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Amateur esports events will soon overtake professional tournaments by budgets

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Polish Esport Cup Summer 2021
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Gamers have crashed a new gaming quest website: esports events are growing in popularity

Professional esports tournaments will soon begin to lose ground to amateur tournaments on budgets. The latter have more and more participants, and this attracts sponsors.

For example, the prize pool of the second season of Polish Esport Cup Summer 2021 is approximately $3,000; LPL Pro League Season 8 has $7,500. At the same time, EXTREMUM Digital Pass event has collected a prize pool of $20,000 and the number of participants is quite large – 50,000. The project has already been running for two months.

This is more than a tournament. There was created a large interactive quest for gamers of all categories. Not necessarily for professionals, and age is not so important. 

For successfully completing virtual quests, players earn points that can be spent on real prizes in the DP store. The grand prize is a customizable gaming PC. Now the second season of the project is in full swing. It started on June 1 and will finish on July 25 (the first season was in 2020).

For the first time EXTREMUM brand held a similar quest back in 2019. But it was designed for a small number of users and lasted only 5 days. The event was timed to coincide with the announcement of the Dota 2 lineup, and despite the smaller scale, the project attracted the attention of users. Then the organizers realized that the community was eager for such activities – the gaming audience is mature enough to go beyond the usual formats.

That is why they switched to a wider format. In the first season, it paid off: the audience was 10,000. For such a scale, the developers had to write a huge system from scratch, as there were no similar IT solutions for organizing virtual events. After that, they fixed bugs and eliminated errors, listened to the audience, improved the general approach to the quest, etc.

This season EXTREMUM has not only increased its audience to 50,000 people but also went far beyond the CIS region and now 52% of the audience are English-speaking users. During this season users have already activated more than 1,000,000 game codes in the system. 

And now it’s not just personal competition. In addition to individual tasks there are clan tasks. Participants join in groups, compete with each other (including in Dota 2 and CS:GO), socialize and make new friends. The number of some clans reaches 150 people.

The organizers didn’t expect the quest to cause such a stir. On average, a drop of 100 prizes is sold out in 5 seconds. During one of the drops the site went down: it couldn’t cope with the huge number of active users. The devs had to urgently expand the technical features of the website. This experience will be taken into account in the future.

Brands began to invest more actively in cyber events. Even at the start of the project, partnership requests kept coming in. Brands began to come to the understanding that the esports audience is now a serious community with broad interests and opportunities.

The final drop of the event will take place on July 25, which means that even new users have the opportunity to earn enough points to claim the grand prize. This point and drop mechanic is designed so that people can join the event at any time. To do this, you need to register on https://pass.extremum.gg/ and start completing tasks in your personal account area.

eSports

BLAST Premier expands reach into Israel with Gaming Channel broadcast deal

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BLAST Premier expands reach into Israel with Gaming Channel broadcast deal
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  • The deal will see the Gaming Channel own exclusive rights to broadcast BLAST Premier in Hebrew 

BLAST Premier has agreed a media rights deal with Gaming Channel, Israel’s first ever linear 24/7 esports and gaming channel. 

As part of the deal, Gaming Channel will own exclusive rights to broadcast BLAST Premier within Israel in Hebrew until the end of the 2021 season. The deal will cover BLAST Premier’s four remaining events of the year: Fall Groups (September 16-26), Showdown (October 12-17), Final (November 24-28) and World Final (December 14-19).

The Gaming Channel, owned by the Charlton Group, was launched back in July this year, bringing the first ever dedicated esports and gaming linear TV channel to Israel. The channel broadcasts a variety of content including live esports events, leading YouTube talent from the region, among other gaming and entertainment-themed content. 

Alexander Lewin, VP for at BLAST, said: “We are delighted to be able to give BLAST Premier fans from Israel the opportunity to watch their favourite Counter-Strike teams and players in a localised Hebrew broadcast, and very pleased to add Israel to our global media rights footprint. The Gaming Channel and its experienced team are the perfect partner for our move into the Israeli market, and we look forward to a successful collaboration.”

Yoav Sochen, General Manager for Gaming Channel, said: “I am very excited to partner up with BLAST Premier. Connecting both professional players and esports enthusiasts to the Gaming Channel through top tier international leagues, operated and offered on live broadcast in Hebrew for the first time. I look forward to seeing what this partnership can do for the Israeli scene.”

The deal takes BLAST’s portfolio of media rights to over 40 linear and online partners internationally, meaning BLAST Premier is now available globally in 18 different languages and in over 150 TV territories.

