With the recent influx of funding from Saudi Arabia, Esports’ prize pool, interest, and viewership are on the rise once again – especially with the introduction of Gamers8. During the Lockdown of 2020, Esports went through a period of massive growth as few other sports were able to compete with the nature of how Esports is played.
Now that we are back to normal living, sponsors are unhappy with the decrease in viewership we are now seeing, with some stating that “Esports is dead”. However, this is not the case.
Although Esports viewership has declined since 2020, we are now seeing large investors backing the industry at a crucial time for the sport. ESL, the largest Esports production company, has received massive investment from Saudi Arabia – and the same can be said for the new Gamers8 tournament hosted in Riyadh.
But how successful was Gamers8 2023, and what can we expect from the future of the tournament? Here’s all you need to know…
Related: Esports Team Profile: Fnatic
Gamers8 2023 Viewership
This year, Gamers8 hosted over 10 huge Esports titles including Rocket League, CS:GO, Rainbow Six: Siege, and Fortnite. Unfortunately, some titles performed much better than others on streaming platforms. It’s unclear why this may be, but the current assumptions are around the prize pool, teams, and the games themselves.
Gamers8 CS:GO 2023
The Gamers8 CS:GO tournament ran from 16-20 August and featured a prize pool of $1,000,000. Saudi Esports Federation partnered with ESL to invite 16 top Esports teams including ENCE and Team Vitality. As this is one of the last CS:GO tournaments (with the release of Counter-Strike 2 around the corner) there was a lot of hype around the tournament and the atmosphere was electrifying in the stadium. Unfortunately, the viewership didn’t meet expectations with 429,000 peak viewers. This doesn’t come close to the BLAST.tv Paris Major 2023 which was hosted a few months before Gamers8.
Gamers8 2023 Rainbow Six: Siege
The Rainbow Six tournament featured 8 teams including Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP), Team BDS, and G2 Esports. The prize pool for this tournament was double that of CS:GO sitting at $2,000,000. With so much on the line, you may expect a much higher viewership, however, that is not the case. The tournament only hit 33,900 peak viewers which is far less than the Six Invitational which hit 232,000 viewers in 2023.
Perhaps this prize pool will help promote Siege in the future and push its viewership closer to that of Counter-Strike.
Dota 2 Riyadh Masters 2023
The Ryadh Masters is a Dota 2 event produced by the Saudi Esports Federation and features the largest prize pool of any Esports tournament in history. At a whopping $15,000,000 it’s easy to believe that the tournament reached 588,000 peak viewers, the most of any Dota 2 tournament in 2023.
On top of CS:GO, Rainbow Six: Siege, and Dota 2, Gamers8 also hosted other tournaments, these can be seen below along with their prize pool and peak viewers:
- Gamers8 Fortnite 2023 – Prize Pool: $2,000,000 – Peak Viewers: 105,000
- Gamers8 Tekken 7 2023 – Prize Pool: $1,000,000 – Peak Viewers: 44,000
- PUBG Mobile World Invitational 2023 – Prize Pool: $3,000,000 – Peak Viewers: 517,000
- Gamers8 Rennsport 2023 – Prize Pool: $1,000,000 – Peak Viewers: 14,000
- Gamers 8 StarCraft 2 2023 – $500,000 – Peak Viewers: 54,300
- Gamers8 Rocket League 2023 – $2,000,000 – Peak Viewers: 83,819
The Future of Gamers8
Gamers8 will return in 2024. For now, the players can focus on other major tournaments that take place throughout the year for their respective games.
It’s clear to see that the biggest attraction of the event is the massive prize pools. It’s currently unclear as to whether these will stay for next year’s Gamers8 event, however, it feels as if they have set their expectations high and plan to meet expectations.
This injection of funding into the industry has managed to breathe new life into Esports. Although Gamers8 is a new event, it has managed to rejuvenate the passion for the sport – for both the players and the fans.