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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

Kia France and Team Vitality announce partnership and launch an innovative and original digital campaign

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Leading global esports organisation Team Vitality is excited to share it has partnered with Kia France. Inspired by esports since 2019, when it began its partnership with the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), Kia continues to be involved in this exponentially growing industry. Attracting millions of players and spectators around the world, esports has become an unmissable combination of sport, lifestyle, and performance. Kia is intensifying its links with esports and is partnering with Team Vitality, the number one esports team in France and home to some of the biggest esports players. Team Vitality is home to the world’s best players competing across eight titles and is one of only ten teams competing in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC). With more than 24 million followers across social media, Team Vitality is the most successful team in France with a huge global presence.

Kia France and Team Vitality are launching a unique pan-European digital campaign to kick off the collaboration. Creation and innovation are the pillars of this campaign, entitled Voyage to Inspiration, which will be broadcast on the social networks of Kia France and Team Vitality from 29 July for a period of three months. For this campaign, Kia France brings an innovative vision of its brand orientation, its identity, and its products. In turn, Team Vitality highlights its expertise in the field of esports and digital technology.

The campaign will feature Team Vitality athletes and ambassadors in France and EV6, Kia’s new 100% electric crossover, which offers a range of up to 510 km (WLTP combined cycle) and can be recharged from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes, namely 100 km of range recovered in less than 5 minutes!

 

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Innovative digital activations will be carried out throughout the campaign through video content jointly produced by Kia France and Team Vitality using the new Kia brand signature “Movement that inspires”. A co-branded Kia x Vitality product embracing the Kia EV6’s design, performance, and technology features, will appear during the campaign.

We are delighted to have set up this collaboration with Kia France, a leading brand in the electrification market and innovative in its approach. At Team Vitality we pride ourselves on creating content that goes beyond the traditional and it’s great to partner with Kia France to produce something unique for our fans. ” says Fabien DEVIDE, President of Team Vitality.

Innovation and expertise are the key words of our respective industries, so creating this partnership was an obvious choice in view of this shared vision. But beyond this orientation, the strength of our partnership lies in our creativity and our desire to surprise our audiences. Esports is now a major sport discipline, so it is essential for us as a car brand to join this movement and to draw inspiration from it to reach out to these athletes of a new world,” concludes Olivier BOUELHARRAG, Head of Communications at Kia France.

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BLAST announce WePlay Esports as new Russian language broadcast partner

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BLAST Premier has announced a two-year deal with WePlay Esports to broadcast its global Counter-Strike tournament series exclusively in the CIS region.  

Under the nature of the deal, media holding company and esports tournament organiser WePlay Esports will own exclusive Russian language media rights to broadcast this year’s BLAST Premier Fall Groups (September 16-26), Showdown (October 12-17), Final (November 24-28) and World Final (December 14-19) and the entire 2022 season. 

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 over the course of 2021 with a combined prize pool of $2,475,000 on the line. 

The CIS region represents one of BLAST and CS:GO’s most popular countries for viewership, with it regularly featuring in the most watched regions for each event. A recent study by Esports Charts, reported that Russian-language esports broadcasts in 2020 amounted to a total of 200M hours watched, growth of 10% compared to 2019, with Counter-Strike remaining the second most watched esport in the region. 

Alexander Lewin, VP of Distribution and Programming for BLAST, said: “We’re delighted to welcome WePlay Esports as our latest broadcast partner – with their extensive expertise in Counter-Strike production, WePlay Esports will help to bring the very best of BLAST Premier to Russia for the remainder of the 2021 season and beyond. BLAST has always enjoyed great support and viewership in the CIS region and we look forward to maintaining our industry leading esports production and entertainment for the community to enjoy.”

Maksym Bilonogov, Chief Visionary Officer and General Producer at WePlay Esports, said: “We at WePlay Esports recognize BLAST Premier as one of the best CS:GO circuits out there, which uses technology and creativity to deliver world-class entertainment. Our team will go all out to bring the same level of show to the CIS audience and make sure that the love for the game in the region only grows stronger with time.”

BLAST’s portfolio of media rights currently stands at over 35 partners, meaning BLAST Premier is shown in 18 different languages and over 150 TV territories.

