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Fnatic Renews Partnership With OnePlus

George Miller

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Fnatic Renews Partnership With OnePlus
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Fnatic, a leading London-based esports organisation, today announced its partnership renewal with premium smartphone manufacturer, OnePlus. Since the start of the official partnership in 2019, OnePlus has branded the front of the player jerseys, replacing ‘Fnatic,’ representing a landmark moment for both organisations. As an extension of this partnership, Fnatic and OnePlus will focus their efforts on scouting mobile talent across Europe and North America to amplify mobile gaming around the world. This is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a mobile handset manufacturer and an esports organisation and represents a new generation of gaming that ushers in the growing significance of mobile within the industry.

The renewed partnership continues the integration of Fnatic Mode, an advanced gaming mode that transforms a OnePlus smartphone into a dedicated gaming powerhouse. Fnatic Mode optimizes the device CPU, GPU and RAM for best possible gaming experiences, and blocks notifications from apps, calls and other distractions while gaming. When this partnership launched last year, Fnatic Mode was exclusive to the OnePlus 7 Pro. Fnatic Mode is now available through the OnePlus Game Space application on the new OnePlus 8 Series, as well as the OnePlus 7T Pro, 7T, 7, 6T, 6, 5T and 5 devices.

“Fnatic aims to seek out, level up and amplify every gamer on the planet, and having OnePlus as our mobile partner allows us to reach and interact with the massive mobile gaming support base,” said Fnatic CEO and Founder, Sam Mathews. “OnePlus is not only empowering our mobile gamers, but also providing all of our teams with the best possible device for when they are on the road, casually gaming or just keeping connected to our fans.”

“A leader in performance and hardware, OnePlus is committed to working with Fnatic and gamers alike, to deliver the best smartphones for mobile gaming,” said OnePlus Director of Global Brand Partnerships, Eric Gass. “We believe that mobile gaming is the future and through the renewed partnership, OnePlus strives to equip players around the world with the tools necessary to advance their gameplay.”

With live mobile gaming viewership up 600% to nearly 100 million hours in the last 12 months, Fnatic is focused on expanding its mobile gaming presence around the world. Demonstrating this commitment, Fnatic entered the PUBG Mobile scene after acquiring the Indian team, XSpark, last year. Additionally, in the coming months, Fnatic and OnePlus will introduce its first North American venture, signing top tier creators and players to prepare for the Call of Duty Mobile World Championship.

“Mobile gaming is the future of esports, with devices becoming more and more powerful and allowing for high end performance. They are opening up competitive gaming to everyone, and OnePlus is at the forefront of handsets optimised for gaming,” concluded Fnatic CGO, Patrik Sattermon.

eSports

paysafecard becomes main partner to NEO in new esports partnership

George Miller

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paysafecard becomes main partner to NEO in new esports partnership
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As the 2020/2021 esports FIFA season kicks off, paysafecard and NEO are embarking on a new collaboration, with paysafecard becoming the team’s main partner. The deal with NEO, the esports team featuring the former FIFA world champion “Gorilla”, will see the paysafecard brand featured through an exclusive in-game integration, online and offline, as well as via joint social media, Twitch and YouTube activations. The partnership was initiated by sports marketing agency Weirather Wentzel & Partner (WWP Group).

paysafecard, a market leader in eCash payment solutions and part of the international specialised payment platform Paysafe, enables simple and secure online cash transactions and is available in over 650,000 points of sale across 50 countries. By using a 16-digit paysafecard PIN, customers do not need a bank account or credit card to pay online, keeping their confidential financial data secure and protected. paysafecard has been active in the gaming community since its creation in 2000 and is well known in esports circles and popular with gamers.

Meanwhile, after a successful premiere season with a place among the top 8 teams in the world at the FECWC 2020 (the team world championship of sports simulation FIFA) and a top 4 place in the eChampions League, NEO has set itself up for the new season in a very ambitious way, with strong newcomers. In addition to Gorilla, the team now also includes DFB eNational player “DullenMIKE,” the youngest FIFA major champion of all times, who is moving from VfL Wolfsburg to NEO. The line-up is completed by the young up-and-coming talents “Lenny” and “JuliusFGU,” one of Germany’s most popular FIFA content creators.

ADDED VALUE FOR THE COMMUNITY THROUGH CREATIVE STORYTELLING

Konstantinos Maragkakis, paysafecard’s esports spokesperson, comments: “paysafecard’s connection to esports has been anchored in our DNA since our company was founded 20 years ago. Our mission is to provide gaming enthusiasts with an eCash payment solution that is as safe and easy to use as cash. Our partnership with NEO, such a young and ambitious team, is an essential part of our strategy and in this case the in-game brand placement will help us further connect with our customers and demonstrate our commitment to esports.”

