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Tel Aviv to Host E-Sports Tournament With US, Israel, UAE, Morocco, Bahrain Teams

The national flags of Israel and the United Arab Emirates flutter along a highway, in Netanya, Israel, Aug. 17, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Nir Elias.

An online gaming tournament featuring national teams from Israel, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco will take place in January, in the latest bid to deepen burgeoning national ties through culture, it was announced Wednesday.

The first-ever Abraham Accords Esports Peace Games will be held “in the spirit of” the landmark US-brokered agreements that saw the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco normalize relations with Israel in 2020, organizers said.

The Shlomo Group Arena in north Tel Aviv will host the event between January 26-28, with the support of the US Embassy in Israel, Israeli-Jewish philanthropist Sylvan Adams, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Israeli Esports Association, and LionTree LLC, an investment banking firm with a specialty in the gaming sector.

An $82,000 prize fund will be on offer at the inaugural event, which is planned to include 10 countries and cost some $1.5 million, with hopes for expansion in later years.

December 13, 2022 5:01 pm

Foreign participants will have the opportunity to join tours and sight-see around Israel.

US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides, who serves as a co-chair of the Games, pointed to the importance of solidifying the Abraham Accords by “building people-to-people connections — the more people understand one another, the easier it is to resolve issues. Especially among young people.”

“This Esports tournament … is one of many joint cultural activities being organized around the Accords, connecting with the region’s youth to make sure the Accords are substantiable,” Nides added.

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