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2020 Was the Year of Possibilities for WePlay Esports

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WePlay Esports results in 2020
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2020 is a year we will always remember, but at WePlay Esports, we will also recall those difficult months for a very different reason. To us, it was a time of growth, change, and exploration.

Last year, the esports media holding company hosted eight events with a total prize pool of $1,605,000. Among them, there was the WeSave! Charity Play online marathon, which raised $188,879 for the battle effort against COVID-19.

A Year Full of Firsts 

While the year brought about social distancing, only gathering in small groups, and working from home, it also marked a new direction for WePlay Esports, leading to a handful of firsts. Let’s look at those more closely.

WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020

WePlay Esports hosted its first Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) event, WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020, which also happened to be the first of its tournaments to be hosted in a remote location. The Bukovel ski resort in Ukraine made an excellent backdrop for our winter holiday theme and, according to Esports Charts, garnered 233,124 peak viewers and 5,484,237 hours watched. This made it the most-watched Minor in the history of the DPC.

“Fresh from the holiday season, we wanted to hold on to all that revelry and share it with the community we love. So, the WePlay Esports team prepared the biggest gift — a DPC Minor to remember,” says Yura Lazebnikov, Managing Partner at WePlay Esports.

WePlay! VALORANT Invitational

VALORANT brought Riot Games’ free-to-play business model to first-person shooters, and WePlay Esports was one of the first tournament operators to host an event in the new esports discipline. WePlay! VALORANT Invitational was a $50,000 prize pool tournament with a neon cyberpunk vibe. The event became a part of the official VALORANT IGNITION SERIES. According to Esports Charts, running from July 15 to 19, the event secured a peak viewership of 54,021 and 687,359 hours watched. The company learned that half the VALORANT tournament audience was aged between 18 and 24. Additionally, we discovered that those who both watched broadcasts on WePlay Esports’ English Twitch channel and visited the event page on the website, love movies and technology just as much as they do video games.

WePlay Dragon Temple

Before the year was over, we added yet another new discipline, Mortal Kombat 11, to our list, but this also meant we had stepped into a new genre. The $60,000 WePlay Dragon Temple event gained 10,718 peak viewers and 163,401 hours watched with an air time of 29 hours (Esports Charts provided the data). These statistics made it the Mortal Kombat 11 tournament of 2020 ranked second by highest peak viewers and hours watched outside NetherRealm Studios’ official event.

From the wardrobe to stage setup, WePlay Dragon Temple was one of our most impressive productions yet. That we were able to do this during the pandemic year and keep all players, talent, and staff safe is an achievement I’m very proud of,” says Oleg Krot, Managing Partner at WePlay Esports.

Weathering the Storm

The year 2020 will remain in our collective memory as a difficult one, following the hardships experienced worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, 2020 was not without its merits, as WePlay Esports was able to adapt quickly to the new state of affairs. It was no groundhog day, that’s for sure!

Asia

Galaxy Racer appoints Syed Ibn-E-Ali as Chief Financial Officer for South-East Asia

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Galaxy Racer appoints Syed Ibn-E-Ali as Chief Financial Officer for South-East Asia
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Galaxy Racer (GXR), the transmedia powerhouse focused on esports, content creators, music and sports, has appointed Syed Ibn-E-Ali as its new Chief Financial Officer for SEA. In his new role, he will mainly focus on the growth, strategy and finances of Galaxy Racer in South-East Asia.

Joining Galaxy Racer with over 14 years of experience in financial administration and operations management, Ali brings with him a deep understanding of Software as a Service (B2B), eCommerce and the video games industry, taking on major positions across multiple regions including the USA, South Asia and APAC.

Having worked at the top level of finance at significant tech, media and gaming companies, including Rocket Internet and Streamline Media Group, Ali will be bringing his considerable experience driving media and gaming companies forward to Galaxy Racer’s operations in South-East Asia.

In his new role, Syed Ibn-E-Ali will be responsible for helping with the organisation’s expansion across the SEA region, as well as focusing on the structuring of all Galaxy Racer’s SEA offices, policy implementation and corporate governance.

With an outstanding track record of building strong business partnerships, optimising business processes and delivering strategic growth, Ali’s rich experience in accounting, auditing and finance will give Galaxy Racer an exceptional foundation for success in South-East Asia.

