June 16, 2024
Image credit: Esports World Cup Foundation

Part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative, the Esports World Cup will launch its inaugural edition across eight weeks from July 3rd to August 25th, 2024.

Taking place in the country’s capital, Riyadh, the tournament will feature a total prize pool of $60m (~£48.1m), 19 prominent esports titles and a Club Championship, making it one of the industry’s biggest events in 2024.

Hosted by the Saudi-government-backed Esports World Cup Foundation, it is worth noting that the tournament has been met with criticism from sections of the esports community since its inception. This is due to the government’s investment in the scene, which has raised concerns over the Middle Eastern country’s human rights record, particularly surrounding women’s and LGBT+ rights. 

This article details every game that will be featured in the tournament, alongside prize pools, formats, schedules and additional information.

ESI London 2024

Esports World Cup Club Championship

The Esports World Cup Club Championship is a unique competition that rewards the top 16 organisations with its own separate prize pool of $20m (~£15.9m). The team that performs the best across the eight weeks will be crowned the Club Champion. The exact format to determine positions and the prize pool split has yet to be revealed.

This initiative is part of the Esports World Cup Foundation’s push to encourage esports organisations to form teams across multiple disciplines. The EWC Club Programme has also provided funding opportunities for 30 esports organisations. The names of these organisations were revealed on May 6th, with the likes of G2 Esports, FaZe Clan and T1 featured.

The Esports World Cup Foundation did note that being part of the programme does not guarantee entry into the Esports World Cup.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends was the last title to be confirmed for the Esports World Cup. However, the exact format, teams and prize pool have yet to be revealed. 

The game’s announcement led to concerns about whether the game’s LGBTQ+ characters would be featured in the tournament. Respawn, the game’s developer, clarified in a statement to Kotaku that it won’t be restricting any characters or cosmetics for the Esports World Cup. 

Counter-Strike 2 

Esports World Cup’s Counter-Strike 2 competition will take place from July 17th-21th. In total, 15 teams from around the world will compete for a share of its $1m (~£796,000) prize pool. 

Organised by the ESL and the Esports World Cup Foundation, teams have made it to the event through a combination of invites and regional qualifiers. The winners of two prominent Counter-Strike tournaments — Team Spirit (IEM Katowice 2024 champions) and Natus Vincere (PGL Major Copenhagen champions) — were invited to Riyadh.

Joining the organisations are the top seven teams from the ESL World ranking, which features the likes of G2 Esports, FaZe Clan and MOUZ. The remaining four teams were decided through regional qualifiers in South America (MIBR), Oceania (FlyQuest), Asia (The MongolZ) and the Middle East (JijieHao).

Dota 2

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: ESL Gaming, Shutterstock

The Riyadh Masters is returning in 2024 after originally being a part of Saudi Arabia’s multi-title esports event Gamers8 last year. 

The tournament will take place in July with 20 teams battling it out for a share of its $5m (~£4.67m) prize pool. Qualification is linked to the ESL Pro Tour Leaderboard, alongside regional qualifiers. Some of the teams already revealed for the event include Team Liquid, Team Falcons and BetBoom Team.

EA FC 2024

EA FC 2024’s Esports World Cup 2024 event sees players qualify for the event through DreamHack Dallas and DreamHack Summer in Sweden. On top of this, top players will receive a direct invite to the tournament. The exact format and prize pool have yet to be announced.

EA Sports has clarified that the tournament, which will take place in August, will not be a part of its EA FC Pro ecosystem.

Fortnite

The next game on the list is Fortnite, however, it will be slightly different from what is normally seen from the Battle Royale title. The Esports World Cup Foundation has said that it will be creating a brand-new ‘competitive UEFN (Unreal Editor for Fortnite) island experience’. 

It’s still unclear what teams will participate in the event and what the format entails. However, Epic Games will have no involvement in the event, making it a third-party tournament by the Esports World Cup Foundation. 

Free Fire

Free Fire is the first game on this list that has its Esports World 2024 event directly integrated into its official global esports ecosystem. Teams will qualify for the event through official Free Fire World Series (FFWS) competitions across different regions. Furthermore, the winner of the competition will also earn a slot in the FFWS Global Finals 2024. 

The event is set to take place from July 10th-14th, with 18 teams locking horns for its $1m (~£796,000) prize pool. 

Honor of Kings

Image credit: Honor of Kings

Honor of Kings has yet to fully complete its global expansion, however, it occupies a prominent spot at the Esports World Cup 2024. 

Riyadh is set to play host to the Honor of Kings Invitational Midseason as 12 teams compete for a share of its $3m (~£2.4m) prize pool. 

Furthermore, Tencent-owned publisher and developer Level Infinite has announced a partnership with the Esports World Cup Foundation. As a part of this, PUBG Mobile and Honor of Kings will be a part of the tournament for the next three years. 

