The Riyadh Global Esports Tour event is planned to be held next to the Gamers8 festival ©GEF

A stage of the Global Esports Tour is due to be held by the Saudi Esports Federation at the Boulevard Riyadh City during the eight-week long Gamers8 festival.

The opening leg of the professional series is scheduled to be staged between July 25 and 27.

It is planned that the tournament will feature Street Fighter V: Champion Edition.

Legs in Brazil, China, Singapore and Los Angeles are scheduled to follow late in the year.

"As a feature at our inaugural season last year, Riyadh hosted an epic stage of Global Esports Tour during the 2021 Riyadh Seasons," Paul Foster, the chief executive of the Global Esports Federation, said.

"Thousands of fans joined industry leaders and filled the arena.

"We are thrilled to be heading to Riyadh for this exciting live event this year as part of the celebration of esports and gaming culture at the Gamers8 festival.

"We can't wait to join our community in another landmark tournament this year."

The Gamers8 festival, which opened yesterday and is planned to run until September 8, boasts a total prize pool of $15 million (£12.6 million/€14.9 million) and is expected to feature various esports titles.

A two-day summit involving industry figures and events such as music concerts, magic shows and comedy shows have also been planned.

Saudi Arabia is accused of using esports as a form of sportwashing due to its alleged human rights abuses.

Homosexuality is illegal in the country while free speech and women's rights are severely restricted.

Saudi Arabia has also led a coalition in Yemen from 2015, with the military group carrying out numerous deadly airstrikes across Yemen.