Eilat has been announced as the next host of the illustrious international video game competition that attracts more than 200 million spectators worldwide.
The decision was announced during the International e-Sports Federation's 11th world championship in the South Korean capital of Seoul.
As part of the tournament, 500 gamers from around the world will face off in various competitive video games such as the fighting game Tekken 7, all vying for a grand prize of several hundred thousand dollars.
During the Seoul competition, Israel's team placed an impressive 11th out of 42, and even though Israel was a far cry from first place, it was still chosen to host the world's championship in November 2020.
"It's a secret we kept close to our chest for four months," says Ido Brosh, the chairman of the Israeli e-sports Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of electronic sports in Israel.
"We've been working on it for six months, collaborating with the Maccabi Sports Organization, the Prime Minister's Office and Eilat municipality," adds Brosh. "After seven years of trying, Israel will finally host the most important gaming competition in the world."
Eli Lancry, Eilat's deputy mayor, said, "we're happy and proud to host next year's gaming world championship, I'm sure it will help Eilat establish itself as a prominent tourist and international sport site.
The IESF's competition will be broadcasted live to hundreds of millions of viewers and will host 500 gamers from 60 countries all around the world, "some of competitors come from Iran and Indonesia, they expressed their disappointment at the announcement, since they naturally won't be able to compete," said Brosh.
"It's not because it's specifically Israel," added Brosh, " it's because they want to come, but can't because of the obvious political situation."
Brosh added that the problem isn't specifically on our side though, "the PM's office announced it will allow e-sport competitors to enter Israel regardless of country, so really, if their country doesn't have a problem, Israel doesn't have a problem."