The inaugural edition of the nation-wide Esports league, Esports Premier League (ESPL) 2021 has seen an unprecedented response among the gaming community with massive 1 million registrations and has just concluded the last user registration phase. The registrations for the event went live on June 16, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Season 1 of the league is being hosted virtually for two and a half months. ESPL 2021, which has Infinix smartphone as the presenting sponsor, is being played under the aegis of a gamer-centric campaign #ESPLGameSeFame that encourages players to showcase their top game and get recognized in the industry.
India’s first-ever franchise-based Esports league for Free Fire, ESPL, is preparing for the Second Level of the tournament. Out of the more than 1 million registered users, about the top 400 players from 88 teams will move to Level 2, where the top 8 invited teams of India join the mix. This will take the total number of teams to 96 teams in the level. These teams will be divided into 8 groups of 12 each to compete for the top 8 spots. The top 8 teams will represent the 8 regions of ESPL.
At the end of Level 2, ESPL will have the best Free Fire teams from India. The scale of the tournament highlights ESPL 2021 as the platform for all the Free Fire players to showcase their skills. The tournament crossing 1 million registrations serves as a testament to outline the importance of the platform. This number also points to the gradually increasing interest in Esports in India. Most of the gamers signed up to take part in the tournament in the last few days of the registration phase and this number is a testament to the far-reaching impact and popularity of the league in the gaming space. Prize money for ESPL 2021 is a whopping INR 25 lakh. In the initial phase itself, the league has managed to create a strong buzz and catch the attention of gamers with its high-octane and nail-biting matches in the game Free Fire.
“The astounding figures we have for the registration numbers of ESPL 2021 itself validate our position in the Esports sector. We are extremely happy by this overwhelming response to the inaugural edition of India’s first-ever franchise-based Esports league. What these amazing numbers tell us is that Esports is set to create history in India — both in terms of its growth as well as the interest, it is rapidly garnering among India’s youth. Competitive Esports events like the ESPL are setting the bar very high and propelling the industry to greater heights. The second phase of the league has all the action and current scenario working as a catalyst for our league, so be assured of a rocking & entertaining season,” said Mr. Vishwalok Nath, Director, ESPL.
This phase has a lot more in store, as exciting live action will be available on OTT giant Disney+ Hotstar, Free Fire official streaming platform Booyah and Malayalam OTT platform Koode alongside official YouTube and Facebook channels of India Today and Aaj Tak and its websites.
IESF puts out call for nominations for IESF Athletes’ Committee
For five years Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) had one of its athletes on IESF’s Athletes’ Commission.
With the IESF launching its Athletes’ Commission in the Hilton Hotel in Shangai in 2016, the Athlestes’ Commission was instrumental in ensuring the rights and interests of athletes were always tacken into account at IESF’s Board.
The first chairman of the Athletes’ Commission, as elected in 2016, was none other than Koen Schobbers. At the same election, Jason Batzofin, who was a learner at St John’s College, was elected on the committee and served with distinction.
In 2019 Jason Batzofin was elected as chairman and continued to serve with distinction until, due to unforseen circumstances, felt the need to resign. Upon Jason’s resignation, Tiffini Lim was appointed as Chairlady by IESF’s Board.
To stand for this important committee, National Federation’s Athletes Representative shall satisfy at least two of the points below:
a) Shall have experience as an esports athlete;
b) Shall have experience in esports;
c) Have worked with their National Federation in the past three (3) years;
d) Have represented their Member nation at an IESF-accredited event
It must be noted that no nation may have more than one representative in the Athletes Committee.
• Registration Opens: 27 November 2022
• Registration Closes: 6 December 2022 (15:00 Bali Time)
• Voting Begins: 7 December 2022 (15:00 Bali Time)
• Voting Closes: 10 December 2022 (15:00 Bali Time)
Challengermode launches in-game tournaments with The Battle of Polytopia, ushering in a new era for esports & competitive gaming
Global esports platform Challengermode has signed an exclusive 5 year deal with developers of turn-based civilization strategy game The Battle of Polytopia, Midjiwan, to development of the game’s competitive esports scene.
This partnership is a huge step forward in Challengermode’s mission to directly support game developers in realizing their games’ esports ambitions, proving just how easy it is for players to make the jump from casual multiplayer to grassroots competitive gaming – and for 3rd party esports organizers to host easily accessible competitions in-game.
Challengermode will provide Midjiwan with its esports expertise and automated tournament technology to guide the development of The Battle of Polytopia for competitive audiences worldwide across Steam, iOS and Android. Players will be able to browse, play and see the results of tournaments from within the Polytopia game app itself without having to leave the game client or use any external 3rd party esports mechanisms. The aim is to create a robust esports community for The Battle of Polytopia where grassroots players can compete seamlessly in an organized setting for real prizes.