League of Legends

Riot Games’ League of Legends, one of the most popular esports titles worldwide, is also set to be a part of the Esports World Cup 2024. 

Although details haven’t been announced, the tournament will be a third-party affair from the Esports World Cup Foundation with Riot Games stating that it will have no involvement. Despite not being involved, Riot Games did make space in its official esports roadmap to allow teams to practise and compete in the tournament. 

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang

Image credit: MOONTON

MLBB is another title where the Esports World Cup ties directly into its official esports ecosystem. The game will be hosting two tournaments, the rebranded Mid-Season Cup (MSC) and the MLBB Women’s Invitational (MWI), in Saudi Arabia. This is the first time these two tournaments will take place outside Southeast Asia (SEA). 

MSC 2024 will take place from June 28th to July 14th as 23 teams fight for a share of its $3m (~£2.4m) prize pool. MWI — an all-female esports tournament — will descend into Riyadh in August with $500,000 (~£398,000) on the line. 

Overwatch 2

With the shutdown of the Overwatch League in 2023, Overwatch is undergoing a crucial period of transition into a more open ecosystem. The Overwatch Champions Series, operated by Saudi-owned ESL FACEIT Group in partnership with Blizzard, will serve as a qualifier for the Esports World Cup 2024. 

It has been revealed that 16 Overwatch 2 teams are set to take part in the event. So far, the likes of Team Falcons, Crazy Raccoon, From The Gamer and YETI, have qualified for the event. 

PUBG Mobile

As part of Timi Studio’s partnership with the Esports World Cup Foundation, the official PUBG Mobile World Cup 2024 will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This is the game’s mid-season international event of the 2024 season.

28 teams from regional leagues around the world will qualify for the $3m (~£2.4m) tournament this July. The teams will qualify through ongoing regional events. 

PUBG: Battlegrounds

Over to PUBG’s PC counterpart, little information has been announced about PUBG: Battlegrounds’ involvement in the event. In the announcement of the game’s 2024 esports roadmap, KRAFTON has mentioned a mid-season global event in Riyadh this August – indicating that the publisher will be involved in the Esports World Cup. 

However, the roadmap doesn’t tie the tournament to its competitive road to the PGC calendar. It remains to be seen how teams qualify for the event. 

Rainbow Six Siege

It looks like Rainbow Six Siege is going to be another separate tournament at the Esports World Cup 2024, as the event makes no mention in the game’s esports roadmap. The format, teams and prize pool have yet to be revealed. 

Rennsport

Rennsport is the only racing simulator game at the multi-title event. In 2023, the game partnered with ESL to launch ESL R1, a racing sim esports league which ran across two seasons: Spring and Fall. 

Now, EFG has confirmed the return of the ESL R1 2024 Spring Season, where drivers will compete across six online rounds for 12 spots in the final at the Esports World Cup. 

The ESL R1 2024 Spring Season sees the return of the teams in the previous edition along with some new names. These include FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team ART, and Team Falcons. 

Rocket League

Rocket League looks set to be another third-party tournament outside of the game’s ecosystem at the Esports World Cup. Similar to Rainbow Six Siege, the format, teams and prize pool have not been disclosed. 

Starcraft II

The Esports World Cup has perhaps had the most effect on the Starcraft II esports roadmap. Earlier this year, ESL announced that the tournament in Riyadh would become the 2024 SC2 Pro Tour Championship. This means that it will act as the culminating event for the entire year. Players will fight across many competitions to earn a spot at the Esports World Cup, where the world champion will be crowned. 

It will have a prize pool of $1m (~£796,000) and will feature 18 players competing across five days. These will also include the top players from other major events like the IEM Katowice and the ESL SC2 Masters Spring Finals. 

Image credit: Esports World Cup

Street Fighter 6

The first of two fighting games in the Esports World Cup is Street Fighter 6. The game’s inclusion in the tournament is separate from the official Capcom Pro Tour 2024

The top six players from the EVO Japan SF6, including Menard, Lexx and Moke, have qualified for the event. The format and prize pool haven’t been revealed. 

Teamfight Tactics

Teamfight Tactics is also set to be a part of the Esports World Cup 2024, although the format, prize pool and other details have not been revealed. 

Just like League of Legends, Riot Games has clarified that it won’t be involved in the event’s production, but that it will allow players to participate in the event – making it a third-party tournament. 

Tekken 8

The last game on this list is fighting game Tekken 8. While the Esports World Cup isn’t officially listed in the Tekken World Tour, players will qualify for the event through different tournaments in the World Tour. So far, it has been announced that the top six players from EVO Japan will qualify for the event. 

Furthermore, Dreamhack Dallas is set to host an official Esports World Cup Qualifier for Tekken 8, where the winner will also qualify for the event. The full list of qualification events, prize pool and format has yet to be revealed.


This piece may be updated if more information becomes available. First published: 03/05/24

Wasif Ahmed

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