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Team Vitality Launches in India

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Team Vitality, the leading esports teams in Europe, today officially announces the launch of its India operations. The expansion sees Team Vitality plant roots in Mumbai, and partner with some of the biggest content creators in India, including YouTube sensation Nischay Malhan. The organisation first raised the prospect of a significant presence in India earlier this year, and launched its Indian social media last month. Today marks the reveal of Team Vitality’s first plans for the expansion, as it furthers its commitment to the growth of esports and gaming in the region.

Team Vitality’s immediate focus is on building its local presence and community in order to establish a deeper connection with its fans in India. Team Vitality has partnered with gaming content creators Nischay Malhan, Rachit Yadav, Nitin Chougale and Saloni Kandalgaonkar whose respective YouTube channels i.e. Live Insaan, Rachitroo, Classified YT, and Mili kya Mili, have a combined following of 1 crore (10 million). The content creators will host a variety of engaging events and contests across their social media channels, as well as on Team Vitality India’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Following Team Vitality’s first move into the Indian gaming space, the organisation is committed to creating a purely competitive branch in 2021, with the ambition of becoming the best esports organization in the region. Further details on the competitive expansion will be revealed soon, following the initial launch which will see the team build a robust foundation and community in India.

Headquartered in Paris, France, Team Vitality is home to eight top performing teams across nine games, and over 50 athletes from 13 nationalities. With its presence in India, Team Vitality is poised to help the country’s gaming enthusiasts unlock their competitive potential. Team Vitality’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CG:GO) roster recently took the No.1 position in HLTV World rankings, establishing themselves as the best team in the world. The organisation is one of only ten teams in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) franchise and reached the World Championship in 2018, and its Rocket League team won the 2019 World Championship. In addition, Team Vitality is partnered with mainstream brands across an array of industries such as Red Bull, Corsair, adidas, Renault, etc.

CEO of Team Vitality, Nicolas Maurer, speaking on the occasion said, “Team Vitality constantly strives to build winning teams on the international stage. Our entry into India is a big milestone for us and part of our endeavour to conquer the world of esports. Our mission here is to not just build professional teams but to also make ourselves the most aspirational esports brand in the country. We’re very keen to engage with our fans in India via our content creators before competing in the biggest local tournaments with our incoming professional teams.”

Amit Jain, Principal of the Rewired.gg, venture fund that has invested €34 into Team Vitality, commented, “We believe that esports is one of the world’s fastest growing industries today with India having a huge untapped base of gaming talent just waiting to be discovered. The continuous success of Team Vitality promises a huge opportunity for growth in this market. We are well on our way to building one of the world’s first billion-dollar esports teams.”

Randall Fernandez, General Manager, Team Vitality India, commented, “This is an interesting time to enter India and the arrival of Team Vitality is welcomed with great optimism and excitement. With professional esports significantly picking up in India, our approach will include finding new talent at a grassroots level and offering them the opportunity to join Team Vitality. We will then focus on bringing their performance up to the standard of our global esports athletes, not least at our world-class V.Hive HQ in Paris and our resident training facilities at the Stade de France.  Expect to see new Indian esports stars winning tournaments as part of Team Vitality very soon.”

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ONE Esports and Samsung Enter Long-term Partnership to Launch ONE Esports App

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ONE Esports, a subsidiary of Group ONE Holdings (ONE), has announced it has signed a long-term partnership with Samsung in Southeast Asia.

This is the latest major partnership for ONE Esports, following recent partnership announcements with Activision Blizzard, foodpanda Thailand, Franklin Templeton, FWD, Marriott Bonvoy and McDonald’s Philippines.

This partnership with Samsung will see ONE Esports develop an exclusive ONE Esports mobile app for Samsung devices in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, to be launched in the second half of 2022.

The app will be positioned as the go-to source for esports news and content in Southeast Asia, and will be seamlessly integrated into the ONE Esports media ecosystem, featuring news and content syndicated from ONE Esports’ website, oneesports.gg, which will be localised across each market. Samsung users will also get to enjoy exclusive videos and rewards produced by the ONE Esports team for the app.

The app will be made available in the Samsung Galaxy Store and Google Play Store for over-the-air download exclusively on Samsung mobile devices this year.

“I am proud to announce this partnership with Samsung that brings ONE Esports’ world-class esports content natively on mobile, in collaboration with Southeast Asia’s leader in mobile devices and experiences. Samsung clearly understands that brands need to connect and engage with the next generation to stay ahead of the curve, and mobile devices and esports are two of the most effective ways to reach them. As the penetration of mobile usage and gaming across Southeast Asia continues to grow, this partnership will give the new generation of mobile-first consumers the best way to consume esports content,” Carlos Alimurung, CEO of ONE Esports, said.

