Former Team Liquid executive Mike Milanov has joined Qiddiya Gaming as its new chairman. Milanov spent more than seven years at Team Liquid in various roles including chief business development officer, chief operating officer, and director of operations. Milanov left Team Liquid in April.
Milanov announced his new role on Thursday via social media:
Excited to announce my new position as Chairman of Qiddiya City’s Gaming & Esports Advisory Board. We are building the World First Gaming & Esports District and officially reveal Qiddiya | القدية Gaming today to the world. The response from all industry stakeholders over the last 7 months has been amazing while we have been previewing.
Thanks to our global launch partners, creators, agencies, strategic partners, vendors & staff for helping bring this to life.
In 2024 we will announce more partnerships, participate in the most impactful gaming events, create amazing content and reveal more about this magical place which feels to me like an IRL MMO!
Qiddiya City is a mega city project being spearheaded by the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC), which is described by its owners as a “significant project of the Public Investment Fund,” or Saudi Arabia’s government-owned sovereign wealth fund.
Announced in April of 2017 by Saudi Arabia’s leader HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (MBS), the project hopes to be an international entertainment destination offering “video gaming headquarters, motorsports area, Formula 1 racetrack, golf courses, Six Flags theme park, water park, music festivals, and various sports competitions” when it is completed.
QIC also claims that, when completed, it will feature 60,000 buildings capable of housing 600,000 people, and businesses and amenities within the project will create an estimated 325,000 jobs. When fully operational, QIC projects that nearly 10M people will pass through the international destination annually.
Qiddiya Gaming was formally unveiled on Thursday and is a core component of the project that focuses on bringing gaming and esports competitions to Riyadh in 2024 and beyond. The project is promising 500,000 M2 (5,381,955.21 square feet) of space for game “worlds to be brought to life,” including four dedicated gaming arenas (73,000 peak capacity for esports tournaments across all venues, according to QIC). The district dedicated to gaming and esports will also serve as the permanent home of “25 esports clubs,” regional headquarters for 30 video game companies, and will offer nearby gaming-themed hotels and residential units.
Qiddiya Gaming also released a video narrated by actor Mark Hammill on Thursday:
We are Qiddiya Gaming – this is our vision for the World First Gaming & Esports District designed for the global gaming communities we all love. Explore more: https://t.co/XAvZ9qKYsi#PlayLife pic.twitter.com/UYbMwTyFvU
— Qiddiya Gaming (@QiddiyaGaming) December 14, 2023
In addition, several content creators promoted the announcement on Kick and Twitch streams, and on X/Twitter Thursday. We’ll have more on that later today.