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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.

eSports

Next esports milestone through internationalization: SPORT1 launches new pan-European channel eSportsONE on November 3, 2020

George Miller

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Next esports milestone through internationalization: SPORT1 launches new pan-European channel eSportsONE on November 3, 2020
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

  • eSportsONE will be available from November 3 in Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Slovakia via the M7 platforms TV Vlaanderen, CanalDigitaal and Skylink
  • Central content partners for the launch are ESL, the NBA 2K League and Psyonix with the esports titles “Dota 2“, “Starcraft 2“, “Warcraft 3“, “NBA 2K“ and “Rocket League“
  • Pan-European agreement with M7 for the distribution of eSportsONE via satellite and various M7 platforms
  • Program structure with mix of live coverage of global top events and exclusive, self-produced analysis formats – all in English
  • Olaf Schröder, CEO of Sport1 Medien AG and Chairman of the Management Board of Sport1 GmbH: “We continue our esports success story internationally and are launching a new ground-breaking project with eSportsONE as a pan-European esports broadcaster.“

 

Milestone through internationalization in the esports market: Sport1 GmbH launches a new, pan-European esports channel with eSportsONE. eSportsONE goes on-air on Tuesday, November 3, in several European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Following the successful launch of the first linear TV channel for esports in the German-speaking region with eSPORTS1, this is the first time SPORT1 is implementing a pan-European channel project. The pay-TV channel eSportsONE will be distributed via the M7 platforms TV Vlaanderen, CanalDigitaal and Skylink at launch. Moreover, M7 serves as the central satellite distribution partner. Further platforms in numerous European markets will be added in the coming weeks. Central content partners are ESL, the NBA 2K League and Psyonix with the esports titles Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Warcraft 3, NBA 2K and Rocket League.

The 24/7 program of the pan-European channel comprises over 1,000 live hours per year of top-class international esports events as well as exclusive, self-produced analysis formats. The program content is prepared for the international target group by SPORT1‘s esports editorial team together with experts and influencers from the English-speaking esports community. All esports events are broadcast with English commentary, while individual highlights are commented by the SPORT1 esports editorial team and broadcast from an own studio.

The central content partner for the pan-European region is ESL, the world‘s largest esports company, with serial top competitions in Dota 2, the Warcraft 3 Pro Tour, the Starcraft 2 Pro Tour as well as numerous additional ESL competitions. In addition, other top esports properties will be featured, including the NBA 2K League and Psyonix‘s international Rocket League Championship Series. The NBA 2K League, a joint venture between the NBA and Take-Two Interactive, is a professional esports league featuring the best NBA 2K players in the world and the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league. SPORT1 thus also offers a versatile and comprehensive portfolio at the pan-European channel eSportsONE, thereby differentiating itself from existing international offerings.

The agreement with the M7 Group enables the channel to broadcast via satellite as well as via the M7 platforms TV Vlaanderen, CanalDigitaal and Skylink platforms. Further European markets will be added in the coming weeks through additional cooperations.

Olaf Schröder, CEO of Sport1 Medien AG and Chairman of the Management Board of Sport1 GmbH: “We are pioneers and trailblazers in the growth market esports with its great opportunities: At the beginning of 2019, we launched the first esports channel in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with eSPORTS1 – an important milestone with which we have further expanded our positioning as a leading medium in the German-speaking esports community. Now we continue our esports success story internationally and are launching a new ground-breaking project with eSportsONE as a pan-European esports broadcaster. Our goal: We want to make esports even bigger in Europe in the future beyond the young core target group and to anchor it even more sustainably in the society.“

Highlights for the channel start with current top events and analysis show “eSportsONE – Analytics“

In addition to current top events, the program schedule after the channel’s launch will include, the new exclusive, self-produced analysis show “eSportsONE – Analytics“, in which the key scenes of major esports events are examined. Three esports experts will analyze all facets of the tournament in the one-hour program and talk about high lights and low lights. After the launch of the channel, eSportsONE will also look back on the final of ESL One Germany. From October 5 until November 1, 16 of the best Dota 2 teams from Europe and the CIS region are competing against each other in this online tournament. Starting November 7, eSportsONE will also feature live broadcasts of the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS). In the following months the NBA 2K League will also be broadcast live on eSportsONE, amongst others.