“Led by a young, digital, and global audience, esports is shaping up to be the future of sports, media, and entertainment. Through this unprecedented partnership with ONE Esports, we are excited to bring the galaxy of esports to Samsung mobile users, many of whom are passionate about esports and mobile gaming. ONE Esports is uniquely positioned as Southeast Asia’s premier esports media organisation, and our partnership sets the cornerstone for combining the best of esports experiences with the best mobile gaming devices for our customers,” said Chris Tarr, Head of Mobile Services & Partnerships, Southeast Asia and Oceania at Samsung Electronics.

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India: 20 Arrested for Gambling on Cricket Matches

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Twenty people were arrested for gambling in public places after the police raided several places in the city on Saturday night.

Six people were arrested in the raids conducted by Central Kotwali and Sanyogitaganj police in Rajendra Nagar, Sukhlia, Heera Nagar, Azad Nagar, and Palda areas. The police recovered cash, mobile phones and some incriminating documents from the possession the arrested persons. The accused used to bet on cricket matches, the police said.

On Saturday night, Tejaji Nagar police also busted a gambling racket and arrested 14 people. The police also recovered Rs25,000 and playing cards from their possession. The accused were arrested from Bharat Fuel Station of Khandwa Road area.

“The raids were conducted on the basis of tip-off received from sources, and all the accused have been booked under the public gambling act,” said the police.

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Nazara acquires majority in ad tech company Datawrkz

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Nazara acquires majority in ad tech company Datawrkz
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Nazara Technologies Limited an India based, diversified gaming and sports media company announced that it has entered an agreement to acquire a 55% stake in programmatic advertising and monetization company Datawrkz valuing the company up to INR 225 Cr (approx. USD 30M) linked to CY 22 EBITDA performance.

Nazara will acquire a 33% stake (INR 60 crores payable of which INR 35 crores is partly payable in cash and the balance consideration of INR 25 crores will be paid either in cash or swap of shares) in the first tranche by April 22.  Nazara reserves an option to acquire an additional 22% in the second tranche that is expected to close in Q4 FY23.

Founded in 2013 by Senthil Govindan, IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, Datawrkz is a global advertising technology firm focused on accelerating user and revenue growth for clients through highly optimized digital advertising. With offices in the US, Singapore, and India, the firm functions as an Independent Trading Desk to power digital media strategy, planning and execution. Datawrkz’s self-serve product suite for advertisers – Vizibl, includes a Demand Side Platform as well as a Customer Data Platform. On the supply side, Datawrkz generates higher revenue for publishers through AdPrimus, its Supply Side product set that drives higher user engagement, mediates between demand sources, and enables audience segmentation. For the calendar year 2021, Datawrkz posted a combined revenue of INR 90.7 Cr (approx. USD 12.1M) and EBIDTA margin of 12% with around 70% of its revenue coming from the US as per CY 2021 unaudited financial statements.

Datawrkz tech offerings will enhance in-house capabilities of Nazara for optimizing its customer acquisition spends as well as enhance yields on ad monetization of its large consumer base. This ad revenue monetization is expected to assist many of the companies in the ‘Friends of Nazara’ network.

Further, there is an increasing symbiotic relationship between gaming companies and ad tech companies worldwide as a combination of the two will be value accretive for both businesses. With this transaction, Datawrkz aims to establish itself as a key player in gaming, covering both demand and supply side offerings for the gaming ecosystem in the US and India.

Said Nazara Technologies CEO Manish Agarwal, “We, at Nazara, are looking to build strong gaming ad tech offerings globally with the partnership with Datawrkz. We strongly believe that growth of gaming focused ad tech will be exponential in the coming decade across geographies with the growth of gamers and game publishers across freemium, web3.0 and skill based real money gaming.”

He further adds, “Ad tech companies with deep data processing capabilities and first party data ownership will emerge as winners in gaming focused ad tech and will help Datawrkz to create value for itself as well as for Nazara shareholders.”

Nitish Mittersain, Founder & Joint MD of Nazara Technologies said, “As always, it’s a great moment for us to welcome a new friend to our ‘Friends of Nazara’ network and I believe Senthil and the entire Datawrkz team will add great value to what we are building at Nazara over the next few years”

Datawrkz founder Senthil Govindan said, “We had started this company with a vision to disrupt the digital advertising space. Datawrkz was already on a fast track to achieve our objective with rapid growth and satisfied clients around the world. Through our partnership with Nazara, I see our pace accelerating further. While Datawrkz will be able to immediately bring our natural strengths to bear within the existing Nazara fold, this also gives both sides a tremendous opportunity to build global advertising and publisher monetization products with a sharp focus on the gaming vertical.”

Having acquired multiple companies over the past few years, Nazara has placed itself in a leading position in esports, interactive gaming and gamified early learning space with the ‘Friends of Nazara’ network. Nazara has acquired a majority stake in Nodwin Gaming Pvt. Ltd (57.05%); Next Wave Multimedia Pvt. Ltd. (52.38%), which operates World Cricket Championship (WCC), the largest mobile-based cricket simulation game, in addition to investment in Absolute Sports Private Limited, which operates Sportskeeda (63.90%) and Paper Boat Apps Private Limited (50.91%) – gamified early learning subscription app and OpenPlay – Skill Gaming (100%).

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