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Children from over 100 countries to take part in Football for Friendship eWorld Championship: final results of draw announced

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On November 27, as a result of an online draw, 32 international teams of the annual Gazprom International Children’s Social Programme Football for Friendship Championship were determined. Children from all over the world will compete for the title of Football for Friendship World Champions and for tickets to the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final in Istanbul. For the first time ever, the draw was conducted live by Young Participants, and the broadcast’s special guest was the legendary football player Roberto Carlos.

Matteo de Venecia (Philippines), Kinley Deki Yangzom (Bhutan), Irintsu Rakotomamoni (Madagascar), and Evgenia Gorbunova (Russia) selected 32 international teams (8 groups of 4 teams each). In keeping with tradition, the teams took the names of rare animal species.

Distinguished guests and ambassadors of the project – World Cup winner and 3 times UEFA Champions League Winner Roberto Carlos, Adviser to the President of the Football Union of Russia Alexey Smertin, Head of Football Education Services at UEFA Frank Ludolph, professional FIFA player, currently playing for FC Schalke 04, Tim (Tim “Latka”) Schwartmann – announced the upcoming events. From November 27 to December 9, 2020, Young Participants will be treated to:

  • 2020 Online International Football for Friendship Forum and Award, where projects in the field of children’s sports development will be presented (November 30 – December 4, 2020).
  • Online Football for Friendship International Children’s Press Center, where Young Journalists study and work (November 28 – December 9, 2020).
  • Online International Friendship Camp with a humanitarian and sports programme for children (November 28 – December 6, 2020).
  • Qualifying games of the 2020 Football for Friendship eWorld Championship (December 7 – December 8, 2020).
  • Football for Friendship Grand Final on December 9, 2020, where the winners and lucky ticket holders for the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final in Istanbul will be determined.

“Football for Friendship is a real social lift, giving the younger generation the opportunity to realize their potential and make their dreams come true. Today, Football for Friendship is once again uniting Young Players, aspiring Young Journalists and simply young people with a passion for sports from all over the world, and everyone here will be able to learn something new, make new friends, and just have an unforgettable experience”, said Roberto Carlos to the Young Participants from different countries.

The Football for Friendship World Championship is traditionally held in different cities shortly before the final matches of the UEFA Champions League. To preserve the event so eagerly awaited by children all over the world, this year it was decided to hold the competition online – in the new Football for Friendship World football simulator.

“Today, we can take pride in a whole generation of grown-up athletes, public figures, journalists and simply goal-oriented young people, who were given amazing opportunities for a professional start by Football for Friendship. I would like to congratulate and wish good luck to all participants of the 2020 Football for Friendship Season”, said Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Gazprom Board of Directors, addressing this season’s participants.

Young Participants of the Football for Friendship programme will be the first to play the game. The game app will be made available to the general public on December 10 – World Football Day. You can download it for free for MS Windows, Apple MacOS, Android, iOS.

Online broadcast recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZPiwnuELtY.

About the programme:

The International Children’s Social Programme Football for Friendship is implemented by Gazprom since 2013. Over the previous seven seasons, the programme has united over 6 000 participants from 211 countries and regions and over 5 000 000 supporters.

Young Players and Young Journalists are the participants of the programme – boys and girls aged 12 including children with disabilities. Young Players represent different countries and cultures united in the mixed teams. They show that nationality, gender, and physical abilities aren’t a barrier to becoming a team. Young Journalists cover the events of the programme in the International Children’s Press Center. All participants become Young Ambassadors of the programme and continue to share their Football for Friendship experience and promote universal human values: friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions, and honour.

UEFA, FIFA, football federations and the world’s leading football clubs, international charity foundations, famous athletes, politicians, and artists support Football for Friendship. The project has received multiple national and international awards in the field of social responsibility, sports, and communications, including the world record for the most nationalities in a football training session in history.

In 2020, Football for Friendship will be held in the online format. A special digital platform will unite over 10 000 players of all ages. It will become the home for international children’s competitions and a playground where anyone will be able to train, join into the international mixed teams and play their favourite game in the Football for Friendship format without leaving the comfort of their home.

