As the hosts of the FIFA World Cup, 2022 is going to be a big sporting year for Qatar but what else does the future hold? From the world of e-gamers and the business of sport, to scoring points with padel players, Qatar365 discovers the potential.
Entering the world of eGamers
E-sports has become a mainstream global attraction with conventions, competitions, and streaming channels. It is even becoming a popular subject in academic environments, like at The International School of London, the first in the MENA region to use eGaming to support learning and create its own eSports league.
Qatar has also now set up an eSports Federation hoping to encourage more international tournaments and attract gaming organizations to the country. The country’s e-football team, supported by the Qatar Football Association, is ranked 10th globally.
Video game tournaments often help gamers clock full-time incomes and provide an opportunity for older generations to expand their knowledge of eSport, “one of the most life-changing experiences for me was when my father attended a tournament, he still asks me, how's the e-sports thing going?” reminisces Abdul Rahman Al-Mana, Director and E-sport Head Tournament organizer.
With so much happening in the gaming scene, Qatar is hitting the button on E-sporting success.
A hub for the business of sport
The business of sport is a multi-billion-euro industry with big opportunities. Harnessing all that is Qatar’s new Sport Accelerator Hub - which aims to create new possibilities and attract foreign investment into sport.
Their international success stories include Microsoft, LaLiga, and Sponix, a start-up, technology company creating 3D replays of football matches. They have already signed agreements with the Serie A, UEFA, and companies like BeIn Sports.”
Scoring Points with Padel
First invented in 1969 by Mexican businessperson, Enrique Corcuera, padel is one of the fastest growing racquet sports in the world. Nowhere is it more popular than in Qatar. Usually played in doubles, singles is also an option and so this non-contact sport became a vital outlet for those looking to exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coach Julia Galifa Beltri came from Spain a year ago, to teach in Doha at courts like Aspire Sports Club, one of the first padel courts in the country. Julia trains ladies, most of them Qatari and she has noticed a steady improvement in their gameplay. The sport’s governing body, the International Padel Federation, has launched a new global padel tour and the first event is taking place in Qatar.