Island of Esports: True Gamers Unveils Ambitious Project

True Gamers, a leading gaming lounge operator, has unveiled plans for the city’s first-ever dedicated esports island.

In a groundbreaking move set to revolutionize Abu Dhabi’s gaming landscape, True Gamers, a leading gaming lounge operator, has unveiled plans for the city’s first-ever dedicated esports island.

The ambitious project aims to provide state-of-the-art facilities catering to various aspects of the esports industry, including competition, training, and athlete accommodation, marking a significant milestone not only for Abu Dhabi but also on a global scale.

According to Vlad Belyanin, co-founder of True Gamers, the proposed esports island could potentially be situated between Al Bandar and Al Dana developments in Al Raha Beach, strategically positioned amidst the city’s burgeoning neighborhoods. Facing Yas Island on one side and Raha Beach’s housing developments on the other, the location holds promise for becoming a hub of esports activity.

The estimated cost of the project stands at a staggering $1 billion, with True Gamers committing between $280 million and $300 million towards its realization. To raise the remaining funds required for the acquisition of the island and the construction of facilities, the company is currently engaged in discussions with high-profile investors.

The envisioned esports island would comprise several key sections designed to cater to the diverse needs of gamers and industry professionals alike. Among these sections, “The Digital Tower” stands out as a multifunctional hub offering spaces for meetings, start-up accelerators, and animation studios. Additionally, the “TG Arena” is poised to host esports tournaments and feature a computer club with approximately 100 PCs, a simulation racing section, and dedicated space for console gaming.

A unique aspect of the project is the planned “bootcamp” section, envisioned to provide accommodation reminiscent of American collegiate fraternities, tailored with input from esports team managers worldwide. Complementing these facilities is the proposed “GG Resort,” a hotel featuring 200 rooms equipped with gaming PCs, along with innovative amenities such as a “parachute jump check-in” inspired by popular battle royale games like PUBG.

Anton Vasilenko, CEO and co-founder of True Gamers, expressed confidence in the project’s potential, citing comprehensive market analysis of the MENA region’s esports landscape and the global industry’s growth trajectory as key factors driving its development.

While the project’s architectural plans were reportedly crafted by a team including Abdullah Bin Baz and Haitham Khojali, questions have arisen regarding the formal agreement between the architects and True Gamers. However, True Gamers representatives have indicated that more details regarding the project timeline and further developments will be forthcoming.

The announcement of the esports island project comes at a time when the UAE has been increasingly emphasizing the growth and development of the esports industry. True Gamers, with its existing network of 14 gaming lounges in Dubai and over 100 across Eastern Europe, has been at the forefront of this expansion. In January, the company secured $45 million in funding to establish 150 branches in Saudi Arabia, signaling its commitment to advancing the gaming culture across the region.

The significance of the esports industry has been underscored by a report from the Boston Consulting Group, which estimates a global gaming population of three billion, with 500 million identified as esports enthusiasts.

The Middle East, described as an “emerging force” in this space, has drawn attention for its thriving esports ecosystem, with countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE spearheading initiatives to establish the region as a global hub for competitive gaming.

Alexander Schudey, managing director of the Boston Consulting Group, commented on the Middle East’s potential to shape the future of live entertainment, highlighting the ambitious initiatives undertaken by countries in the region. These efforts not only aim to attract global audiences but also to nurture local talent and foster innovation within the competitive gaming industry.

As True Gamers progresses with its plans for the esports island project, anticipation mounts within the gaming community, signaling a new era of possibilities for esports enthusiasts in Abu Dhabi and beyond.