Syed Ibn-E-Ali, Chief Financial Officer SEA at Galaxy Racer said: “The continued growth of Galaxy Racer speaks for itself, and I’m so excited to join the team as the Chief Financial Officer for SEA, and help take the brand’s presence in the region to the next level. Entertainment, especially esports has become one of the most hyper-growth industries in Asia and is evolving at a tremendous pace. So it’s incredibly exciting for me to be with Galaxy Racer, at the very forefront of that growth.”

Mitch Esguerra, CEO SEA at Galaxy Racer commented: “It’s a pleasure to have Syed Ibn-E-Ali join us as our new Chief Financial Officer for SEA. His vast levels of experience and expertise at the top levels of the finance industry, alongside his passion for the esports and gaming industries, will be vital for us as we continue to grow in the region and build our global footprint.”

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BLAST to launch new esports collection with Nike branded apparel

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BLAST to launch new esports collection with Nike branded apparel
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Collection will look to celebrate gaming culture through an esports-inspired apparel line

Esports entertainment company BLAST has launched an esports-inspired Nike branded apparel collection.

The BLAST and Nike branded collection will look to encapsulate gaming culture and lifestyle through spotlighting and celebrating the people and personalities behind esports – from the talent and players, all the way through to the unsung heroes behind-the-scenes.

The collection will incorporate the iconic colours and design of BLAST Premier with the Nike emblem and will include a t-shirt, cap, hoodie and jersey.

Faye Marlborough, Head of Create Solutions at BLAST, said: “Our ambition is to work with the most reputable brands in the world, and they don’t come much bigger than Nike. Gaming has become a lifestyle over the last few years with the rise of esports, we are excited to be able to encapsulate the passion and uniqueness associated with competitive gaming through this collection.”

The apparel line will be launched and made available for general sale in August during the BLAST Premier Fall Groups (19-28 August).

BLAST Premier is the world’s leading Counter-Strike tournament series, hosting the best players and teams, offering opportunities to regions across the globe and crowning the world champions of CS:GO. Up to 32 of the world’s best teams take part in the seven BLAST Premier events across the year with a combined prize pool of $2,475,000 on the line.

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Esports Insider’s The Clutch Announces $25,000 Prize Pool Supported by Overwolf

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Esports Insider has announced Overwolf, the all-in-one platform that enables creators to build, distribute and monetise in-game apps and mods, as the official Technology Partner of The Clutch, the esports-focused pitch investment competition, which will mark its grand return to a physical format at ESI’s flagship Major event ESI London on September 5-7th 2022.

Overwolf is contributing a prize pool of $25,000 to The Clutch’s London edition this year, with the following split: 1st place – $15,000, 2nd place – $7,000 and 3rd place – $3,000. The eligible winning start-up will also be granted the opportunity to travel to Tel Aviv, where Overwolf is headquartered, for a week of in-person mentoring and product acceleration.

“Overwolf has a long history of partnering with leading esports in-game apps from Professor, which helps League of Legends players understand their match statistics, to Tracker Network, which provides a suite of stats apps for many top games including Valorant, Apex and Fortnite. Through this partnership with Esports Insider, we are excited to find the best upcoming esports in-game apps that help gamers enhance their gameplay experience. The Clutch gives us early access to this rising talent and we can’t wait to hear the pitches,” Uri Marchand, CEO of Overwolf, said.

Taking place on September 7, The Clutch will welcome a panel of esteemed investors to judge three to four esports related start-ups. The judges involved in the panel will include Shahar Sorek, Chief Marketing Officer at Overwolf and Lisa Hau, COO at Bidstack; with more judges to be announced soon.

Launched in 2019 at ESI London, The Clutch began life as an in-person pitch investment competition focused exclusively on esports-related early stage start-ups. Since that edition, it has taken place digitally on multiple occasions during the ESI Digital series of events. To date, there have been four winners: G-Science, TEAMS.gg, Anzu and iTero Gaming.

Jack J Williams, Founder and Data Scientist at iTero Gaming, said: “Winning The Clutch 2021 was a jump-start for iTero Gaming. The prize, the exposure and joining the ranks of previous winners who have all impressed me would have been enough on its own.

“The highlight though, was that it became the catalyst for us to work with the team at Overwolf. They really understand our vision and are providing all the support and expertise we could ask for to deliver on it. I’m looking forward to seeing how we can continue to grow this ecosystem together long into the future.”

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