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League of Legends ‘MSI’ and VALORANT ‘Stage 2 Masters’ live events to take place in Reykjavík, Iceland in May

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League of Legends ‘MSI’ and VALORANT ‘Stage 2 Masters’ live events to take place in Reykjavík, Iceland in May
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Riot Games announced that two of its biggest esports events of the year will take place back-to-back this May in Reykjavík, Iceland. Additionally, as Riot Games continues to expand its esports footprint, the company has expanded its partnership with Verizon as the official 5G partner, supporting both LoL Esports Global Events and VALORANT Esports.

The League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), which was cancelled last year due to COVID-19, will kick off competition between the top 12 teams from the regional leagues on Thursday, May 6 and culminate with the final on Sunday, May 23.

The VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Masters Reykjavík, beginning the next day on Monday, May 24, will be the first VALORANT esports event to feature live international competition, bringing together the top 10 teams from around the world to fight for a spot at VALORANT Champions later this year. VCT Masters Reykjavík will conclude with a final scheduled to take place on May 30th.

Competition for both events will take place in the Laugardalshöll indoor sporting arena as Riot brings best-in-class esports competition from two titles to Iceland for the first time.

“We are thrilled to showcase high-level Riot esports competition to a country as stunning and unique as Iceland, underscoring that passion for our esports can be found in every corner of the globe,” said John Needham, Global Head of Esports for Riot Games. “Both MSI and VCT Masters will introduce us to breakout stars to watch this season, and also serve as the initial events for Verizon’s extended and much-appreciated commitment to our esports ecosystem.”

In addition to MSI and Masters 2, Verizon’s multi-year agreement as the Official 5G Partner also extends to the biggest global events of the LoL Esports and VALORANT competition calendar. This includes the League of Legends World Championship (“Worlds”), which makes its return to North America in 2022; LoL Esports All-Star Event; three VALORANT Champions Tour Masters events; and VALORANT Champions. The partnership also includes the VALORANT North America Challengers.

Verizon also is a key partner in VALORANT’s recently announced VCT Game Changers, a program that will host monthly tournaments to give female players more opportunities to compete at the semi-pro and grassroots level.

This partnership just serves as the latest iteration of Verizon’s consistent support of Riot’s esports business. Since 2020, Verizon has been the Official 5G Partner for the League Championship Series (LCS), providing support for LCS through original video content and in-broadcast sponsored segments. Their support extended to VALORANT First Strike: North America, the first official tournament for Riot’s premier tactical shooter, as well as The Wild Rift Invitational – the world’s first Wild Rift esports event featuring LCS players and celebrities.

“Expanding our partnership with Riot esports allows us to build on the success of the past year and continue expanding the opportunities to leverage the power of 5G Ultra Wideband for player and fan experiences across both LoL and Valorant,” said Yvette Martinez-Rea, Vice President, Sponsorships and Partnerships at Verizon. “We’re also very proud to put our support behind VCT Game Changers to provide more opportunities for female players at all levels.”

“We were thrilled to have Verizon on board as a partner for the LCS and Wild Rift last year, so to expand on that relationship across the biggest esports events in the world with both LoL and VCT is meaningful validation of what we are creating here at Riot esports,” said Naz Aletaha, Head of Global Esports Partnerships and Business Development at Riot Games. “Our aspiration to consistently deliver unforgettable experiences and initiatives for fans is a passion we’re proud to share with Verizon, and we look forward to leveraging their expertise and best-in-class technology across our sports.”

The Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is a foundational battleground in the annual LoL Esports season, where rising stars and teams make a global name for themselves. Held between the first and second splits of the season, the best teams from each of the 12 regional leagues compete for the title. This year, a new format will open with three stages, beginning with Groups, in which all 12 teams split into three groups of four teams, each playing a Best of 1 double round robin. The top two teams per group will advance to the next stage, where the six remaining teams will play another Best of 1 double round robin. The top four teams will advance to a playoff bracket, and play in a Single Elimination, Best of 5 Semifinal followed by Finals.

VCT Masters Reykjavík will bring top VALORANT teams from around the globe together for the first time to determine who will stand as the best VALORANT team in the world heading into the second half of the season. Starting in April, thousands of teams will attempt to qualify for Masters Stage 2 through their regional Challengers events, with the 10 teams securing a spot in Reykjavík.

“VCT Masters Reykjavik is our next big step in further establishing VALORANT as the fastest-growing global esport,” said Whalen Rozelle, Riot Games’ Senior Director of Esports. “We have some of the most passionate fans around the world, and we’re committed to giving them a live event so that they can see how their favorite teams stack up internationally for the first time ever.”

Teams from both sports will quarantine upon arrival in Iceland. For the health and safety of the players, staff, and local residents, the events will be unable to accommodate a live audience, however all MSI and VCT Masters Stage 2 matches will be broadcast live globally across various digital platforms.

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World Esports Championships Finals Begin with Spectacular Opening Ceremony

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IESF welcomes World Esports Family to Bali for the largest edition of its flagship event

The International Esports Federation (IESF) officially opened the 14th World Esports Championships Finals today in Bali, Indonesia. The Opening Ceremony kicked off IESF’s historic WE Championships with an athlete parade, special performances, and speeches from IESF President Vlad Marinescu and Esports Federation of Indonesia (PBESI) President Budi Gunawan at the Merusaka Nusa Dua Hotel. 