Asia

Aurora Gaming Crowned Champions of $350,000 Skyesports Masters 2024, Earns Spot in Skyesports Championship

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Aurora Gaming has been crowned the champions of the Skyesports Masters 2024, defeating OG 3-1 in an intense Grand Finals. With this victory, the team will take home $105,000 of the $350,000 prize pool and secure a slot in the next tournament of the 2024 Skyesports Counter-Strike 2 roadmap, the Skyesports Championship 2024.

The Skyesports Masters 2024 took place from April 8 to 14, featuring eight teams from India and Europe competing for the lion’s share of the substantial prize pool.

Coming in after a first-place finish at the Skyesports Grand Slam 2024 in Pune, India, last month, Aurora Gaming were on a hot streak and favored to win it all. The Siberian team had a dominant run throughout the upper bracket, achieving first place.

Facing Aurora in the Grand Finals was OG. The team had already lost to Aurora in their opening game of the Skyesports Masters and had to navigate through a high-stakes lower bracket, eliminating ENCE, Ninjas in Pyjamas, BIG, and BetBoom to reach the Grand Finals.

Aurora proved to be the stronger team this time as well, with a decisive 3-1 finish. The map-wise results were as follows:

● Anubis: 13-6 (Aurora Gaming)

● Mirage: 11-13 (OG)

● Ancient: 13-10 (Aurora Gaming)

● Overpass: 13-3 (Aurora Gaming)

In a post-match interview, Aurora’s Evgeniy “Norwi” Ermolin expressed gratitude to the team’s fans, stating, “I am feeling really good; we played really well today. Thank you for watching, for the support, and for everything. We will continue trying our best and look forward to playing some LAN.”

The Skyesports Masters 2024 reached a peak viewership of 41,833, a significant increase from the previous year, according to Esports Charts. Counter-Strike esports in India was given a revival through the 2023 and inaugural edition of the Skyesports Masters, the Playoffs for which happened in Bangalore, India. Skyesports has also announced that the Skyesports Masters will return for its third edition in the summer of 2025 with a six digit prize pool.

With this victory, Aurora Gaming has secured a slot in the Skyesports Championship 2024, the details of which will be announced later. It’s the next tournament in Skyesports’ 2024 Counter-Strike 2 esports roadmap, which has paved the way for international teams to look at the tournaments as viable IPs for them to participate in.

Commenting on the Skyesports Masters 2024, Shiva Nandy, Founder and CEO of Skyesports, said, “Congratulations to Aurora Gaming for winning the Skyesports Masters 2024. With more than 40,000 concurrent viewers, the tournament has made a significant impact in the global Counter-Strike 2 esports ecosystem, and I couldn’t be more excited for the future. Up next, we will bring another elite tournament, the Skyesports Championship 2024, which will be the sixth edition of this IP and the first time that Counter-Strike 2 will be a part.”

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eSports

Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov is a New Virtus.pro Player

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Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov (pictured), one of the most decorated and famous players in CS2, a Major champion and winner of the Intel Grand Slam, is moving to Virtus.pro.

“The arrival of star players always generates excitement within the club and among its fans,” the Chief Executive Officer for Virtus.pro, Nikolai Petrossian, said. “Denis is a well-known figure in the world of eSports with an impressive list of major victories and exceptional skill. Few players won both at Major and Intel Grand Slam events.

“Our CS2 roster is strong thanks to teamwork, a clearly defined playstyle and the individual talents of our players. Transferring players with outstanding skills to improve specific areas is a common practice in sports. I am confident that Denis joining will give a powerful boost to the team in the upcoming challenges in Dallas, London and beyond.

“Denis will replace Nikolay ‘mir’ Bityukov in the VP lineup. Nikolay has been a loyal and valuable member of our team and we express our gratitude for his contributions. Nikolay ‘mir’ Bityukov is open to offers from other teams.”

