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ESPL, India’s first-ever franchise-based Esports league signs Infinix Mobile as title sponsor

George Miller

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ESPL, India’s first-ever franchise-based Esports league signs Infinix Mobile as title sponsor
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India’s first-ever franchise-based Esports league, the Esports Premier League (ESPL) has partnered with smartphone maker Infinix Mobile as the title sponsor for its inaugural edition with an aim to revolutionise the Esports in the country and bring its excitement to the mainstream through the nationwide tournament. The tournament wants to tap into the growing landscape of esports in the country to help the competitive gaming community. This segment has received a significant boost in the last year as an increasing number of users are spending time on smartphones for gaming.

Aiming to give Esports ecosystem in India a complete makeover and rise Esports and gaming in the Indian market with the upcoming top-notch event, India Today Group, which has forayed into esports, is geared up to roll out Season 1 of the league from June 16. The league will witness a massive total prize pool worth Rs 25 lakhs. It has teamed up with Garena to create an exclusive gaming platform for Free Fire—the most popular battle royale game currently played by gamers and gaming enthusiasts in India. ESPL will enable players from across the country to showcase their skills on this mega national stage for the first time.

The league will be streamed on multiple platforms including OTT giant Disney+ Hotstar as well as the official YouTube and Facebook channels of India Today and Aaj Tak along with their websites.

ESPL intends to be the largest platform to discover and nurture new gaming talent across India. As part of the effort to push gaming to the mainstream, ESPL will offer all the 8 teams and their players’ comprehensive media coverage across various media platforms including digital, print, TV, and more. This will help upcoming esports professionals gain fame and stardom on par with other conventional sports.

While talking about the launch of Esports Premier League (ESPL) and its association with Infinix Mobile, India Today Group Vice Chairperson, Kalli Purie said: “This pandemic and the resultant lockdown have contributed to propelling the esports industry into mainstream entertainment. India Today’s Gaming and Esports platform will provide a thrilling experience to its users through a wide range of games, online tournaments, and an opportunity to win exciting prizes. These are very exciting times as smartphone usage continue to grow exponentially and I believe the partnership with Infinix Mobile will help us intensify our mission of taking Esports to the next level in India.”

With the pandemic and lockdown still in place, ESPL will be played as a virtual tournament in its inaugural edition and comprise of more than 700 online matches with about 300 plus hours of streaming. The Hong Kong-based smartphone giant, Infinix Mobile is keen on pushing the envelope when it comes to the latest and greatest in technology with its upcoming, Note 10 line-up of devices.

“The Indian online gaming industry is growing at a rate of almost 27% per annum and is estimated to reach $2.8B by 2022. The current pandemic situation has further fuelled the growth of the gaming industry in India. At Infinix, we are part of this revolution by making devices for the mid-range segment that is feature-rich and enhance the users gaming experience, to further amplify the gaming capability of a user our R&D has developed a technology called Darlink which optimizes and improves the performance of a device on several parameters. Our partnership with India Today for the Esports Premier League is just another step towards achieving the same goal. We look forward to a fruitful association and intend to encourage budding talent in this field,” Mr. Anish Kapoor, CEO of Infinix Mobile said while announcing the association.

The tournament, which will be played over a period of two and a half months, will have initial two levels to screen the best eight teams which progress into the grand finale representing eight cities across the country including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Punjab, and Rajasthan.

To participate in the league, gaming enthusiasts and gamers can register themselves on www.indiatodaygaming.com/espl

Asia

Genting Singapore Confirms its Yokohama IR Consortium Partners

Niji Narayan

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Genting Singapore Confirms its Yokohama IR Consortium Partners
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Genting Singapore has officially named its five Yokohama IR consortium partners.

The partners are Sega Sammy Holdings, Sohgo Security Services, Kajima Corporation, Takenaka Corporation and Obayashi Corporation. Sega Sammy is the only partner to bring previous IR experience via its 45% stake in South Korean IR Paradise City.

“Our vision is to create a world-class IR destination that is strategically positioned, sustainable and anchored on strong local collaborations,” said Genting Singapore, owner and operator of Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa.

“Having both solid financial strength and over 30 years of successful track record in developing tourism focused IRs, we are ideally positioned to deliver an iconic IR to transform and grow Yokohama City to become a major tourist destination. In turn, the City will be an in-bound tourism gateway to Japan and contribute towards Japan’s tourism growth strategy.”

Genting Singapore said its Board of Directors has already approved investment in the project without the need for shareholder approval on the basis that such investment would be less than 100% of its current market cap.

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Asia

Jade Entertainment doubles up with Lucky Yeti sportsbook for Indian market, and Jade Sportsbet in the Philippines

George Miller

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Jade Entertainment doubles up with Lucky Yeti sportsbook for Indian market, and Jade Sportsbet in the Philippines
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Leading Asian operator, Jade Entertainment, has announced a bold dual-sportsbook launch for the Indian and Philippines markets. Lucky Yeti, its breakthrough digital sportsbook and casino, is custom-built for the unfolding Indian sports betting market. While Jade Sportsbet, certified and regulated by PAGCOR, is primed to exploit fast-moving online and retail opportunities across the Philippines.

