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IoM Digital Appoints Chris Kissack as Head of Esports

Niji Narayan

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IoM Digital Appoints Chris Kissack as Head of Esports
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Isle of Man Digital (IoM Digital), an agency within the Department of Enterprise for the Isle of Man, has appointed Chris Kissack as Head of Esports.

Kissack will be tasked with spearheading the Isle of Man’s launch of an esports enterprise programme, aimed at attracting new businesses to the self-governing British Crown jurisdiction.

Kissack joins IoM Digital from Amber Gaming, where he led the consultancy’s delivery of professional services and projects for esports clients.

“I am very pleased to welcome Chris to our team. It was vital that we found the right candidate to drive forward this new, exciting venture for the Island, and Chris’ experience in the sector, expert knowledge, and enthusiasm for our esports proposition made him a perfect fit for the role,” Lyle Wraxall, CEO of IoM Digital, said.

“I am looking forward to continuing my work in raising the Island’s profile within the esports space. My time at Amber has been a very positive experience and I’m very grateful to both Ted and the team for giving me the opportunity to help them create the Island’s first dedicated service offerings for the esports industry. As a proud Manxman, it is a great feeling to join the Digital Agency to partner with local businesses and institutions to deliver the island’s esports strategy, embrace this thriving new industry and help grow this exciting new sector for the Island,” Kissack said.

eSports

Voodoo Ranger Becomes Official Beer Partner of Dignitas

Niji Narayan

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Voodoo Ranger Becomes Official Beer Partner of Dignitas
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Voodoo Ranger has become the Official Beer Partner of the esports organisation Dignitas.

The partnership marks the first in esports for Voodoo Ranger and features community-centric social, digital, and future on-location activations with the goal of connecting Dignitas’ vibrant fanbase through the organisation’s content creators and athletes.

Through the partnership, Voodoo Ranger and Dignitas will collaborate on exciting new content to celebrate Dignitas’ passionate esports fans and community. In Voodoo Ranger Community Game Nights, streamed live on Twitch, Dignitas athletes and content creators will square-off in battles of bragging rights and brews. Dignitas will also hold a series of fan-focused Happy Hours and release original content, celebrating the special connection between gaming fans across the world and the future of the global esports community. Dignitas and Voodoo Ranger will continue to connect gaming fans and athletes at live, in-person events in the future; offering opportunities for tasting, sampling and celebrating.

“Our partnership with Dignitas is an amazing chance to support a team and community that loves beer and all things gaming and esports but includes the community support and initiatives that we as a brewery also hold extremely close to our hearts. Cheers!” Patrick Morgan, Voodoo Ranger Community Manager, said.

“Aligning with a brand that values bringing people together as highly as we do makes Voodoo Ranger a natural fit. Community is the lifeblood of esports and gaming, and we’re proud to partner with a brand dedicated to uplifting and celebrating the lives and moments we all share together,” John Spiher, Vice President of Partnerships at Dignitas, said.

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eSports

BLAST Premier extends broadcast reach for 2021 season with eight new media deals

George Miller

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BLAST Premier extends broadcast reach for 2021 season with eight new media deals
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Media deals include linear TV channels SportsMax, Nordic Entertainment Group and BOLT+ after increased viewership in 2020

Esports tournament BLAST Premier has extended its international broadcast reach with eight new media rights deals for the rest of the 2021 season.

TV channels SportsMax, Nordic Entertainment Group and BOLT+, among other new deals, will take the world’s leading Counter-Strike tournament series to a number of new regions around the world, including: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Iceland, Canada, Kosovo, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India and the Caribbean.

The new rights partnerships will extend the esports media network’s portfolio of media rights to over 35 partners, meaning BLAST Premier will be shown in 18 different languages and across 157 territories.

The announcement highlights a period of growth for BLAST’s TV and online distribution footprint after a year of increased viewership for esports. Newszoo’s 2020 report estimated a year-on-year increase in the total esports audience by 11.7% to just short of 500 million people, while revenue from media rights and sponsorships ($822.4m) was expected to account for three-quarters of the total market.

Last season, BLAST Premier enjoyed increased viewership and more than 83 million hours of content watched across all seven of its Counter-Strike tournaments while posting the most watched CS:GO online match of all time during the Global Final.

Alexander Lewin, VP of Distribution and Programming for BLAST, said: “We are thrilled to see so many new partners join the BLAST network of leading TV and online channels. These deals will offer even more fans the opportunity to tune in to watch BLAST Premier from around the world, which is now accessible in over 150 territories and 18 languages. We expect to continue our path of expansion during an exciting period of viewership growth at BLAST Premier and in esports.”

BLAST Premier is a global Counter-Strike tournament series that unites all major events, offers opportunities to all regions across the globe and crowns the world champions of CS:GO. Up to 32 teams will take part in the seven BLAST Premier events this year with a combined prize pool of $2,475,000 on the line.

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eSports

Formula 1® announce female-only qualification route for F1 Esports Series Pro Championship

George Miller

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Formula 1® announce female-only qualification route for F1 Esports Series Pro Championship
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Formula 1® has today announced plans for the F1® Esports Series Women’s Wildcard, a female only qualification route into the Pro Exhibition, where F1® teams will be scouting talent to add to their rosters for this year’s Pro Championship, which will start in the autumn.

The Women’s Wildcard will be open to female competitors only, where drivers will compete to set the fastest lap times on the official F1® 2020 video game, developed by Code masters, across a one week window in early May (3-9). The participant who sets the fastest time will be invited to take part in the Pro Exhibition later that month, an online combine where the next generation of Esports drivers will showcase their talents in a series of in game assessments, testing their abilities for the ten F1 ® Esports teams to assess and potentially choose for their Pro Championship rosters. The Pro Exhibition show featuring the Women’s Wildcard qualifier will be broadcast on Thursday 27 May on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Huya (China) channels.

Whilst previous F1® Esports events, such as the Virtual Grands Prix, have had female participants, there has never been a female driver competing in the professional ranks of the F1® Esports Series. This is the first female only competition the sport has run, which Formula 1 ® hope will encourage more drivers from the passionate and talented female sim racing community to engage with the F1® Esports Series at a grassroots level, in the hope of becoming the first ever female driver to be signed by an Official F1 ® Esports Series Team.

The introduction of the F1® Esports Series Women’s Wildcard follows the reaffirmed commitment to improving diversity and inclusion Formula 1 ® has made as part of the WeRaceAsOne initiative for 2021 and beyond.

 

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