Prince of Jordan to Fund eSports School

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Prince of Jordan to Fund eSports School

It would appear that the eSports boom has not escaped the notice of Prince Omar Bin Al Faisal, who has now decided to set up an eSports school In Jordan to help students become professional gamers in the increasingly lucrative pursuit. Case in point, global revenues derived from eSport competitions is expected to reach around $700 million by the end of 2017, with analysts predicting that figure to rise to around $1.5 billion by 2020.

ESports Booming

Among the most popular eSports tournaments in the world right now is the International for Dota 2, and the League of Legends World Championship, both of which feature prize pools worth millions of dollars, in contrast to days past when a player would consider themselves truly fortunate to secure a six-figure sum. Therefore, it comes as little surprise that Prince Omar Bin Al Faisal wants to invest in a franchise set to become the ‘next big thing’ by starting his own eSports school.

Economic Opportunity

Becoming a head of a large, successful sports team or becoming invested in a popular sporting activity, such as motor racing, has always been a way for the very wealthy to enhance their own reputations amongst other people involved in the same industry. Furthermore, if run successfully, revenues generated can subsequently help boost the coffers of struggling countries, which could provide another insight into the reason Prince Omar Bin Al Faisal may be showing such interest in funding an eSports school.

Illustrating this point, the African Gaming League was set up in 2016, with the continent looking to carve out a slice of the lucrative pie that also offers it bookmakers a chance to take bets on the outcome of tournaments. Needless to say, such a development will be welcome by an industry based in the world’s 7th most populous country with 189 people.

Establishing an Industry

In addition to the reasons already mentioned, the purpose of Jordan setting up an eSports school could also be to lay the foundations for future generations to assert themselves on the global eSports scene. Currently, the industry is mainly dominated by American and Asian players, with recent winners of the League of Legends Championship, and Dota 2 The International coming from these regions.

While there is no denying that the national Jordan eSports team will have quite a long way to go before making such an impact on the eSports market, it still has to start somewhere. It appears the country is off to a fairly decent start, too, as Jordan already boasts a few highly paid eSports winners, such as Amer ‘Miracle-’ Al-Barkawi, who has amassed $2.9 million throughout his career playing Dota 2 as part of Team Liquid. Another Jordanian player, Yazied Jaradat, has also won $138,392 competing at Dota 2 Championships with Team Secret, and these players, together with a number of other budding talents, could play a huge role in inspiring and teaching other compatriots on how to play professionally. This in turn may help a new generation of eSports players to firmly put Jordan on the eSports map a few years down the line.

Player Response

Of course, it is important to get opinions and feedback from professional players based in the country, and while Amer ‘Miracle-’ Al-Barkawi has hailed the eSports school project as a positive development, he did warn of some of the potential pitfalls of such a project. As he subsequently explained during an interview with Red Bull in 2016″

“It’s not always positive to be playing every single day, for 10 hours a day, for 10 days in a row. You might get really bored of it and it’s important to get away from the computer and do whatever with your friends and just chill out – even if it’s just for one day.”

Meanwhile, the Jordan Olympic Committee seems to have thrown its support behind Prince Omar Bin Al Faisal’s innovation, and has stated that a training center clearly shows Jordan’s intention and commitment to growing eSports over the next months and years. Coupled with big monetary funding available in the country, Jordan stands every chance of making a success of the venture.

Also boding well for the industry is the fact the 2022 Asian Games has already included eSports as a medal event in the competition , with the world’s second biggest multi-sport event after the Olympics providing a good marker to determine how successful and effective the training school has proven over its initial years.

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