BLAST Premier is a worldwide 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 over the course of 2021 with a combined prize pool of $2,475,000 on the line. BLAST will be making its long-awaited return to arena events with fans later this year at Copenhagen’s iconic Royal Arena for the Fall Final. 

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eSports

Pinnacle selects CashtoCode for instant sports betting and esports betting payments

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Pinnacle selects CashtoCode for instant sports betting and esports betting payments
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CashtoCode eVoucher solution designed for international markets    

CashtoCode, the payments service for online igaming operators, today announced a new partnership with Pinnacle. CashtoCode’s instant eVoucher service is now available to all Pinnacle sports betting and esports customers worldwide. The deal is aimed at helping Pinnacle boost payment conversions in international markets, while giving players more choice and convenience.

Pinnacle, one of the biggest names in the igaming space, is well known for its success in the emerging esports betting industry. With a global mobile-first user base, Pinnacle will benefit from a payments partner that understood the complex payment regulations in key international markets, and that can deliver secure, reliable, and instant online payments for all its players.

eVoucher by CashtoCode offers instant deposits via a simple code, similar to an ecommerce gift voucher. It can be bought online from several large international platforms, and redeemed at a number of igaming operators (now including Pinnacle). For operators, it is a straightforward new deposit option that allows them to go live in multiple regions at the same time. Existing CashtoCode partners can also enable CashtoCode eVoucher via their existing integration. For players, it is a seamless and secure payment experience that ensures funds arrive in their igaming accounts instantly.

“We are very excited about the potential of our eVoucher solution for the global igaming market,” said CashtoCode CEO, Jens Bader. “It enables operators to go live in multiple, distinct regions at the same time, all with a single solution. For customers, it is an incredibly reliable and secure deposit option, while also being very easy to use.”

“We strive to be innovators in the igaming industry, and were among the first operators to recognise the esports opportunity back in 2010,” said Isabelle Delisle, Global Head of Payment Solutions at Pinnacle. “Therefore, it is important for us to find the right technology and payment partners to maintain this position across different markets and demographics, and we are confident we have found that in CashtoCode. We want to give our players more choice and we believe that they will appreciate the ability to make payments instantly online via a simple eVoucher code – a customer journey familiar to millions around the world.”

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Cryptocurrency

BITCASINO AND EVIL GENIUSES LAUNCH FIRST CRYPTO-BASED DIGITAL GAMING PARTNERSHIP IN ESPORTS HISTORY

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BITCASINO AND EVIL GENIUSES LAUNCH FIRST CRYPTO-BASED DIGITAL GAMING PARTNERSHIP IN ESPORTS HISTORY
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Jersey Patch Partnership Features Multiple Facets Across EG’s DOTA 2, Counter-Strike, FGC and Creator Rosters 

  Yesterday, it was announced that crypto pioneer Bitcasino, a leading bitcoin-led casino operator, has partnered with Evil Geniuses (EG), one of the original and most iconic professional esports organizations in the world. Bitcasino, part of Yolo Group, merges cryptocurrency with a digital gaming experience by offering an assortment of games and entertainment. As the first crypto-based digital gaming partnership in esports history, Bitcasino will be showcased across a number of EG facets including the Evil Geniuses DOTA 2, Counter-Strike, FGC and Creator rosters.  

“We love Evil Geniuses’ passion and forward-thinking approach to everything they do,” Head of Bitcasino Kaupo Kangro said. “They have been changing the game for more than 20 years, which is why they make the perfect partner for Bitcasino. They’re true pioneers who share our values for fun, fast and fair gaming. It’s an honour to see the Bitcasino logo on the EG jersey, and we’re excited about the great content that we will be partnering on for Evil Geniuses fans around the world.” 

Starting later this week with the Blast Premier Fall Showdown, EG players will wear new jerseys that feature the Bitcasino logo on their right sleeve. 

“Evil Geniuses has always been a trailblazer within esports and bringing on a pioneer in their industry like Bitcasino, EG continues our commitment to engage our fans in new and innovative ways,” said Brian Millman, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Evil Geniuses.

The partnership also features CS:GO programming including a custom created map featuring familiar B-Site locations where players will race against the clock in mobility obstacles and accuracy challenges. The challenge course was specially designed for Bitcasino and tested by EG pro and content creator Tarik Celik. Fans can participate in the fun, too, by downloading the map via Steam.

In addition, the partnership will feature a content series headlined by EG CS:GO and DOTA 2 players, fans will submit videos of their play, either best or funniest moments for EG pros to guess what comes next at key moments. The content series that will be shared on social media will feature various EG pros providing unique commentary on fan behavior. 

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