UAE’s Emirates Esports Federation and India’s ITW Global have joined forces to introduce global esports league EGL (E-Gaming League), which is scheduled to take place in UAE during April 2024.

Slated to be a multi-title league, the EGL will onboard six franchises as team owners that will be competing across various titles like DOTA, PUBG, etc. Player selection will be conducted by franchises through drafts.

Speaking on the creation of EGL, Emirates Esports Federation president Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Shakbout Al Nahyan said, “The Emirates Esports Federation under the National Sports Council was set up to ensure the consistent development of esports in the UAE in a fair and regulated manner. The EGL will revolutionise the esports industry and go a long way in achieving our goal of creating a space where publishers, players, organisers and brands can come together and co-exist harmoniously to further bolster the future of esports in the region.”

The tournament will feature international global players and emerging talents from across the Middle East, UAE, India, China, South-East Asia, Europe and the USA. Aspiring players will undergo a rigorous selection process, with multiple rounds of qualifiers scheduled for February and March 2024. 

“Asia is one of the fastest-growing esports markets currently and with Indian gamers participating in this league, it will provide the country’s talented esports athletes with the platform to showcase their ability amongst the best-of global esports talent. We are excited about the potential of this league and look forward to creating an event that will truly change the trajectory and contribute to the growth of esports,” added Al Nahyan.

The top-ranked amateurs and future players emerging from these qualifiers will then be drafted into each franchise through a player auction or draft. 

Bengaluru-based ITW’s Nayeem Khan said, “ITW has been working in the business of sports for the last 15 years and we pride ourselves on understanding the market with an eye on the future, we have always believed in the potential of esports and are very excited to partner with the Emirates Esports Federation to bring EGL to the fans and players. We look forward to launch EGL India on the same concept in October 2024.”

The India Games Market Report 2023 report by Niko Partners states that the number of gamers in India across all platforms is forecast to reach 444 million in 2023, up 12.1 per cent year over year, and reach 641.2 million in 2027, growing at a five-year CAGR of 10.1 per cent. 

EGL will leverage the growing prominence of esports in India and focus on bringing tried and tested, successful sports formulae like the franchise setup seen in the IPL to the esports arena. 

Anticipated to commence in April 2024, the inaugural edition of EGL will be preceded by pre-event build-up activities starting in February in the UAE.