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Skillz Launches $100,000 eSports Tournament

Zoltan Tundik

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Allgood Solitaire on iPad - Source: allgoodsw.com
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Leading Mobile eSports Platform Powers World’s Largest Solitaire Competition

SAN FRANCISCOAug. 8, 2018 – Skillz, the worldwide leader in mobile eSports, announced today the largest solitaire tournament in history. The event, which kicks off on August 9 in Solitaire Cube by Tether Studios, will feature a $100,000 prize pool. The company expects over 40,000 competitors to participate, with first place taking home $10,000.

“The popularity of solitaire made it a natural fit for Skillz, a platform that makes eSports accessible to everyone,” said Tim O’Neil, CEO of Tether Studios. “When we built Solitaire Cube, we never imagined we would one day host the largest competition in the most popular game of all time.”

Solitaire, also known as ‘patience,’ is one of the most popular video games in history. Microsoft’s Windows Solitaire was a 2017 finalist for the World Video Game Hall of Fame, with over 100 million unique players. Mobile versions of solitaire have been even more popular, with over 17 million people playing solitaire games every day according to data from App Annie. That makes solitaire more than 7 times as popular as the hit game Fortnite, which has 2.4 million daily active mobile players according to App Annie.

The upcoming Skillz event will not only be solitaire’s largest tournament by total prizes, but will also be among the eSports industry’s most inclusive with the top 1,000 players earning a piece of the prize pool. The unequal distribution of eSports prizes recently garnered industry attention when the winner of EVO’s Super Smash Bros. Melee competition redistributed his earnings to lower finishers in protest of the event’s prize splits.

“In keeping with our mission, we designed this event to be accessible to everyone,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO and founder of Skillz. “Only 24 teams had the opportunity to win prizes in the League of Legends World Championship, but for a game like solitaire with billions of players, the tournament structure needs to be more inclusive.”

Solitaire Cube is available for download on both iOS and Android devices. For more information on Skillz-enabled games and implementing mobile eSports competitions, visit www.skillz.com or email [email protected].

About Skillz
Skillz, the leading mobile eSports platform, connects the world’s 2.6 billion mobile gamers through competition. In 2017, Skillz was named the #1 fastest-growing private company in America by Inc. Magazine, the first eSports company on CNBC’s Disruptor 50, and the only eSports company on the San Francisco Business Times Fast 100. Over 15 million gamers use Skillz to compete in mobile games across 8,000+ game studios. Founded in 2012, Skillz is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading venture capitalists as well as the owners of the New England Patriots, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Mets and Sacramento Kings. To learn more, visit www.skillz.com.

Press Contact
Roxie Bostwick
Communications Lead
Skillz Inc.
[email protected]

eSports

Lamborghini Enters eSports Arena

Niji Narayan

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Lamborghini Enters eSports Arena
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Car manufacturer Lamborghini has entered the world of esports with The Real Race, a global esports competition open to Assetto Corsa Competizione players of all levels. Assetto Corsa Competizione is an extraordinary racing simulation game developed by Kunos Simulazioni.

The tournament started on 29 May with five qualifier weekends, before culminating in a live final at Lamborghini’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy.

The Real Race will be Lamborghini’s first official entry into eSports, delivering a new sim racing championship blending the real and virtual worlds of racing. Assetto Corsa Competizione was developed alongside car manufacturers and provides a dynamic platform for Lamborghini’s latest racing series.

The top three players from the tournament’s live finals will enjoy a three-day experience in Italy, the home of Lamborghini. Players will have a chance to train alongside Lamborghini Squadra Corse drivers and to drive a real Lamborghini race car at an internationally- renowned racetrack. The competition is open to all experience levels.

Five qualifier weeks take place from 29 May to 2 August. The top three players from the first and last qualifier weekend and top two players from the second, third and fourth weekend, will be whisked away by Lamborghini to the live final on 18 September, where the best drivers will be determined.

“Sim racing is one of the fastest growing sectors in eSports, with eSports increasingly important to younger generations. I also follow it closely! This is an opportunity for us to combine the excitement of virtual racing with the appeal of Lamborghini cars and our motorsports program. ESports creates an environment where race heroes and top drivers can be challenged by anyone. This encourages wider engagement with real-life racing, reflected by Lamborghini’s investment in this new sports platform,” Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini, said.

“I’ve paid close attention to the rise of eSports. Seeing the realism of racing games and how drivers are using racing simulators to practice, or professional eSports players going from simulation to the real thing, is just incredible. The Real Race is designed to portray realism and professionalism. Skills in sim racing are so transferable, which is why Lamborghini wants to give players an opportunity to test drive the real thing as part of the prize. There’s nothing quite like getting behind the wheel of a Lamborghini,” David Coulthard MBE, former Formula One racing driver, who will be the studio-based commentator for the live event, said.

