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

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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.

eSports

Dignitas Partners with Virus International

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Dignitas, the esports vertical of New Meta Entertainment (NME), has announced athletic wear brand VIRUS International as its Official Game Day Apparel Partner.

As per the deal, VIRUS International will create Dignitas’ Official Competitive Game Day uniform including the Official Team Jersey with logo presence on the front of the jersey, Game Day Warm Up and Performance Workout Apparel kits which include T-Shirt, Sweatshirt, Hoodie, Player Jacket, Joggers and Leggings. Both kits will be uniquely designed to fit Dignitas Women’s and Men’s teams. All apparel will be co-branded with Dignitas and VIRUS International.

Dignitas will integrate Dignitas and VIRUS International co-branded merchandise into its online store, which will be available for fans to purchase at DignitasStore.com.

“We’re excited to partner with Dignitas and break into the esports & gaming community. The synergy is perfect. VIRUS’ mission has always been to provide the highest quality gear to our athletes in order to help them perform their best and to enable them to achieve their athletic & lifestyle goals without restriction,” Ashley Gomez, Director of Brand & Partnerships at Virus International, said.

“VIRUS operates at the forefront of the latest innovations in apparel and bio-physical technology which has allowed our brand to produce technology-infused fabrics that have stood the test of time since 2010. Like VIRUS, Dignitas marries technology with its sport and industry, and this synergy between technology and gamers is undeniable,” Melanie Lin, Director of B2B Sales at Virus International, said.

“Dignitas is thrilled to partner with VIRUS International, an athleticwear brand that understands the needs of our esports athletes. Performance apparel is an everyday part of our athletes’ lives as they train, travel the world, and compete against the world’s best competition on-stage. VIRUS’ end-to-end control of the design and manufacturing process allows us to collaborate on new silhouettes to match our diverse fans and athletes’ tastes season to season and in real-time globally,” Ian K. Partilla, SVP of Strategic Global Business Development at Dignitas, said.

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Compliance Updates

Intema announces Isle of Man OGRA license application

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Intema announces Isle of Man OGRA license application
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Intema Solutions Inc. is pleased to announce that the Isle of Man regulatory authorities have formally accepted for review the application by Livestream Esports Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intema, for a license under the Online Gambling Regulation Act (OGRA) 2001.

“Obtaining this license from one of the world’s most prestigious gaming jurisdictions would be another great milestone for Intema, particularly in the context of the proposed acquisition of LOOT.BET,” said Laurent Benezra, Intema’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The Isle of Man promotes the highest standards of jurisdictional control in the gaming industry. In addition, the license granted by this regulatory body has many financial and logistical benefits, and would allow us to offer continuous fun, safe and responsible gaming experiences for gamers around the world.”

Team Bloodhounds Inc. Acquisition

Additionally, further to the press release dated June 22, 2021 and the press release dated September 24, 2021, as consideration in respect to the acquisition of Team Bloodhounds Inc. (“Team BH), Intema has made a cash payment of $60,500 and issued 943,396 common shares of Intema to the shareholders of Team BH (with an additional cash payment $60,500 payable in three months following the closing of the acquisition).

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Asia

M88 expands esports coverage by partnering with BETER

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M88 expands esports coverage by partnering with BETER
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International sports and esports betting provider BETER announced today that they have teamed up with M88. The leading Asian sportsbook has decided to take advantage of BETER’s portfolio to further engage their players across the region with the addition of more than 30,000 extra global esports tournament events and 200,000 ESportsBattle matches every year.

“Here at BETER, we are convinced that collaborating with M88 is another significant step towards increasing our presence in the Asian market, which is one of our primary focuses for the next few years. We firmly believe that this partnership will prove to be prosperous and beneficial for both parties,” said Gal Ehrlich, CEO at BETER.

BETER will provide M88 with customised quarter markets that perfectly suit their players’ needs. All live streams, data, odds, and margins can easily be managed in the BETER’s Client Console.

“We’ve been interested in the type of fast content which BETER provides for some time, and we also see exactly what BETER can offer to M88 customers with live streaming of engaging ESportsBattle matches and odds for the most popular global esports tournaments. The integration and testing process proved that we found a reliable partner with top-notch solutions that will help us further enhance what we offer bettors,” said Alan Wafer, Head of Business Development at M88.

In his strategy presentation in July 2021, Gal Ehrlich emphasised that expanding into the Asian market is one of BETER’s core goals, as this region represents a promising avenue for future business growth. He also added that the company would focus on expanding its product portfolio and developing exclusive content.
BETER is a leading provider of fast sports & esports content, live streaming, live data, and odds for the betting industry. BETER powers Setka Cup, ESportsBattle and Asia Pro League tournaments and offers trading of world esports events. BETER sports and esports content is featured on more than 100 sportsbooks across the globe.

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