Both sportsbooks are powered by RPM Gaming, an emerging force in online and retail betting and gaming across emerging markets. Their unique combination of pricing models, coupled with a curated selection of odds from the industry’s best data feed suppliers, grants customers access to the most sophisticated and reactive in-play prices on the sports they love, with competitive markets available across a high-octane sporting summer – featuring the rescheduled Euro 2020 football, basketball’s NBA Playoffs, the Pakistan Super League and the postponed IPL cricket which recommences on 19th September.

Lucky Yeti features a mobile-first tailored interface, localised for responding to native demands and player enthusiasms around the most popular sports in the territory. These culturally-contingent Indian-market offerings also extend to casino where popular lottery and virtual TV games sit alongside classic card games, whose immersive gameplay is tailored to give players an engaging experience in a card-playing, sports-mad territory.

Live casino, in particular, has captured players’ imaginations since Lucky Yeti’s launch, with best-in-class products from BetGames.TV, Ezugi and Evolution capturing engaging, real-time table games, such as Andar Bahar and Teen Patti. These games are filling the void for authentic user experiences at a time when land-based gaming across Asia as a whole is severely restricted due to the pandemic.

These multilingual sportsbooks are respectively localised for Hindi and Filipino languages, while Jade Sportsbet is breaking new ground with its flexible use of OTP (one-time password) account-recognition and QR codes, a key convergence trend expected to belatedly marry up the offline and online journey for Philippines players with an intuitive omni-channel solution that nimbly negotiates the demands of stringent regulation for improved player security.

Joe Pisano, CEO of Jade Entertainment: “We’re thrilled to be up and running with Lucky Yeti, our first sportsbook targeting the Indian-facing market. While Jade Sportsbet, which will be launching soon, will revolutionise the Philippines digital space. Thanks to our software and operational partners at RPM Gaming, we were able to construct and curate these customized websites from scratch. Based on encouraging performances in both acquisition and retention metrics, it seems our customers are loving these local touches, too.

“Jade’s strategic direction is to roll out more online sites in legal international jurisdictions, as we continue to provide land-based operations with a bridge to the online world. Although the trend towards digital from land-based domains was already manifest, the pandemic has had a catalytic effect, increasing the surge in digitized entertainment. As the coronavirus has closed casinos across Asia, or simply made people far more reluctant to venture out because of the risks, Jade’s intersectional expertise from land-based to online has come to the fore.

“That said, I’m thrilled to say that Jade Sportsbet has now returned to Okada Manila and is performing extremely well.”

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World Cricket Championship marks its 155 million milestone with Tamil commentary in addition to English and Hindi

George Miller

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World Cricket Championship marks its 155 million milestone with Tamil commentary in addition to English and Hindi
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Former Team India player and IPL commentator Abhinav Mukund to carry out Tamil Commentary.

While Matthew Hayden and Aakash Chopra carry out the English and Hindi versions respectively

World Cricket Championship (WCC), from the house of Nazara Technologies, has recently touched the 155 million download mark. The game was at 140 million in January 2021, and has managed to gross another 15 million downloads recently.  Given the growth, the company is now looking to reach out to its fans in the vernacular markets beyond Hindi and English. Former team India player and IPL commentator, Abhinav Mukund will reach out to the Tamil user-base, while Matthew Hayden and Aakash Chopra will manage the English and Hindi audience respectively.

As the Covid crisis staggers the world with lockdowns, and live sports has taken a hit owing to lockdown restrictions, WCC served as an alternative to authentic cricket experience from the safety of homes. Given the growing user-base, the game aims to further penetrate the regional markets and cater to a larger share of audience which now has better access to smartphones and data connectivity.

Resonating on the same lines, Next Wave Multimedia CEO and co-founder P.R. Rajendran says, “With the introduction of professional commentators into the game, the aim is to bring users as close as possible to the actual game of cricket. With the recent suspension of live sports, we would be glad for WCC to bring respite to the cricket fans confined in their homes.”

While Aakash Chopra and Matthew Hayden added to the realism of the game, Abhinav Mukund will further accelerate the feeling and connect further with the vernacular audience, bridging cultural boundaries.

Says Abhinav Mukund, “WCC as a game provides a very lifelike cricketing experience. Apart from a range of varied controls that the game brings already has, now, commentary in Tamil will only add to the game’s list of growing features, ushering a much more realistic experience, while giving the regional audience a chance to connect more.”

Abhinav Mukund is a classy opening batsman, having represented India, the former Tamil Nadu Skipper is now a famed cricket commentator. Players would be able to manually switch to the Tamil version of the commentary to experience the terrific commentary of Mukund.

WCC3 has featured in some prominent esports tournaments in the country including Redbull M.E.O., Skyesports and LXG WCC tournaments. Being one of the only ‘Made in India’ games to feature in esports tournaments in the country, WCC is looking to make it easier for players and tournament organisers to conduct tournaments on the game with its recently launched esports mode.

The World Cricket Championship series has been created by Chennai based Next Wave Multimedia Pvt. Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Nazara Technologies Ltd., a leading India based diversified gaming and sports media platform. Launched in November 2020, the third instalment is the latest in the series. The game has won the Indian Game Developers Conference’s “Studio Game of the Year” award and Google Play Store’s “Users Choice” Award 2020.

 

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