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NBA 2K League Season 3 Week 5 Preview

George Miller

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NBA 2K League Season 3 Week 5 Preview
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Blazer5 Gaming point guard Nidal “Mama Im Dat Man” Nasser was named NBA 2K League Player of the Week for Week 4 of the 2020 NBA 2K League season. Having set the NBA 2K League record for most points in regulation with 77 points against Bucks Gaming last week, Nasser has led Blazer5 Gaming to a 4-1 record on the season. Blazer5 Gaming will visit Kings Guard Gaming on Wednesday, June 3 at 9 p.m. ET and Warriors Gaming Squad on Friday, June 5 at 9 p.m. ET.

DEFENDING THE CROWN: Anchored by 2019 NBA 2K League All-Defensive Team member Yusuf “Yusuf_Scarbz” Abdulla (Canada), Kings Guard Gaming’s defense has turned heads in the first four weeks of the NBA 2K League season. On May 28, Sacramento held Jazz Gaming to seven points in the first half, setting the record for the least amount of points allowed in one half. Kings Guard Gaming’s impressive defense will get its biggest test of the season when they host Blazer5 Gaming Wednesday, June 3 at 9 pm/et.

ROOKIE DUEL: Two of the most talked about rookies in the NBA 2K League will meet
when John “JBM” Mascone and Wizards District Gaming hosts Kimmani “Splashy” Ingram and Jazz Gaming on Friday, June 5 at 9 p.m. ET. Mascone was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft delivered by Panera Bread while Ingram was the No. 10 overall pick.

WEST COAST SHOWDOWN: Entering the 2019 NBA 2K League Playoffs as the No. 8 seed, Warriors Gaming Squad pulled off the upset against Blazer5 Gaming, the top seeded team.  The teams will meet in the NBA 2K League “Game of the Week” on Friday, June 5 at 9 p.m. ET.  Both teams had coaching changes in the offseason.  Golden State hired Mike Newton, a former member of the NBA G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors coaching staff, while Portland tabbed Andrew Maxie, a former professional basketball player who played in Australia, Italy, Ireland, Macedonia, Mexico and Canada.

THREE MORE: In addition to tonight’s broadcast, ESPN2 has picked up three additional nights of NBA 2K League competition –Friday, June 5, Tuesday, June 9 and Wednesday, June 10.  Games begin at 7 p.m. ET.

THIS IS NOT A GAME – BP: From Bridgeport, C.T., Michael “BP” Diaz (Puerto Rico) began playing NBA 2K in 2011, but when he was 15 years old his entire life changed.  The future 2K League player was diagnosed with keratoconus, a progressive eye disease that has left him blind in his right eye. Despite this challenge, he was selected with the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft by Kings Guard Gaming and was named a finalist for the 2019 NBA 2K League Most Valuable Award.

Acquired by Hawks Talon GC in arguably the biggest trade in league history, the dynamic point guard has led the Atlanta squad to a 3-2 record in the 2020 season.  Diaz and Hawks Talon GC will host Warriors Gaming Squad on Thursday, June 4 at 9 p.m. ET.

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eSports

Esports Entertainment Group Appoints Industry Veteran Magnus Leppäniemi as VP of Marketing and Head of Esports at Vie.gg

George Miller

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Esports Entertainment Group Appoints Industry Veteran Magnus Leppäniemi as VP of Marketing and Head of Esports at Vie.gg
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Esports Entertainment Group, Inc., a licensed online gambling company with a focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming, today announced that Magnus Leppäniemi has joined the Company as Vice President of Marketing and Head of Esports at Vie.gg. Mr. Leppäniemi is a gaming industry veteran and brings more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience.

“Magnus is a proven marketing executive with invaluable knowledge of the gaming and esports industry,” commented Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group. “Over more than two decades in gaming, Magnus has built an extensive network of relationships that could provide tremendous value as we execute on our global growth strategy.”

Since beginning his career in the gaming industry in 1996, Leppäniemi has sold and managed global esports partnerships for major brands and partners like Intel, BenQ Zowie, Electronic Arts, Activision, ESL, and the NBA. Prior to joining Esports Entertainment Group, Leppäniemi was Global Sales Director for Wehype. Previously, he served as Sales Director North America at DreamHack, a Swedish production company specializing in esports tournaments and other gaming conventions.

“I’m very excited to join the Esports Entertainment team,” commented Leppäniemi. “As the first online betting company to list on NASDAQ, the Company has a great pedigree that we can continue to build on. We want to build trust with the players, fans, teams, publishers, and the community and give them a unique esports experience. Esports betting is here to stay, and we want to build the premier platform in the industry that benefits the gaming and esports communities. I look forward to accelerating our marketing efforts, refining our go-to-market models, and building out our esports initiatives.”

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