NEO Manager Dan Woods is looking forward to the partnership: “It is a great pleasure to finally present our main partner at the beginning of the new season. The talks with those responsible at paysafecard were very target-oriented and straightforward right from the start. The cooperation will generate much excitement, especially in the digital space. paysafecard is experienced in esports, which makes all of the discussions about content, activations and so on extremely creative. From our side, we are focused on playing a very good sports season with the new line-up and feeding our community on social media with high-quality content. I’m sure that with such a team and such a partner the new season will bring a lot of good things for us!”

Bastian Kroll, Managing Director of WWP-Germany, added: “In our opinion, paysafecard and NEO are the perfect fit. The in-game placement of a brand, which enables simplified payment transactions for in-game purchases, is really powerful. In the past two years we have promoted and expanded the topic of esports in the entire WWP-Group with experts like Ramón Reber. The COVID-19 crisis shows the opportunities this new market offers for partnerships: flexibility and crisis resistance make esports the sport of the future.”

 

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Eastern Europe

Ukraine’s UPEA Unveils Five-year Strategy for Esports Development

Niji Narayan

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Ukraine’s UPEA Unveils Five-year Strategy for Esports Development
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The Ukrainian Professional Esports Association (UPEA) has introduced its strategy of esports development in Ukraine for the next five years, as well as its structure and key objectives.

UPEA intends to raise funds, develop streaming studios, open an “esports ready” hotel, increase the number of international tournaments, attract investments, and more.

The Association plans to attract $100 million of investments, $42 million of which has already been made towards the purchase and development of the first “esports ready” hotel on the infrastructure base of the Dnipro Hotel. Another $20 million is planned to be invested into its reconstruction, according to a release.

“We want Ukraine to be among the world leaders, and today we have all chances to enter the TOP-5 countries with the most developed esports ecosystem,” Oleksandr Kokhanovskyy, Board Chairman for UPEA and Founder of Natus Vincere, said.

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eSports

Riot Games Announces First Official Global VALORANT Tournament – First Strike – To Crown Regional Champions

George Miller

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Riot Games Announces First Official Global VALORANT Tournament - First Strike - To Crown Regional Champions
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Riot Games announced First Strike, the first tournament organized and operated by the publisher for its newly released competitive 5v5 character-based tactical shooter – VALORANT. This global event will provide opportunities for players around the world to begin building their regional legacy through a series of tournaments.

First Strike will continue to build on the momentum of VALORANT esports by leveraging a decade of Riot Games’ industry-leading experience producing best-in-class esports events and broadcasts. Riot Games is also the largest global esports producer in the world, running and broadcasting weekly professional league competitions in multiple global regions, as well as winning multiple Emmys for the League of Legends World Championship, the world’s most viewed esports event.

“VALORANT is a deeply competitive title with global appeal and the necessary elements to become the next premier esport,” said Whalen Rozelle, Senior Director of Esports at Riot Games. “First Strike will provide our thriving competitive ecosystem with the platform to showcase their greatness, build regional legacy, and a foundation that will support the esport for years to come.”

First Strike will be a global set of tournaments, composed of multiple regional finals taking place across North America, Europe, CIS, Turkey, Asia, Oceania, Brazil, and the Middle East. Each region will host a series of merit-based qualifiers, resulting in multiple Riot-produced, top eight First Strike Finals, running from December 3 – 6. The winners will earn the right to call themselves the first official regional VALORANT champions. Both professional teams and aspiring amateur squads will have opportunities to qualify for the First Strike finals through online tournaments operated by premier esports organizations.

“Esports remains one of the best investments we can make to support our community for the long term,” said Anna Donlon, Executive Producer of VALORANT. “As we’ve already seen from the Ignition Series, there’s a huge demand and hunger for VALORANT to be played at a professional level, and we’re so excited to be starting that journey with fans, players, and organizations. As a development team, supporting the competitive world of VALORANT is one of our top priorities, and we are committed to this journey.”

Since its release, VALORANT has become one of the fastest growing esports, attracting massive online viewership and the commitment of numerous established professional players from a wide range of competitive backgrounds, as well as emerging discovered talent. To support the growth of VALORANT esports, Riot Games partnered with more than 20 premier event organizers to launch the VALORANT Ignition Series, delivering numerous tentpole competitions that attracted the attention of millions of fans. During the past six months, hundreds of VALORANT tournaments have taken place across a wide range of formats, awarding more than $1 million in prizes to teams and players all over the world.

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