Since the beginning of the year it is now certain: The Saudi Savvy Gaming Group secured the ESL and Affeit, two of the largest independent league and tournament organizations of the ESPORT scene for approximately $ 1.5 billion. At first glance, a potentially future-oriented deal for the industry, the merger of the two organizers also triggered moral concerns. Because behind the Savvy Gaming Group, the Saudi Arab State Fund PIF and thus ultimately the Saudi crown principles and state.
Also in our Saudi Esport Talk on Twitch, Host Jan ‘Gamingalm’ Bergmann discussed the topic critical with Esport expert, author and lecturer Timo Schöber as well as analyst and commentator Marius Lauer.
Amnesty International beats alarm
Bergmann particularly focused on the humanitarian situation Saudi Arabi’s focus: “If I rate this based on the Amnesty International Report, then we continue to have massive restrictions of women, we have taboo and prison for homosexuality, we have the death penalty, the There is ‘offense’ or ‘crime’ and we have unlawful attacks and killings in the Republic of Yemen. “
For the FIFA Trader and Host the Round “Massive Deficits” of the state, which is behind the ESL takeover. Even approximation attempts of the past would not change anything:
“The question must be allowed to fit the points to the various values of the gaming and esport community and thus for sale to a Saudi Arab company, behind which the Saudi Arab state is standing and thus also to Saudi Arab laws “
Saudi measures only marketing?
Schöber, who has been an active and student member of the ESPORT scene for more than 20 years, hit a similar score: “Why does Saudi Arabia do that? These are marketing purposes,” he ordered the takeover and further approaches to the Western worldview a. Thus, legal relaxation such as the driver’s license or municipal suffrage for women “no conviction of the Saudi State” are also “. Instead, it was about “a foot in the door”.
For Schöber this is not acceptable due to the Saudi values: “There is no religious freedom, but a state religion, which is located. This religion is the Sunni Islam with a conservative interpretation, which is linked to the Sharia, the Islamic lawyer, which is why There is no secular case law. “
This core value has clearly clearly helped the ESL with dirt.
Esport expert, author and lecturer Timo Schöber
This attitude can not be combined with gaming and escort for the long-standing expert: “This has always been something very different and cosmopolitan.” Preliminary convictions he does not know from these circles accordingly: “That’s all that is interested in nobody interested in the espport.”
For Schöber an elementary value of the gaming, which the ESL sales undermines: “The ESL has clearly clearly helped the ESL with dirt.” You have to formulate that in my eyes. “
Something moderate was Lauer, who sees a chance except all criticism: “The esport is also known to be new and resetting.” So Man Saudi Arabia could give the opportunity to develop through the escort. A two-cut matter for the Berliner who warned against it, also to classify dedicated citizens on-site attrimmers in drawers: “There are people who fight hard for equality and which we exclude when we close from the outset.” It is questionable whether this is “our right as ESPORT”.
Avoid previous verifications
Schöber also gave concerns that not the mere origin of the takeover is problematic. If, for example, “a Saudi private company, a Saudi latitude or a Saudi version of the ESL” would be traded, it would be much less critical. But it does not handle “Sauce Saudi Arabic, but the Saudi Arab Government”.
Why also Lauer did not help but to build the backmasters of the business: “With which package is arrived there? That’s the state fund. Since you just have to have a bit google and not studied political science to understand where the funds come from.”
Nevertheless, Lauer remained at his two-part attitude. He would be “still in between”: “On the one hand, I want to think about the good, on the other side the question remains where everything comes from.”
As the question thereafter, where all this should lead.
Whether it’s Saudi Arabia about diversifying your own economy, another wire to the west, (e) sportswashing or something completely different remains open.
SCHÖBER has definitely for the future: “It’s all part of the political game, but I find it problematic if, for example, women’s rights are thrown into the ring in this political game.”