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

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Partnership concluded with CANAL+ Group: New channel eSportsONE to be broadcast in the new CANAL+ PAY TV offer in Ethiopia as of now
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  • 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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Mercedes’ Jarno Opmeer in pole position to retain World Championship crown in three-way title race for 2021 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship

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Mercedes’ Jarno Opmeer in pole position to retain World Championship crown in three-way title race for 2021 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship
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Reigning champion Jarno Opmeer will go into going the Grand Final of the 2021 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship presented by Aramco leading the Drivers’ Championship, ahead of Lucas Blakeley and Frede Rasmussen, after this week’s thrilling Event 3. Just as the real-life Constructors’ Championship is finely poised, Mercedes and Red Bull are neck and neck in the Teams’ title fight, after the latest trio of races.

Event 3 began with drivers taking to Portimao, for the first time in Pro Championships history, to battle the ‘rollercoaster’ circuit, with its huge undulations and fast straights. Blakeley had a front row seat from off, starting P1 on the grid and dominating the field throughout, racing clear of the chasing pack and only relinquishing the lead when he came into pit, as he continued to show his championship credentials. Rasmussen showed why he is also a strong contender for the crown, with an impressive performance on the alternative strategy, as he made his way through the field on the soft tyres towards the end to pick up an important second place finish for both his own title ambitions, and Red Bull’s. Fabrizio Donoso turned a great qualifying session, starting P4, into a second podium finish of the year for Alpine, rounding off the top three.

Mercedes were able to hit back as attentions turned to Zandvoort, as Dani Moreno took his maiden victory in the F1 Esports Series Pro Championship, ahead of Rasmussen, who scored his second P2 finish in a row. The pair had tussled for the lead throughout, as Rasmussen took the lead on Lap 1, but it was Moreno who prevailed late on taking P1 in the latter stages of the race, and withstanding the pressure from the following group. Blakeley secured another podium finish, his fifth of the year, with third place and Bari Boroumand continued his fine form in his debut season with McLaren, having secured pole in Zandvoort, and finishing just outside the podium places in P4.

Opmeer, who finished P7 and P6 in the previous races respectively, fought back with a huge victory at the Circuit of the Americas to reclaim top spot in the Drivers’ Championship, and make it back-to-back wins for Mercedes. Rasmussen made it a hat-trick of personal podiums in Event 3, with a P2 finish, putting him only eight points back from Opmeer in the standings. Nicolas Longuet secured his first podium since Round 1, whilst title contender Blakeley managed P6, adding crucial points to his tally and just five points off Opmeer.

It is still all to play for as we look towards this year’s Grand Final, which will take place on 15-16 December, and will feature races at Imola and Mexico, before the final race in Brazil, which has played host to many title deciders during the illustrious history of F1.

Drivers are continuing to race remotely from their homes or team facilities, as they did in the 2020 season, but the hugely popular competition continues to broadcast from the Gfinity Esports Arena in London. Following the same Event format as recent campaigns, teams battle it out on the official F1 2021 video game, developed by Codemasters, with the live shows are streamed online via official channels of Formula 1 on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Huya, as well as broadcast on television via select international broadcast partners.

F1 Esports events have achieved over 40 million views across TV and digital, in the last 18 months, and this popularity led to a record number of people attempting to be a part of this year’s Pro Exhibition, with almost half a million taking part in qualification. Qualification for next year’s competition is now open through a challenge in the official F1 2021 video game, with the second event live until 30th November.

 

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GTRACING Enters into Partnership with Manchester City

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Manchester City has signed a new partnership with one of the leading brands of gaming chairs, GTRACING. The partnership will see GTRACING become the Official Gaming Chair Partner of Manchester City’s esports operation and players.

Manchester City’s esports players and GTRACING will collaborate on various content and fan engagement activations throughout the partnership, in addition to the brand featuring across a number of Club digital assets. The parties will also release a line of co-branded gaming chairs.

“We’re delighted to welcome GTRACING as a partner of Manchester City Football Club’s Esports team today. As a Club, we are dedicated to providing authentic esports experiences for our fans and I am pleased that GTRACING will be joining us on this journey as we continue to find new ways to engage with our fans within this space,” Gavin Johnson, City Football Group’s Media Director, said.

“The integration of traditional sports and esports is the inevitable development of the times, and it is also the core growth project of GTRACING. We are very glad to be able to provide fans with a unique competitive experience through this innovative partnership with Manchester City. Gaming chairs are very important to the esports experience. GTRACING will be committed to focusing on optimizing product innovation to fully meet user needs,” GTRACING founder Aaron Wu said.

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Global Esports Federation Announces Creative Group Helmed by Global Cohort of Creative Directors

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At a time of dynamic creative expressions across genres and multimedia platforms, the Global Esports Federation announces the GEF Creative Group, leading the way for inclusive experiences that connect esports, arts, culture, and entertainment.

Helmed by a line-up of acclaimed creative professionals from the world’s creative community, the GEF Creative Group will provide a forum to shape the GEF’s thinking and initiatives in the creative realm.

The cohort of Creative Directors includes Beatrice Chia-Richmond (Singapore), Chad Knight (US), Catherine Ugwu MBE (UK) and Levent Erden (Turkey).

“Esports is a natural marriage of technology, stunning visuals, competition, all great ingredients for an immersive and entertaining show. Working as Creative Director on the Singapore 2021 Global Esports Games ceremonies has also enabled hyper-connections with the vast global community of the GEF, and this has been particularly exciting,” Beatrice Chia-Richmond said.

“I’m honored to be appointed to the GEF Creative Group, to be among creatives who champion inclusivity and honor the traditions and diversity of players and athletes. I’m excited to be a part of the future of esports, in which technology fosters the intersection of mental and physical agility,” Chad Knight said.

“Having led creative teams on every continent on earth for the Olympic movement, nations, communities and global brands and projects, I am excited to bring that network and expertise to the dynamic esports community across the planet, into the metaverse, and beyond,” expressed Catherine Ugwu MBE.

“Creativity lies at the heart of humankind. Our ability to look inward and show the world the enormous potential of the powerful creative community of esports acts as a beacon for young people. Connecting people, cultures, and places through innovative technology and entertainment is a great opportunity that the Global Esports Federation brings to life,” Levent Erden said.

Paul J. Foster, CEO of the GEF, expressed his excitement on establishing the GEF Creative Group that will inform and guide the connection between gamers and creatives as the collective metaverse takes flight. With less than a month to the Singapore 2021 Global Esports Games, the Creative Group has been active in supporting the direction for GEG2021 as the GEF’s flagship event comes to life.

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