Saudi Arabia’s Esports World Cup Foundation (EWCF) and Japanese technology and media conglomerate Sony Group Corporation have signed a multi-year partnership agreement for Sony's subsidiaries to collaborate with EWCF on the inaugural Esports World Cup this year.

As part of the partnership, Sony Pictures Entertainment will create a behind-the-scenes documentary series showcasing the players and games at the Esports World Cup. Additionally, Sony Interactive Entertainment will look to support upcoming creators and talent in the region, while Sony Music Entertainment will produce the music anthem for the 2024 World Cup.

The inaugural Esports World Cup 2024 is slated to take place this summer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Ralf Reichert, chief executive of the Esports World Cup Foundation, has said: "Our goal is to establish a global platform for esports and gaming that sets new standards for live esports events. Sony's experience in creating stunning visuals, engaging music, compelling storytelling, and state-of-the-art technology will be a game-changer for the Esports World Cup."

Toshimoto Mitomo, executive deputy president and chief strategy officer of Sony Group Corporation, added: "We're excited to make the Esports World Cup more fun and engaging for fans globally by harnessing the creativity and technology from across our diverse businesses."

Esports organizations will compete at the World Cup in a cross-game structure for reportedly the largest prize pool in esports history.

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The EWCF has announced ten game titles so far, Dota 2, Counter-Strike 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Honor of Kings, PUBG, PUBG Mobile, Overwatch, Free Fire, Rocket League, Fortnite, and Rainbow Six Siege, with more games set to be announced.

The new tournament will be run by the newly founded EWCF, a non-profit organization set up by the Saudi government that claims to aim to drive collaboration between esports stakeholders and improve the sector’s sustainability. It will replace Gamers8, the Saudi Esports Federation’s existing esports festival in Riyadh.

The event is part of a wider scheme to accelerate the country’s National Gaming and Esports Strategy, itself a scheme within the country’s Vision 2030 objectives of diversifying its economy, growing tourism, and creating jobs.

There will also be other unspecified activities and events set up around the tournament geared towards attracting tourists to the city, with the indoor tournament chosen to help boost Saudi tourism in the summer, which is normally when tourism declines due to the hot weather.

The move is part of a wider government investment in esports, which includes forming tournament organizer conglomerate ESL Faceit Group, the aforementioned Gamers8 esports festival, investing in Chinese tournament operator and esports company VSPO, as well as buying stakes in various game developers.