Connecting Through Esports: Monumental Sports and the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C. Host a Webinar on the Community Building Power of Esports

 MSE and the UAE Embassy build on their cross-cultural partnership to strengthen international bonds through sports

View the webinar here

Washington, D.C. – Today, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, in partnership with the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, D.C. debuted the 2022 Esports Webinar, a multi-perspective panel exploring the impact of esports on our industries, our communities, and our world, emphasizing that esports are for everyone.

Zach Leonsis, President of Media and New Enterprises, Monumental Sports & Entertainment; Dana Al Marashi, Head of Cultural Diplomacy, UAE Embassy, Washington D.C.; Sultan Al Riyami, Head of Gaming & Esports at Abu Dhabi Gaming; and Antonio “Newdini” Newman, member of the two-time NBA 2K League Champion Wizards District Gaming team held a compelling discussion on the global reach and cultural connectivity of esports, moderated by Trent Murray, Senior Writer for The Esports Observer and Sports Business Journal.

In 2016, MSE entered into a partnership with the UAE Embassy which supported MSE’s traditional teams and properties and produced incredible experiences, including clinics in both countries featuring Washington Capitals alumni and Mystics players. With the full support of UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, this collaborative relationship was reaffirmed in 2020 with support for Monumental esports programming. As partners, the UAE Embassy and MSE share the belief that all sports, and especially esports, can be a great equalizer to build bridges across cultures.

Washington, D.C. is an international city allowing communities of all backgrounds to benefit from MSE’s global reach via partnerships that remind us of our common bonds through sports. Meanwhile, the gaming and esports markets in the Middle East region are growing exponentially. The UAE is at the forefront of building an esports ecosystem with an abundance of employment opportunities for skilled gaming and industry talent.

The webinar is available for viewing on Monumental Sports Network and the Monumental Esports YouTube channel. It will also be streamed on Twitch on May 24 at 10 a.m. ET and replayed throughout the week.

Highlights from panelists:
“One of the things that we are really attracted to is that esports is an ultimate meritocracy. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, who you are, what you look like, what you believe in– If you can play the game, you can play the game. And as internet connectivity and data speeds have just increased over time, and will only get faster and faster, those connections between people across the country and across the world are only going to be heightened.” – Zach Leonsis

“Esports and egaming in general are not only unlimited business opportunities or industry potential but it can also be a powerful tool to connect people from all over the word who share similar interests as well. This industry can also be a creative and positive outlet for youth in the region, America and around the world.” – Dana Al Marashi

The [NBA 2K] league allows us to do what we were already doing, which was playing with everyone across the world, now we just get to put a face to the person we’re playing with. If it weren’t for the 2K League I would not have met the people I’ve met, the friendships I have, or the fans I’ve met.”  – Antonio “Newdini” Newman

“There are so many jobs in the gaming and esports industry. For every 50 people you invite for an esports event there are 500 people in the background that are working on making that event happen. For people who really are excited about being a part of this industry, if you don’t make it as a professional player there are other routes you can take. We’re exploring all of that in Abu Dhabi to try and be ahead of the curve to have the best talent in the region.” –   Sultan Al Riyami



About Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Monumental Sports & Entertainment is America’s leading sports and entertainment family. Our people, players, teams, and events bring excitement and joy to millions. We invest and innovate to consistently raise the game so we can deliver extraordinary experiences that will inspire and unite our community, our fans, and our people. To learn more, please visit

About the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC
As an ally and close friend, the UAE takes an active role to help US communities in need. Through engagement with hospitals, schools and foundations across the United States, the UAE supports initiatives that improve health and expand opportunity. The UAE Embassy’s Cultural Diplomacy program facilitates connections between Emiratis and Americans in areas ranging from food, music, arts and film, to sports, science, and environmental protection. To learn more, visit

About Abu Dhabi Gaming
AD Gaming is a government-led initiative that amasses the broad efforts throughout Abu Dhabi to transform the Emirate into a global gaming hub. With a focus on talent development, game development and esports, AD Gaming is accelerating the growth of the region’s gaming industry, providing career opportunities for aspiring talent and creating world class content from the capital of the UAE. To learn more, visit


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