Media deals include linear TV channels SportsMax, Nordic Entertainment Group and BOLT+ after increased viewership in 2020
Esports tournament BLAST Premier has extended its international broadcast reach with eight new media rights deals for the rest of the 2021 season.
TV channels SportsMax, Nordic Entertainment Group and BOLT+, among other new deals, will take the world’s leading Counter-Strike tournament series to a number of new regions around the world, including: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Iceland, Canada, Kosovo, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India and the Caribbean.
The new rights partnerships will extend the esports media network’s portfolio of media rights to over 35 partners, meaning BLAST Premier will be shown in 18 different languages and across 157 territories.
The announcement highlights a period of growth for BLAST’s TV and online distribution footprint after a year of increased viewership for esports. Newszoo’s 2020 report estimated a year-on-year increase in the total esports audience by 11.7% to just short of 500 million people, while revenue from media rights and sponsorships ($822.4m) was expected to account for three-quarters of the total market.
Last season, BLAST Premier enjoyed increased viewership and more than 83 million hours of content watched across all seven of its Counter-Strike tournaments while posting the most watched CS:GO online match of all time during the Global Final.
Alexander Lewin, VP of Distribution and Programming for BLAST, said: “We are thrilled to see so many new partners join the BLAST network of leading TV and online channels. These deals will offer even more fans the opportunity to tune in to watch BLAST Premier from around the world, which is now accessible in over 150 territories and 18 languages. We expect to continue our path of expansion during an exciting period of viewership growth at BLAST Premier and in esports.”
BLAST Premier is a global Counter-Strike tournament series that unites all major events, offers opportunities to all regions across the globe and crowns the world champions of CS:GO. Up to 32 teams will take part in the seven BLAST Premier events this year with a combined prize pool of $2,475,000 on the line.
India thrashes Pakistan and Bangladesh to qualify for 14th World Esports Championships in CS:GO
India’s CS:GO team produced vigorous performances in the South Asian Regional Qualifiers of the 14th World Esports Championships after hammering Pakistan and Bangladesh in the South Asian regional qualifiers.
The team, comprising of skipper Ritesh Sarda (Defaulter), Shuvajyoti Chakraborty (Mcg1LLzZz), Anshul Adardkar (KiiLSwitCh), Hrishikesh Shenoy (Crazy_Gamer) and Harsh Jain (lynX), recorded identical 2-0 victories over Pakistan and Bangladesh in the semi-finals and final respectively.
Besides CS:GO team, prominent Tekken 7 athlete Hitesh Khorwal (rcool) and well renowned eFootball professional Hemanth Kommu (peshemak7) will also represent India at the World Esports Championships, scheduled to take place in Bali from Nov 29 – December 12, 2022. Hitesh and Hemanth secured their berths by winning the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2022, conducted by Esports Federation of India (ESFI) earlier this year.
Organised by International Esports Federation, the prestigious event will witness participation of top athletes from over 120 countries, competing in six different Esports titles—CS:GO, Dota 2, Tekken 7, eFootball, as well as PUBG mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang which will be making its debut at the championships. The 14th WEC has a prize pool of USD 500K (~INR 4 Crores).
“The team was simply too good for the opposition in terms of their skills, strategies and coordination. They won comfortably against Pakistan and Bangladesh shows the confidence they have in their gameplay. We are extremely proud of their performances and are now looking forward to seeing them compete with the best teams from all over the world in Bali. Everyone at ESFI wishes them the best of luck for the grand tournament,” said Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation.
Led by Sarda, the dominant Indian team hardly had to break a sweat in their matches as they comprehensively defeated Pakistan in two different maps by 16-6 and 16-4 and then displayed a similar aggressive performance to outperform Bangladesh in both maps of the final by 16-7 and 16-5.
“It feels amazing to represent India again at the World Esports Championships in back-to-back years. We definitely want to improve on our performances from last year and have been working very hard to do so. The team has done very well in showcasing its qualities in game while prevailing in all these qualifiers but the WEC final will be a stern test on a much higher level and we want to match that. I have high hopes from the tournament and we want to bring some glory from it back home,” said Sarda, captain of the Indian CS:GO team.
The same CS:GO team had participated in the last edition of World Esports Championships, held in Eilat, and finished eighth in the final.
The best of grassroots CS:GO to take on the pros at Red Bull Flick Invitational Copenhagen in November
Red Bull Flick, the definitive global 2v2 CS:GO Pro vs AM tournament will reach a pulse-racing conclusion for 2022 in an epic November finale at the Red Bull Flick Invitational Copenhagen.
Taking place over an action packed weekend during 19th- 20th November, Red Bull Flick Invitational Copenhagen will see the very best of the amateur CS:GO scene battle it out in intense 2v2 matchups building to an once-in-a-lifetime chance for them to test their mettle against world-renowned Pro teams on the big stage, and a shot at the €50,000 Prize Pool. The LAN pre-stage qualifier will take place in Copenhagen with all the national and international event winners to determine the duos that will progress to the main stage. The Red Bull Flick Invitational will conclude with an impactful finals day broadcast and highlight event on the 20th November, where the qualified amateur duos face their idols in a play-off bracket featuring eight pro invited duos.
