Gitex 2008 brings the biggest pro gaming event in the Middle East: Digital Game World.
Although this event was announced quite some time ago, we prefer to begin coverage closer to the event. Debuting the biggest (hopefully) gaming event event in the Middle East, Gitex finally brings what all gamers in the region wanted: a feeble chance to win money and bragging rights.
Gitex is the biggest IT show in the Middle East region, held every Fall since I was but a wee lad the early 90’s. The show is spread into two areas, the Trade Show and the Shopper Expo. As you can guess, the Trade Show is where companies from all over the world bring their latest tech to show off, and smaller companies, usually from Asia, come here in hopes of getting a distributor here. The Shopper Expo is consumer focused where all the local companies clear stock give the best deals for IT stuff. Fingers crossed, I find a good deal on a Canon 450D.
Back to gaming, this is the first time a gaming competition of such calibre is being held. And by such calibre I mean prize money of upto AED 200,000 (USD 54k). Now I know that there are many good clans in the region, but it would be hilarious if some random clan from Asia came in and took the prizes :p
Anyways, here’s the official press releases:
“What is GITEX – Digital Game World?
Electronic Games (both PC & Console) have essentially become a part of our daily lives and are the fastest growing market segment in the region. With the acceptance of “videogames” in our lives, a new culture has arisen: Electronic Sports or better know as “eSports”.
The GITEX Digital Game World is a new and interactive Event, whose goal is Digital Entertainment, Digital Content and Interconnectivity amongst the GITEX events (GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK and GITEX SHOPPER). Taking place simultaneously during these two exhibitions, over 280,000 visitors will have the opportunity to view this innovative and unique event in the region.
Dubai World Trade Centre has entered a strategic partnership with Turtle Entertainment, the organisers of “ELECTRONICS SPORTS LEAGUE” the largest European Cyber League in the category for the Cyber Athlete and eSports.
GITEX Digital Game World will be a combination of various gaming activities including an online gaming tournament section; a console based gaming area, new game launches, live entertainment and interactive promotional stands from sponsors and exhibitors.
GITEX Digital Game World will be the largest gaming event in the Middle East with the power and reach of the Dubai World Trade Center and “GITEX SHOPPER”.
Hundreds of the Middle East’s gamers will battle it out for a chance to win AED 20,000 in the regions largest ever esports tournament.
The interactive event will be this year’s biggest attraction at GITEX Digital Game Championship, held at Airport Expo as part of GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK and GITEX Shopper & Consumer Electronics Expo on 19-21 October 2008.
Sixteen regional teams will compete in the popular game Counter-Strike, from 19-22 October 2008 for the AED 20,000 prize. In addition, the top-four regional teams will then take part in the Global Challenge Tournament ‘INTEL Extreme Masters III’ on 22-24 October 2008 where they will compete against some of the world’s greatest players. The winners of this Middle East leg of this competition will share prize money of approaching AED 200,000.”
While I know that the annual visitors turnover for Gitex itself is somewhere between 100 ~ 150k, I seriously doubt that the addition of Digital Game World will increase the numbers to anywhere near 280k visitors. Still, I’m willing to be proven wrong.
I’m glad that this region has finally recognized how huge the once ‘underground’ gaming scene has become. Events like this will only make video games more mainstream here, and expand the market. And it really is about Goddamn time Dubai held a pro gaming event!
And on that note, see you in 5 days time deculture!