Esports Awards CEO discusses three-year partnership with Esports World Cup

Esports industry awards show Esports Awards has announced a three-year partnership with Saudi Arabia-backed multi-
title esports tournament Esports World Cup (EWC).

As a result, the 2024 Esports Awards ceremony will be held during EWC on August 24th in Riyadh.

In a written interview by Esports Insider, Esports Awards CEO Michael Ashford stated that the three-year deal will see
the awards show’s 2024, 2025 and 2026 events be hosted alongside the Esports World Cup, “with an intent to explore
longer-term collaborations.

The Esports World Cup

is well on its way to establishing itself as the biggest competition in esports and competitive gaming history,” said
Ashford.ESIC and International Olympic

Having the opportunity to align with an event and festival with so many shared values, that in our opinion will become
the global hub for the industry ensures the opportunity to reach the West and East in a way not previously possible.

Founded in 2015, Esports Awards celebrates esports talent and companies across various categories, such as
competition, content creation and media. The partnership with the EWC aims to support the Esports Awards’ expansion
with an elevated awards show. This includes an expanded Lifetime Achievement mixer, Red Carpet Event and Esports

The Esports World Cup is a new annual multi-title esports and gaming festival in Saudi Arabia. This year the event will
feature a total of 19 titles and an overall prize pool of $60m (~£47.1m). This includes events such as the Mobile
Legends: Bang Bang Mid Season Cup and the Dota 2 Ryadh Masters.

The event was initially announced by Saudi Arabian Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman and is organised by the
government-founded Esports World Cup foundation.

Saudi Arabia’s growing investment in esports has been met with criticism due to the country’s stance on women’s
rights, LGBTQ+ rights and censorship. Some voices in the industry have labelled Saudi Arabia’s competitive gaming
ventures as ‘esportswashing’, an attempt to distract from its human rights record.

Ashford assured that EWC will have no control over the award nominations or the adjudication process and that
Esports Awards will remain an “independently owned and operated entity.”

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