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Emirati Startup YaLLa E-sports in Line to Bag $1.2 Million in International Tournament Prizes

The recent growth comes after the startup’s six-figure-dollar investment in April.

UAE-based professional e-sports startup Yalla E-sports has qualified for three major international tournaments this month alone. YaLLa’s team of professional players, who are all from the MENA region, are set to take the world by storm, beginning with the Hearthstone Masters Tour finals in Bucharest to win over $1 million in prize money, the Clash Royale League World Championships in Spain for a chance to grab $100,000, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in Shanghai for a chance to win another $100,000, making a total prize pool of $1.2 million.

YaLLa E-sports is a MENA-based professional E-sports team including players from Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and the UAE, led by Finnish-born e-sports trailblazer, Klaus Kajeski, who founded the startup in 2016, after having been heavily involved in building the regional esports ecosystem by using his expertise. In April 2019, YaLLa E-Sports announced that it had raised a six-figure-dollar investment from regional angel investors, and has since went on to partner up with leading brands in the industry including Logitech G, Western Digital and ASUS Republic of Gamers.

“It’s a really exciting time for e-sports in our region as we are getting qualifiers and opportunities to compete on a global scale. There’s a lot of talent in the Middle East and North Africa, millennials are driving this industry and the viewership is witnessing the fastest growing fanbase of any world sports,” says Klaus Kajetski, founder of YaLLa E-sports.

According to research concluded by NewZoo, a global leader in games and esports analytics, worldwide e-sports revenues will hit $1.1 billion in 2019 and the total e-sports audience is expected to reach 500 million viewers this year. Additionally, Financial services company Goldman Sachs recently brought out a report on the e-sports industry, predicting that annual revenue could grow to $3 billion by 2022. The steady projection comes on behalf of the massive growth potential the company sees in the e-sports population.

“E-sports is definitely a viable career for keen talents gamers. We at YaLLa Esports are planning to create several fully-employed salaried gamers over the next few years. Also, an esports career is not only a player anymore. As the ecosystem grow, opportunities as caster, coach, analyst and many others start to pop up as well,” says Kajetski.

Like all major sports across the globe such as soccer, rugby or golf, E-sports has been climbing up the scale to become a prominent industry with various unique characteristics, a wide variety of game genres and platforms to choose from, and a great deal of required skillsets including fast reflexes, quick thinking and team-based gameplay, as well as individual gaming styles that puts the player in a shooter-style position.


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