The Danish esports organization BLAST announced its cooperation with the Saudi Arabian government in developing the NEOM project. NEOM is a city designed as a new center for economic activity and tourism for Saudi Arabia.
By bringing ambition to become a sophisticated and futuristic city, the NEOM project is expected to be able to attract many investors and other trading activities internationally.
The first phase of NEOM development is expected to be completed in 2025.
As esports has developed so far, in the future esports will continue to be projected as one industry that can be as big as traditional sports and entertainment. In line with the vision and ambition of the NEOM project to become an international hub, the esports element will also be implemented in the city planning plan. One part of the NEOM project development plan is the construction of an esports stadium specifically designed to support all esports activities and operations.
Jan Paterson, Managing Director of NEOM Sport, stated “NEOM is targeting itself to be a global hub for sports (and esports) activities that can unite many people and support active, balanced and innovative active lifestyles.”
It is undeniable that globally esports has developed rapidly and rapidly. With the NEOM esports academy development plan, it is expected to be able to prepare a new generation in Saudi Arabia that can further develop esports in the future.
A little further, BLAST is an esports organization established in 2016 and based in Copenhagen. BLAST acts as an organizer that houses 2 recent esports tournament events, namely BLAST Premier and BLAST Bounty Hunter. BLAST and the Saudi Arabian government plan to prepare an esports academy for the esports ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.
In a statement, BLAST CEO Robbie Douek shared his view, “This collaboration is a historic agreement for BLAST and is a milestone for our development in the esports industry today.”
For the record, BLAST had previously received funding and experience in handling large-scale esports tournaments even with challenges in a pandemic. By joining BLAST in the NEOM project, it will signify that esports has been taken into account in a city development plan from the start.
Eventually only time can answer whether NEOM’s ambitions will be fully realized, despite the controversy that has accompanied the NEOM project.