The ceremony welcomed athletes, referees, fans, event organizers, government officials, and others from the World Esports Family. The ceremony began with the Indonesia Raya, the national anthem of Indonesia, and the official PBESI march. IESF then did an official raising of its flag to mark the start of the event. Inspired by Indonesian and Balinese culture, the ceremony featured traditional dances as well as extraordinary performances by Indonesian artists Alffy Rev, Wizzy, and Ecko.

The WE Championships remain the sole international esports competition where athletes compete to represent their countries. Over 600 players representing 106 countries will compete across six games: CS:GO, Dota 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, eFootball ™  2023, Tekken 7, and PUBG Mobile, making this the largest and most geographically diverse edition of the event since its inception in 2008 with a record prize pool of $500,000. 

An athlete representative from each country joined in the athlete parade of the Opening Ceremony to carry their country’s flag to celebrate the event’s largest and most inclusive edition. Additionally, IESF showcased its commitment to responsible gaming and providing referees with the highest level of certification to ensure fair and safe competition. This year’s referees took an oath on stage during the Opening Ceremony, alongside an athlete representative, to safeguard responsible gaming. 

IESF President Vlad Marinescu spoke at the ceremony and said: “Welcome to Bali for the 2022 World Esports Championships Finals. We are elated to see a historic 106 countries, more than double from last year’s edition, competing in the 14th edition of this event right here in the Land of Gods.  All of you here in this beautiful country and those watching are proof and reflection of the growth and progress of the World Esports Family.”

In his speech, PBESI President Budi Gunawan said: “The Indonesia Esports Summit and the 14th IESF World Esports Championships, wil declare our commitment to set new standards for organizing world class esports event. We sincerely hope that the 14th IESF World Esports Championships Bali 2022 will be a new momentum for all these great talents from around the world to build friendship and peace” 

The competition will conclude with the Closing Ceremony and a special announcement on December 11, where one nation will be crowned the World Esports champion. 

The Finals will be live-streamed across seven IESF Twitch channels, one dedicated for each game. The full lineup of competing nations and all other information related to WEC can be found on the official website

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The World Esports Championships 2022 Are Officially Open!

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And WE are live in 3,2,1…

The World Esports Championships 2022 are officially open!

Join the opening ceremony today, at 7 pm GMT +8 with traditional music and dance performances, a fireworks show, and wave your national flag proudly!
After the opening ceremony feel free to join in the press conferences.

During the event, you can experience a little bit of everything from cosplay competitions, games, watch parties, and daily activities.

If you are not in Bali, you can always tune in on the platform wec.iesf.org and become part of the magic.

Watch your teams, stay on top of every score, and keep cheering for your favorite players!

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EXCEL ESPORTS reveals female VALORANT team in hopes to enter VCT: Game Changers

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Today, British competitive gaming culture brand EXCEL ESPORTS is excited to announce the launch of its female VALORANT roster. EXCEL have signed former N1MP lineup Cornelia ‘Neli’ Johansson, India ‘cataLina’ Dubourg, Safaa ‘Purii’ Baydi, and Camille ‘Luzia’ Millet to its female esports VALORANT team along with previous teammate Samantha “Samsi” Caddell and Daniela ‘Jupi’ Gradl, who will round out the roster.

The announcement marks the beginning of EXCEL’s’ journey into VCT Game Changers with the hope to empower and inspire the next generation of women in esports. Already a strong competitive unit, the players of N1MP are close friends in real life which will allow for a higher level of teamwork and communication. The addition of ‘Samsi’ to the team will bring the roster to the next level with their experience of playing at a high level. The former N1MP roster has experience in the VCT Game Changers EMEA Series 3 and came top 5 in the Medusa Series which new teammate Samsi won. The team will be supported by EXCEL ESPORTS Team Manager Kevin ‘Noizeeh’ Jaskiewicz.

THE EXCEL VALORANT GAME CHANGERS ROSTER FOR 2022:

VCT Game Changers was a pioneering initiative announced in 2021 to create more opportunities and exposure for women and marginalised genders in VALORANT esports. The recent VCT Game Changers Championship Finals was the most viewed female VALORANT tournament ever with a peak viewership of over 230,000. With this success, Riot Games recently announced the format for VCT Game Changers EMEA going forward into 2023 which includes academy, amateur and contenders competitions that will form the basis of the VCT Game Changers ecosystem.

Tim Reichert, Chief Operating Officer, EXCEL ESPORTS, commented: “Over the course of the Game Changers Championships, we have seen so many inspiring stories that female players across the world could identify with. At EXCEL, we want to offer something new to show young female players a path into esports and believe through signing an existing squad who work well together competitively and socially, we could help and support them to being the best they could be. We hope that this will encourage more female gamers to get into esports and our success will come from our dedication to developing the scene”

EXCEL ESPORTS VALORANT Team Manager, Kevin ‘Noizeeh’ Jaskiewicz commented: “This is an amazing opportunity for EXCEL and the players involved. We have dedicated a lot of time to work on a roster that could bring EXCEL’s values to female VALORANT esports. We’re investing heavily in our players and are forming the infrastructure around what works best for them because we’re confident in their potential to dominate the competition.”

Pete Jeavons, Marketing Communications Director at EE commented: “EE is proud to be the lead partner of EXCEL’s Game Changers team, EXCEL’s first ever elite female team. This is the first step in working towards our partnership ambitions with EXCEL, enhancing opportunities and access for female gamers across the industry.”

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