WePlay Esports has experience not only in broadcasting but also in hosting CS:GO tournaments. The company organized WePlay! Lock and Load, two seasons of the Forge of Masters league, WePlay! Clutch Island, and the first season of the WePlay Academy League. 

 

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Girl Squad Setting Foot in Gaming Content Creation

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There is no doubt that the global esports industry is thriving, especially when people are confined at home due to the current covid-19 situation. We have seen people going gaga over the popular multiplayer games like PUBG (now BGMI in India), Free Fire, Counter Strike, Valorant, Fortnite, etc. and they are sincerely dedicating a considerable amount of time on screen. We all might agree that it is commonly considered as a male-dominated space and we hardly encounter a female gamer who is creating content and engaging with audience. But that can soon be considered a thing from the past. Trinity Gaming, India’s top gaming talent management company has been associating with women gamers & content creators since its inception in 2019. While initially, we just had a handful of women enthusiasts, now we see huge curiosity about professional e-gaming from women across ages, geographic locations, and socio-economic conditions. Women are increasingly becoming attracted to virtual sports, driven either by their passion or viable career option.

Recently, a remarkable number of women professional gamers have come on rise. These young gamers have set their foot strong enough to compete with their male counterparts but in a healthy and entertaining way, which promises to take the space of esports to new heights. These professional gamers collaborating, bringing new content and are engaging with a wider audience.

 

Sanjana Bhattacharya aka iamBLACKHORSE                              

My name is Sanjana Bhattacharya and I go by the gaming name BLACKHORSE. I have been a content creator and a streamer on YouTube for almost 4 years now and it has to be the most magical journey I have ever been on with so much to learn and so many experiences to gain. I currently have a family of 185k+ subscribers on my YouTube channel iamBLACKHORSE and I love to call them my team black fam. My subscribers are my biggest supporters and they encourage me every day to get up and work 2 times harder than the previous day.

 

Pooja Bisht

My name is Pooja Bisht. I have been streaming for 2 years. I play pc games like GTA 5 RP, Valorant, Apex and many more. I play games for fun. I have collaborated with multiple brands like AORUS, Gigabyte, Booyah, AMD. I currently have a family of 46.8k+ subscribers on my YouTube channel. I really want to try BGMI and definitely want to explore more pc games for more exposure in the gaming ecosystem. I want other gamers to define a player with the skills and strategy they put in the game and not gender.

 

Sakshi Sood

Sakshi is a 21-year-old gaming content creator, she does unboxing videos of any new graphics card in collaboration with MSI. She is also supported by Redbull. She also worked with Zotac as well and made some vlogs too. She recently released the first episode from a series she is making on “My journey as a gamer to a streamer”. Her future plan is to try out new games, expand her selection of games by trying out unpopular games. She also wanted to raise awareness among female gamers and encourage them to try out new games to play and stream. She currently has a family of 1,53,797 subscribers on her Facebook Gaming channel.

 

Kangkana Talukdar aka Mystic Ignite  

Kangkana aka Mystic Ignite is a 22-year-old gaming content creator who wants to become one of the best female esports players in India and you all will find her playing games with her followers. She being very talkative, so one of her friends suggests her to stream and interact with the public as she loves being funny most of the time and the suggestion turned out to be the catalyst in the growth of her career. She currently has a family of 65,000 followers on her Facebook Gaming channel.

 

Aparna Shukla aka Annie

Aparna is a 26-year-old gaming content creator; she wants to explore every new game with her audience. She does content creation around everything like unboxing, collaboration with other gamers, branding etc. In a short period of time, she attracted a good amount of audience with her skills. She aims to explore each and every game in her league. She loves interacting with the audience and plays with her followers. She currently has a family of 21 lakh plus followers on her Facebook Gaming channel “Rogstream”.

 

Anjali Roy aka Unicorn IB

Anjali is a 21-year-old gaming content creator, she loves exploring more games and interact with her audience. She has proved to be a great example of female gamers. Despite facing online bullying on the gaming front, she continues to grow with the support of her family and friends. She currently has a family of 1.3 lakh followers on her Facebook Gaming channel.

 

Trinity gaming is among the pioneers who are proudly serving some of India’s largest channels and brands, while working closely with over 250 of their gaming professionals. It is committed to encourage gamers and build an industry which offers the safe haven to these young talents who have the potential to turn passion into a full-time career and where no genders are barred.

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