Middle Eastern esports organisation YaLLa Esports has joined the Saudi Esports Federation.
As a result, the organisation will compete in the Saudi Esports League, an expansive tournament series that features a range of titles.
The organisation will make its debut in the series through PUBG Mobile by competing in closed qualifiers of the Saudi eLeague Season 2. It has not been disclosed whether YaLLa will compete in any of Saudi Esports League’s other titles. Alongside PUBG Mobile the series includes Rocket League, Overwatch, Rainbow Six: Siege and Call of Duty: Vanguard.
Originally focusing on countries in the Levant, YaLLa Esports turned its attention to Saudi Arabia in 2021. The organisation notably represented the country during the PUBG Mobile World Invitational and placed second during this year’s PUBG Mobile Pro League Middle East & Africa Spring 2022 Championship.
YaLLa disclosed that its transition to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is part of its larger expansion plans. By moving itself to the country, the organisation looks to bolster its long-term strategy of building synergies with and developing multiple ventures in Saudi Arabia.
The organisation’s announcement comes at a time of significant — and controversial — development within Saudi Arabia’s gaming and esports ecosystem. In September, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud unveiled an expansive gaming and esports strategy in a bid to make the country a global hub for the sectors.
In an implementation of that Strategy, Saudi Arabian government-owned esports company Savvy Games Group (SGG) announced on September 29th a SAR 142bn (~£34.5bn; $37.9bn) investment plan. This includes proposals to purchase a leading game publisher, as well as invest in notable companies and industry disruptors.
Wadih Sayah, YaLLa’s Head of Esports, commented: “One can only admire the Kingdom’s efforts and commitment to developing a regional gaming and esports ecosystem. Competing in KSA represented an unmissable opportunity for us.”
Alongside the announcement, YaLLa also unveiled its PUBG Mobile roster that would be competing in the Saudi eLeague Season 2. The roster includes Sultan ‘Bommpa’ Hzom, Saif ‘SaiF’ Alshammari, Laith ‘Laith’ Mohedat, Mohammed ‘Qahtan’ Alqahtani and finally Mohammed ‘Volt’ Omar.