Last year, the nine-week-long Gamers Without Borders charity esports event donated more than $10 million to global charities in the fight against COVID-19 and it’s back for 2021. Specifically titled No One Left Behind, this year’s equally virtual event is focussed on raising money specifically to aid the distribution of vaccines in underdeveloped countries, and in communities at risk of being forgotten. The event is currently approaching its final stages and gamers across the globe will still be competing until August 8th.
Gamers Without Borders is run by the Saudi Esports Federation and the 2021 event has already pledged $10 million towards vaccine distribution, with further donations as the event goes on. Last year’s extravaganza saw more than 460,000 gamers over 111 countries taking part in the festivities and this year’s event is looking to follow suit.
His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, chairman of organizers the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “Within a week of our debut Gamers Without Borders back in 2020, we could already see the impact that the festival had. Gamers united in support of those suffering most and those on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19."
“That global battle continues, with gamers across the world doing their part. The proof of that is in the phenomenal number of gamers already seen getting involved in this year’s Gamers Without Borders, where our mission is to leave no one behind and do what we can to get much-needed COVID-19 vaccines distributed in the world’s most vulnerable nations."
“Both our elite series and community tournaments have been at the heart of that, where we have seen some incredible action over the last four-and-a-half weeks. I look forward to seeing what the remainder of this year’s Gamers Without Borders will bring to gamers in every corner of the globe.”
Esports teams have already been competing across the world’s biggest games. Thrilling FIFA 21, CS: GO, Rainbow Six: Siege, Rocket League, and Fortnite events have taken place. You can find out more about past events, including a nail-biting FIFA 21 showdown between world-beating 15-year-old FIFA player Anders Vejrgang and fellow pro Levi de Weerd here.
While the Elite competition has now finished, there’s still time to get involved. With community tournaments across Call of Duty: Black Ops, Clash Royale, DOTA 2, Hearthstone, LoL and dozens of other games, there’s plenty to dive into or just settle down to watch on Twitch. You can find out what’s happening and find links to the details of the more than 300 events here.
As well as online tournaments, Gamers Without Borders has been holding a three phase online cosplay contest with a prize fund of $85,000 going to a charity of the winners’ choice, and a Gamers Without Borders concert kicked off the whole event. Plus, there’s no shortage of entertainment on offer for those who don’t want to play. Constant live shows are playing around the clock to make sure you can keep up with everything going on. With podcasts, influencer meet and greets and even comedy acts, you might just need six monitors to keep up with the action. 2020 saw people watching more than 6.3 million hours of competition so maybe you’ll need a few more screens…
And on top of all of that is Gamers Without Borders training programs. These are free training events and educational sessions for those who are looking to develop a career in gaming with better industry knowledge. The most important focus though is raising money for multiple humanitarian organisations across the world which are involved with vaccine distribution. Donations will go to Gavi Vaccine Alliance, Direct Relief, Unicef, and the International Medical Corps specifically to ensure that developing countries are not left behind when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine roll out. You can find out more about the whole event and donate here.