Held in the heart of the Danish capital, the Red Bull Flick Invitational will bring the hopeful future stars into the European centre of counter-strike history to immerse themselves with a unique competitive experience alongside CS:GO’s most memorable competitions. The pre-stage LAN will take place in a closed, offline qualifier on Saturday 19th November. With the top two AM duos determined, the nail-biting Pro v AM playoff stage will be broadcast from NEP Studios on the following day. This year’s competition is sure to bring the live audience closer to the action as well as providing an unforgettable experience for digital audiences across the globe and in several languages on Twitch and YouTube on the 20th November.
A total of 26 amateur duos teams from EMEA and – for the first ever time – North America, will be offered a chance at glory, having earned their way through National and International Qualifiers. Pre-stage qualifiers will whittle down the amateurs duos to the final two in a tensely competitive group stage to start the first day of the competition. After facing their peers in the pre-stage qualifiers, the top amateur duos will then face-off against the eight invited pro teams in an intense play-off bracket on the big stage, all leading to an epic Grand Final.
Red Bull Flick is the definitive global 2v2 CS:GO tournament, giving amateur players around the world a unique competitive platform, and putting a twist on the traditional 5v5 competitive format. Having started in 2019, the competition has gone from strength to strength and now gives thousands of amateur entrants a shot at glory to play the pros, and an opportunity for hidden gems of the competitive CS:GO scene to shine under the spotlight.
The unique format and structure at Red Bull Flick has inspired some of the most unpredictable twists and turns in CS:GO, including a true ‘David versus Goliath’ moment at 2021’s Red Bull Flick Helsinki Invitational, where Polish rookies Team Garnuchy won out against both BIG Clan and G2’s Duos teams.
This year, some of the biggest Pro teams on the CS:GO circuit will be sending their stars to Copenhagen, including the fan favourites from last year: G2, OG, Furia and Big Clan and Team Spirit, the defending champions of Red Bull Flick. Alongside them the Danish superstars from Copenhagen Flames and Heroic will also join the mix at the play-off stage to truly test the best amateur duos from around the world. The play-off stage will increase the pressure with a global broadcast and live audience, truly testing the amateur duos that progress in a competitive circuit environment. Fans in attendance can also look forward to an exclusive event experience featuring their favourite esports stars including Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein, who competed with Flamez in the first international qualifier for Red Bull Flick back in April.
Red Bull Flick has teamed up with industry leaders to produce an unforgettable experience for players & fans alike. AGON by AOC, a global leader in gaming monitors, is the Official Monitor Partner for the event, bringing exceptional visual clarity and ultra-high refresh rates to competitors. AMD joins as Technology Provider, ensuring the high-performance computing that will push the boundaries of the tournament. Backforce is the official Chair Partner, providing players and talent with high-end gaming chairs across the event.
Ampverse’s Minana Esports secures largest gaming creator in the Philippines, ChooxTV to become brand ambassador and investor
After officially launching its fifth market in the Philippines, leading esports and Web3 company Ampverse secures the nation’s largest gaming creator Edgar “ChooxTV” Dumali, with nearly 30 million social followers, to become an investor and brand ambassador for its Filipino esports team and lifestyle brand Minana.
This major deal comes as part of Ampverse’s growth strategy, following its commitment to invest more than P100 million to drive and accelerate the local gaming industry.
Streamer and content creator ChooxTV is known for his ingenious off-meta picks and wacky antics on his livestream and was named MVP of the Year in the 2021 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Awards Gala.
“Excited akong mag-invest sa Minana dahil sa pagbibigay daan nito na magkaroon ng isang panibagong ‘youth lifestyle brand’ na magpapakita ng galing ng mga Pinoy,” Dumali said.
(I’m excited to invest in Minana as I really share their vision of creating a next generation youth lifestyle brand that celebrates the very best of Filipino talent.)
Alongside him, other notable gaming talents such as Eric Eruption, Hypebits, Lhea Bernadino, King Jasro, and Elanorm will also become brand ambassadors for Minana – totaling up to 55 million followers for all combined creators.
The newly formed Minana Esports are the current champions of the Philippine National Esports League in Mobile Legends. Prior to that, the team has won 11 straight championships and aims to be the most successful esports team.
In line with becoming the fastest-growing esports and Web3 company in Asia, Ampverse aims to build Minana into a leading Filipino youth lifestyle brand that spans entertainment, fashion, music, and lifestyle.
“We are incredibly proud to kick off Minana with a successful run and an official championship title under our belt. We will continue to build our success in competition, but at the same time create inspiration for the Filipino youth,” Minana Team Lead and Ampverse’s Regional Expansion Manager Julius “Banoobs” Mariano said.
A streamer with over 100,000 followers and named the “godfather of esports and gaming in the Philippines,” Mr. Mariano previously worked as country manager for Twitch, an Amazon-owned video live streaming service platform.
“Our vision is bigger than just competitive gaming, it’s about igniting the passion in every generation and building Minana as the leading youth culture hub for all gamers, creators, and anybody to fulfill their dreams,” Mariano added.
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