The Saudi gaming portfolio continues to grow.
The ESL FACEIT Group, the holding company forged by the acquisition and merger of both ESL and FACEIT by the Saudi-backed Savvy Games Group last year, has officially acquired esports technology and infrastructure company Vindex, according to an official release posted today.
The two main brands under the Vindex company are Esports Engine and Vindex Intelligence Platform, which now fall under the ownership of the ESL FACEIT Group, which also owns and operates ESL, FACEIT, and DreamHack. The Savvy Games Group, which purchased and merged ESL and FACEIT for $1.5 billion last January, is completely owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund with $620 billion worth of assets across the world.
The transaction officially closed on Feb. 17, according to the press release, but financial terms were not disclosed. Belong Gaming Arenas, a company owned by Vindex that operates and hosts various gaming centers around the U.S. and U.K., is not included in the acquisition and “will become a stand-alone entity and will continue to operate independently.”
Esports Engine provides extensive operations management and solutions for esports events and tournaments, including competition design, broadcast production, and event hosting. The company features numerous esports operations veterans from the days of MLG and has worked with numerous brands in various titles, most notably Halo and Call of Duty. The Vindex Intelligence Platform “provides brands, publishers and creators with robust omnichannel consumer data and analytics.”
Saudi’s PIF has become very involved in the gaming industry over the past few years, purchasing stakes in Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Activision Blizzard, Nintendo, and Embracer Group. While it was able to make its way into esports via the ESL FACEIT acquisition, Saudi-backed investment has also been stonewalled in the past, most notably when both the LEC and BLAST ended partnerships with the PIF-backed NEOM project in 2020 following community backlash stemming from the country’s stance toward LGBTQ+ members and its poor human rights records.