 86 initiatives divided into eight focus areas, including technology and hardware development, game production, esports, infrastructure, education, talent acquisition and more.
As a leading developer in the field of college competition, MENA Tech offers supervised activities in a safe environment to train skills in various fields. This gives every participant and every institution the opportunity to take part in a variety of gaming events.
A key focus of Pérez’s presentation was to show the diverse professional profiles involved in the gaming industry and how MENA Tech is contributing to their development. He ensured the company worked closely with students and even invited them to join the organization’s team. Concluding the panel, Pérez said, “Our main goal is to provide them with a safe place to compete, have fun and meet new people, and bring this online community to the offline world. In many cases, this is an opportunity to gain first-hand experience on a professional side of esports, so everyone can find their area of interest and maybe start a career in esports.”
The esports climate in KSA
The total revenue of the eSports industry in 2021 was estimated by Newzoo at $833.6 million and this is being bolstered by an increasing number of jobs, college courses and opportunities making it one of the fastest growing and most desirable sectors for a career. The MENA gambling industry has grown faster than any other nearby geographic area. Newzoo estimates that over the next five years this region will account for 15% of the world’s total sector with more than 434 million players.
There are a variety of careers in the industry. Beyond the players, in-person gaming events require organizers, planners and managers, advertising, sponsorships, social media promotion, casting, filming and technical support, including attendees involving players, coaches and team organizations. This creates an abundance of jobs and opportunities that are growing at an all-time high.
The importance of a good education in the development of the esports industry is increasingly recognized by universities, which respond by creating new degree programs every year. Courses in business, management, events, marketing, journalism and design all offer unique skills that come with a plethora of new jobs in the esports scene, and as the industry grows, the number of these jobs will only increase.
In particular, in the UAE and KSA, funds have been allocated to various sectors, including esports and gaming. This reflects KSA’s openness to international relations and foreign tourism. With a large portion of the population being under the age of 25, there is an abundance of youngsters to create an enthusiastic gaming community and push the market even further.