The Next World Forum 2022 | Panel Discussions That Will Shape The Future Of Gaming And Esports

The Next World Forum, an esports and gaming summit that will bring together sector leaders from around the world, is to be held in September in Riyadh. It will be hosted by the SEF (Saudi Esports Federation), and here's everything you need to know about the event and its first-of-a-kind panel discussions.

HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, Chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation. | © SEF

To cap off the recent Gamers8 festival, a summit will be held that looks to the future of esports. More than 1,200 delegates from across the globe will gather in Riyadh to discuss the most pertinent issues in esports and gaming at the in-person forum. These include ministers of sport from various leading nations, investors, gamers, developers, tech providers, start-ups, public sector representatives, brands and publishers. The Next World Forum will be kicked off by the "Saudi Spotlight: What Now, What Next?" panel, which will be followed by sessions featuring ideas and conversations from some of the most shrewd and respected people across the global entertainment and business spheres of gaming and esports. Panel discussions include Gaming and Esports as the Next Frontier of Media; Gaming as an Untapped Economic Powerhouse; VR/AR and the Metaverse in the Spotlight; Gaming for Good: The Light Side and the Dark Side of Gaming; and Leveling Up Esports and Gamer Health.

Here are all the key details regarding the forum.

Next World Forum: Key Details

  • When: Wednesday, September 7 & Thursday, September 8
  • Where: The Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh At Kingdom Center
  • Notable Speakers:
    • His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, Chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation
    • Chester King, CEO, British Esports
    • Mario Pérez Guerreira CEO, MENA
    • Grant Johnson, Chairman and CEO, Esports Entertainment Group

Next World Forum: Topics To Be Discussed

Across two days, the Next World Forum will highlight:

  • Key tech development challenges affecting the shifting landscape of the gaming and esports ecosystem
  • Trends including cloud gaming, distribution platform development and appetite for fresh content
  • The rise of thinking around impact-driven gaming, real-world impact and gaming for innovation across multiple sectors
  • Solution-based discussion on government attitudes to gaming, ecosystem talent development and infrastructure development
  • The emerging Saudi market landscape and opportunities to be part of its story
  • Genre innovations, regulation, and legislation

Specific September 7 Panel Topics

The first day will be kicked off by the Saudi Spotlight. This will be followed by the session Gaming and Esports as the Next Frontier of Media, at 11am on September 7. This session will be moderated by Dr. Alex Schudey, Managing Director and Partner of the Boston Consulting Group. He will be joined by speakers Chester King, the CEO of British Esports and Vice President of the Global Esports Federation; Stephan Fox, President, United Through Sports and Vice President, GAISF; and Vlad Marinescu, President of the International Esports Federation. The session will zero in on how gaming is shaping entertainment.

At 11.40am Gaming as an Untapped Economic Powerhouse will discuss why major brands are investing in the gaming and esports ecosystem at unprecedented levels.

To be followed by VR/AR and the Metaverse in the Spotlight at 1pm on September 7, which will address the intriguing prospect of whether VR/AR are the natural progression in the gaming ecosystem – or just an addition to gaming consumption.

Specific September 8 Panel Topics

The second day will start off at 9.40am with a fascinating look at the topic Gaming for Good: The Light Side and the Dark Side of Gaming, featuring Joana Pérez Martorell, the Chief of Partnerships at UNICEF; Houssam Chahine, Chief of Private Sector Partnerships and Philanthropy for MENA at UNHCR; Désiré Koussawo, the international esports consultant; and Vlad Marinescu, the President of the International Esports Federation. The panel will explore the power of gaming to boost strategic thinking, teamwork, communication, leadership and application across a wide spectrum of careers including medicine, engineering and more.

This will be followed by Leveling Up Esports and Gamer Health at 11am. This panel will focus on the vital topic of health and wellbeing management models for both hobbyists and professional gamers. The panel for this event features Dr. Melita N. Moore, the CEO of Levels Unlocked Enterprises and Chair of Health & Wellness at the Global Esports Federation, as well as a speaker from the renowned Saudi Arabia-based organization the Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group.

What Is Gamers8?

Gamers8, from the creators of Gamers Without Borders, is a global gaming and esports festival with a mission to blur the lines between what's physical and what's virtual. Established to bring the virtual world of gaming and esports out into the physical realm of Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, Gamers8 will be held for eight weeks this summer from July 14 – September 8.

Offering elite and competitive tournaments, entertainment, activities and attractions, incredible music concerts and shows, plus more, Gamers8 concludes with a gaming and esports summit that brings together sector leaders and experts from around the world.

The elite gaming competitions will host the biggest esports teams in the world across five different titles with a total prize pool of $15 million, all hosted in a state of the art, purpose-built venue at Boulevard Riyadh City.

Organized by the Saudi Esports Federation, the event is being brought by a series of partners including Mastercard, SAVVY Gaming Group, ESL FACEIT Group, Spotify, and Aramco, each collaborating to provide gamers around the world an experience like no other.

What Is The SEF?

The Saudi Esports Federation is the regulating body in charge of nurturing elite gaming athletes and developing the gaming community and industry in Saudi Arabia.

The federation’s activities are categorized into two complementary streams. The first stream works to develop all levels of competitive gamers, starting with the grassroots community level and moving up to professional esports athletes that can achieve global excellence. The second stream works to develop the entire gaming/esports value chain by catalyzing the industry and enabling talent.

Since its establishment in late 2017, the federation has organized multiple world-class national and international tournaments and events, attracted investment from local private sector actors and worked with international developers on opportunities in the Saudi market.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was your rundown on the Next World Forum.

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