Robel Efrem, CEO and founder of Challengermode said: “We couldn’t be more excited to be helping Midjiwan expand the competitive gaming side of The Battle of Polytopia. I’ve been a big fan of the game for years, so having the opportunity to assist with the creation of its nascent esports scene is a dream come true. It’s also an excellent opportunity for Challengermode to demonstrate benefits of game developers working directly with companies in the esports space to rapidly scale up their own competitive gaming operations, making their games better integrated and more accessible to esports hopefuls of all levels. With the sustained growth of the grassroots esports sector, we fully expect more game developers to add competitive modes such as tournaments, leagues and ladders alongside their classic multiplayer modes in the near future.”
Integrating with the Challengermode Game Integration API opens up possibilities for Midjiwan to develop other valuable additions for the competitive community in Polytopia, including “Live Games” – a play clock game mode where players have a bit more than 1 minute from the start of their turn to make their moves. Players will also be able to access replays of matches, meaning all multiplayer games they complete can be saved, rewatched and shared as much as they like.
Christian Lovstedt, General Manager at Midjiwan, adds that: “Challengermode’s dedication at the grassroots level esports players made them the perfect partner to work with in building out our competitive gaming scene for The Battle for Polytopia. As a developer, it was important to us to integrate the esports aspects of Polytopia with the main game itself, removing the barrier that usually exists between casual multiplayer and the competitive play that players can enjoy at a more professional level. We welcome Challengermode’s esports expertise in bringing the competitive side of The Battle for Polytopia to a wider audience than ever before, and look forward to working closely with them in this endeavour.”
SIS awarded ESIC Gold Standards accreditation for Competitive Gaming offering
Endorsement marks out supplier as only esports betting events provider to officially meet new integrity measures
SIS (Sports Information Services), the leading multi-channel supplier of 24/7 live betting services, has been awarded the Esports Integrity Commission’s (ESIC) Gold Standards, the highest possible accreditation from the industry association.
The award sees SIS become the first esports betting events supplier to meet ESIC’s stringent new criteria, created to set unmatched levels of integrity and safety in the esports betting industry, for its Competitive Gaming portfolio (Esoccer, Ebasketball and CS:GO).
The purpose of the ESIC Gold Standard is to build on its existing principles by setting out a list of standards for tournament organisers, ensuring that events are run to the highest level of integrity and safety for the benefit of all stakeholders.
With stringent integrity measures in place, SIS Competitive Gaming follows best practice outlined by ESIC in addition to strict operational measures in place to ensure that each event is fair.
Each SIS Competitive Gaming head-to-head match, all of which take place from within SIS’ UK-based self-contained studios, is streamed live with experienced casters providing live in-game commentary. The streams take place through a secure platform that is exclusive to licensed operator sites where the age of the audience has been verified and is not available on open streaming services, meaning there is less danger of toxic messaging of the sort that is often carried on unlicensed sites.
All events are overseen by a dedicated ESIC-trained integrity referee and have a real-time link to SIS’ expert trading team, which closely monitors betting activity. Rigorous gamer competitiveness and predictability tracking measures are in place, through supremacy and volatility reporting, with all events taking place in a jurisdiction with well-respected legal and employment rights.
The new ESIC Gold Standards have been created to elevate transparency and impartiality, and required SIS to meet a number of rigorous requirements across the board, including:
- No communication devices allowed anywhere in the gaming studios
- Minimum of three employed personnel (independent from gamers) watching every event
- Controlled fixed game settings to ensure fair and competitive play
- Employees are fully background checked for criminal records, with references taken
- Ensure all gamers are of sufficient skills and expertise to compete against other pro gamers.
- ESIC anti-corruption code to be signed by all staff and gamers
SIS continues to work with ESIC to evolve the Gold Standards to improve Integrity and the visibility of clear tangible rules and standards by which tournament organisers should run events.
Adam Conway, Head of Esports & Competitive Gaming at SIS, said: “We are extremely proud to have received this new accreditation, which shines a light on the very high integrity and safety standards we have always put at the core of our Competitive Gaming offering.
“Our operator partners and their customers appreciate our high levels of integrity, such as visible referees invigilating every game, making us the only esports betting events supplier to do so.”
Ian Smith, Commissioner at Esports Integrity Commission, said: “ESIC’s new Gold Standards set heightened levels of integrity and safety in the Esports industry for the benefit of all stakeholders, and through ongoing assessment of SIS’ Competitive Gaming operations, which meet all the key integrity requirements, we are delighted to award SIS with ESIC’s Gold Standards, our highest possible accreditation”.
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