Calyx and Riot Games partner up to host the Intel Arabian Cup Playground for the GCC and Iraq

  • Two-season long esports tournament to include amateur talent from the GCC and Iraq
  • Local talent from the Middle East will now have the opportunity to compete in global leagues and face renowned gaming pros in the industry via this partnership between Riot Games and Calyx
  • Calyx to stream IAC Playground for the first time in GCC and Iraq on

Dubai, UAE: Calyx, a subsidiary of Hockwood Games, and Riot Games MENA have teamed up to host and livestream the first Intel Arabia Cup (IAC) for amateur gamers across the GCC and Iraq. The two-season long esports tournament will provide the gaming community with a new competitive series that features two of the most competitive games in the world – VALORANT, League of Legends as well as LOL: WildRift, and an entry point towards competing in international leagues and tournaments. Calyx-operated IAC Playground will be the “Official VRC” to qualify for a slot in the VRL season two, and two of the top teams from the LOL IAC Playground will qualify for the IAC Prestige Season two Open Qualifiers (no rank limit).

The IAC Playground is an official amateur-league qualifier tournament open for all ranks and teams. It will consist of players from the GCC and Iraq sub-region. This tournament will be a part of the ‘Road to VRL’ and the ‘Road to Prestige’ program, where players get a chance to qualify to the higher divisions. The IAC Playground VALORANT tournament will carry the highest number of points (deemed as a Tier 1 VRC tournament) of any VRC tournament. The IAC Playground will have a total prize pool of $30,000 over two seasons (over AED 110,000).

To be streamed on, YouTube, Twitch and Facebook, the tournament will see gamers compete over two seasons for a prize pool of $15,000 (AED 18,365) per season across VALORANT, League of Legends and LoL: WildRift competitions. Local talent from the Middle-East will now have the opportunity to compete in global leagues and face renowned gaming pros in the industry via this partnership between Riot Games and Calyx.

Sunderesan Iyer, Vice President, Business Development of Hockwood Games, said: “Our vision for Calyx is to be the home of esports in the region. Through this partnership with Riot Games once again, we are providing a professional platform to support the regional gaming community. We are proud to now offer a way for amateur gamers to compete on the global stage with Riot.”

Hakim Abu Nahel, Competitive Experience Professional at Riot Games MENA, said: “The IAC Playground is a grassroots circuit designed to provide a fantastic competitive experience to our League of Legends, VALORANT and WildRift players across the MENA region.”

We are proud to announce that the Playground circuit will also act as a stepping stone for aspiring teams and players to compete for an opportunity to qualify for higher tiered Roadmap such as the VRL for VALORANT and IAC Prestige Division for League of Legends.”

We are very excited to once again work alongside our long-term partners, Calyx to deliver this amazing journey and great opportunity for our players.”

Operational since 2016 and incorporated in 2019, Calyx is MENA’s #1 esports organizer and production company, based in Dubai and committed to building the presence of esports in the MENA region. With tournaments like the IAC Playground, Calyx and its partners are helping to build and expand the regional esports industry by providing local gamers with state-of-the-art platforms where they can have fun while also showcasing their skills in various games. Calyx has successfully conducted large and small tournaments in 15 countries in the region including Wizzo esports PUBG Mobile Cup, Regional VRL MENA League, and BLAST Premier Dune Cup.     

About Hockwood Games

Founded in 2020, and based in Dubai, Hockwood Games is MENA’s fastest growing gaming company focused on both esports and gaming via its brands Calyx (esports) and Fooz (content). The company is currently focused on emerging markets, starting first with esports gamers in the MENA region, with the primary markets being the UAE, KSA, and Egypt. Hockwood aims to build and empower MENA’s esports and gaming ecosystem with tournaments, creative content and influencer management, using technology that enables gamers and publishers to build a sustainable income while entertaining millions of viewers.

About Riot Games
Riot Games was founded in 2006 to develop, publish, and support the most player-focused games in the world. In 2009, Riot released its debut title, League of Legends, to worldwide acclaim. League has gone on to be the most-played PC game in the world and a key driver of the explosive growth of esports.

As League enters its second decade, Riot continues to evolve the game while delivering new experiences to players with Teamfight Tactics, Legends of Runeterra, VALORANT, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and multiple work-in-progress titles. Riot is also building the world of Runeterra through multimedia projects across music, comic books, board games, and the upcoming animated series Arcane.

Founded by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill, and led by CEO Nicolo Laurent, Riot is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and has 2,500+ Rioters in 20+ offices worldwide.