“Virtus.pro is a top team,” Sharipov said. “The core of the roster has won a Major not a while ago and all the players are in their prime and ready for victories right now. We share the same ambitions and goals. Besides, I’m also excited about the idea of playing with Jame as he’s one of the most unique IGLs in the game. Can’t wait to adapt to my new team and start doing what I came here for, winning trophies.”

Sharipov has dozens of victories at elite tournaments, including:

  • PGL Major Stockholm 2021
  • Intel Grand Slam Season 3
  • BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020
  • IEM XVI – Cologne
  • EPL Season 14
  • BLAST Premier: World Final 2021

In addition, Sharipov was among the top-ten best players of the year by HLTV four times.

Updated Virtus.pro CS:GO roster:

  • Dzhami ‘Jame’ Ali (captain)
  • Evgeny ‘FL1T’ Lebedev
  • David ‘n0rb3r7’ Daniyelyan
  • Petr ‘fame’ Bolyshev
  • Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov
  • Dastan ‘dastan’ Akbayev (coach)
  • Pavel ‘PASHANOJ’ Legostaev (analyst)
  • Nikolay ‘mir’ Bityukov (substitute)
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eSports

NODWIN Gaming Partners with Global Esports Federation as Portfolio Management Company for Key Emerging Markets

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NODWIN Gaming, the leading South Asian gaming and eSports company, today announces the agreement with the Global Esports Federation (GEF) to become the portfolio management company (PMC) for key global emerging markets across South and Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East and parts of Southeast Asia. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in NODWIN Gaming’s ambition in driving the growth of gaming and eSports globally, by leveraging its expertise and leadership position in emerging markets worldwide.

The GEF convenes the dynamic, ever-evolving eSports ecosystem including the adjacent industries and diverse network of global impact partners. Established in 2019, the GEF has flourished to over 155 member federations engaging billions of ‘#worldconnected’ athletes, players and fans.

Firmly dedicated to its mission and universal values, the GEF has evolved to become an authentic voice of the eSports community, elevating the industry’s legitimacy and credibility at a global scale. Furthermore, the GEF plays a pivotal role in cultivating emerging technological development, user, fan and brand experiences that enable innovation in gaming while ensuring the sustainable growth for eSports and limitless opportunities that inspire the world’s hyper-connected youth.

With strategic partnerships with industry giants and a proven track record of organizing gaming events and lifestyle festivals, NODWIN Gaming has now acquired exclusive rights to create and market GEF-licensed eSports events in more than 20 countries such as India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Dubai, Bahrain, Jordan, Thailand and Vietnam in addition to the entire continent of Africa.

As a PMC, NODWIN Gaming also secures non-exclusive rights to host GEF-licensed events globally, which paves the way for synergistic collaborations amongst the company’s subsidiaries and strategic partners worldwide. NODWIN Gaming’s recent acquisition of the Turkey-based Ninja Gaming readies the company for endeavors in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa while its Singapore-based experiential marketing powerhouse branded focuses on the Asia Pacific region. With its equity investment earlier this year into Freaks 4U Gaming, a leading full-service gaming and eSports agency in Germany, NODWIN Gaming will tap into potential opportunities in developing GEF-licensed events in non-exclusive regions through the agency’s European as well as endemic and non-endemic network.

The co-founder and Managing Director for NODWIN Gaming, Akshat Rathee, shares his insight on the partnership with the GEF: “The world of eSports is evolving towards true global celebration of eSports titles across the world. The GEF truly epitomizes the hopes and aspirations of all the developing world markets that NODWIN Gaming seeks to develop. We believe our partnership with the GEF will bring the best of eSports opportunities to the youth of the emerging world.”

The Chief Operating Officer for the GEF, Mario Cilenti, commented on the partnership: “We are thrilled to have NODWIN Gaming on board as our PMC for the South Asia, Central Asia and Africa markets. Its capabilities and extensive experience makes it ideal partners to advance the GEF’s mission and further engage with eSports communities across key growth regions.”

For more information, please visit NODWIN Gaming on X or the official website.

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