One on One With the Founder of Gamers Lounge, Hashem Alborno!
E-sports is one of the biggest markets in the world, and it’s expected to grow at a much higher rate. However, the MENA region isn’t taking advantage of the potential of its market.
Millions of people around the world stream competitive e-sports, attend live events and participate in e-sports professionally and casually. There is a gap in the market, where there is a huge demand for the scene to grow but very little is done to supply for that demand.
Here’s where Gamers Lounge comes in, as the leading hub for e-sports in the region. Gamers Lounge organizes professional tournaments, supports e-sports teams, and much more to take the scene to the next level. We sat down with the Founder of Gamers Lounge, Hashem Alborno, to get to know more about the future of e-sports in the region.
What inspired you to open Gamers Lounge?
We were all pro gamers, and we wished to have a team, sponsors, competitions, fans, and make a career out of gaming. But there weren’t much of this happening, so we decided to set our dream aside, and prepare the field for future gamers!
Why is the e-sports scene in the region not reaching its full potential?
There are several reasons why the e-sports scene in the region is still not as it should be. First, you have the sponsors, who still don’t see the audience they’re missing out on from investing in e-sports. Second, there is the audience who isn’t yet aware that there are tournaments in the region, and that there are Arab pro players that they could stream and follow instead of the international players. And the lack of awareness takes us to the media, who doesn’t shed enough light on the striving scene. More competitions, with bigger prize pools, and the teams investing in branding themselves would immensely help take things to the next level in the e-sports scene!
What was the turning point of e-sports in Egypt?
The Gamers Lounge Summer Cup (GLSC) 2 that took place back in 2016 was definitely the beginning of the boom of e-sports in Egypt. The event was to qualify the best teams for the official world cup for League of Legends, Counter-Strike, and Hearthstone! It took place at the Ministry of Youth, and the number of attendees accounted for 2,000, with another 2,000 streaming live!
The second milestone was the e-sports summit that took place in 2018! The biggest e-sports event in the region, with 6,000 attendees in which 4,000 participated in competitions. It took place in the Greek Campus, and the prize pool was around EGP200,000 for the 20 gaming competitions.
Where do you think e-sports in the region will be in five years from now?
Things radically change in a mere night! The mobile e-sports trend, for example, totally revolutionized e-sports and nobody predicted that it will that swiftly! I think that virtual reality will have a huge impact on e-sports in the future! We’re also expecting that there will be more teams, professional players, and the Middle Eastern scene will be more recognized on the international scale.
When will we see game production flourish in Egypt?
There are good Egyptian developers that work at multinational gaming production companies. But we don’t expect to see something big produced for Arabs as the cost of producing a game is much more than the expected revenue! There are some mobile games and indie games that are being produced by Egyptian producers, but nothing much is expected in the short run.