Background: eSPORTS1 – the first linear TV channel for esports in the German-speaking region

On January 24, 2019, Sport1 GmbH had launched the first linear TV channel for esports in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with eSPORTS1. The 24/7 program of the pay-TV channel comprises at least 1,200 live hours per year of top-class international and national esports events as well as highlight programs and self-produced magazines. The program content is curated, edited and presented by the in-house esports editorial team together with experts and influencers from the esports community for the target group in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Numerous large esports events are commented on in German and sent from its own esports studio. eSPORTS1 illustrates thereby the most well-known esports titles like, amongst others, League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike, Overwatch, Hearthstone or FIFA 20 live.

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eSports

Epic Esports Events Reveals EPIC League: Season 2

George Miller

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Epic Esports Events Reveals EPIC League: Season 2
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Epic Esports Events announces the second season of EPIC League Dota 2 tournament in collaboration with the leading (лучше best) teams of Europe/CIS region. The tournament will replace the second season of OMEGA League announced earlier.

Mark Averbukh, Epic Esports Events Product Director:

“After two great tournaments that Epic Esports Events have organized together with the partners, we are glad to return to our own flagship online product — EPIC League.”

The first details of the second season of EPIC League:

  • As previously announced, the matches of the second season of EPIC League will be held in two divisions in the Europe / CIS region;

  • Open qualifiers for the tournament will be held from October 29 to October 30 on FACEIT;

  • The closed qualifiers will take place on November 3-11, the participants of the closed qualifiers will be announced later;

  • The second division participants will play from November 11 up to December 1. Playoff stage for this division is scheduled for December 8–13;

  • The first division games are scheduled from November 12 to December 5, the playoff stage will be held from December 8 to 13;

  • The number of first division teams has decreased from 12 to 10. All these teams will play in one group, with an increased amount of matches – 45 instead of 30;

  • First division participants are Virtus.pro, NAVI, Alliance, Team Liquid, Nigma, Vikin.gg, OG и Secret;

  • The prize pool of the first division is $500 000, and $50 000 is planned for the second one.

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eSports

Astralis Enters into Strategic Commercial Partnership with Garmin

Niji Narayan

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Astralis Enters into Strategic Commercial Partnership with Garmin
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Astralis Group has entered into a new strategic commercial partnership with Garmin, the global leader within wearable performance technology.

The partnership includes the promotion of the new Garmin Instinct Esports Edition smartwatch designed for esports athletes and enthusiasts. Astralis has already integrated the use of Garmin products in training and performance routines.

Jakob Lund Kristensen, Co-founder and CCO Astralis Group explains:

“We always look for new ways to develop the game and our business. We share the same vision as Garmin when it comes to performance and health, and for quite some time, we have discussed how both parties could take advantage of Garmin’s expertise within performance technology, and our constant strive to progress and elevate the game.

“Entering a long-term commercial partnership across all our teams is a strong commitment from both sides. We look forward to this partnership, and we are going to be very active around promotion and marketing in the Nordic region.

“We see a massive potential as the co-operation will be fully unfolded over the coming months and years.”

David Ekander, Nordic Marketing Director, Garmin:

“We have been looking into the gaming and esports market for a while, as we see a great potential to integrate the use of wearable performance tech in the strive to optimise performance and health for gamers and esports athletes.

“Athletes all over the world use Garmin products to track and improve their performance. With the launch of our newest innovation Instinct Esports Edition, esports athletes can use the new feature to track and examine how their body responds to intense competition.

“It is our hope that presenting the many benefits of using our products to an audience, who might not have considered wearable performance technology a natural part of their lifestyle, can actually help not only the individual but also esports and gaming in general. In this respect, working with a brand and organization as Astralis is a good match to us. We share the approach towards health and performance and Astralis Group is one of the most visionary brands in esports.

“We have great expectations to this partnership and look forward to showing together how players can use our products to improve their game.”

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