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Riot Games expands ground-breaking VCT Game Changers programme to EMEA

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Riot Games expands ground-breaking VCT Game Changers programme to EMEA
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Following astounding success in North America earlier this year, Riot Games is expanding its VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Game Changers programme to the EMEA region with three new tournaments set to take place over the next three months.

First announced back in February 2021, the VCT Game Changers programme aims to foster an inclusive environment for competition and create safe opportunities for women to compete without fear of identity or gender-based harassment. VCT Game Changers EMEA will supplement the competitive season in the region by creating new opportunities and exposure for women within VALORANT esports.

Kicking off later this month, the three incoming VCT Game Changers EMEA tournaments will take place across three key dates:

  • September 27 – October 3, 2021

  • October 25 – October 31, 2021

  • November 15 – November 21, 2021

Both events in September and October will be open qualifier tournaments, featuring up to 64 teams made up of women. However, the tournament in October will be a special “All-in” edition  which will allow for co-ed teams, provided at least three team members are women. Entrants will then compete for a share of the €20,000 prize pool up for grabs per tournament. All contestants must also hold a rank of Platinum 1 at the time of registration, or during the preceding Act. The third and final tournament will take place in November, offering up a total prize pool of €50,000. Further information on this will be announced in due course.

“Right now, the esports industry is suffering from a severe lack of female representation at pro level. If we want to inspire more women to pursue their esports dreams, we need to take direct action to make these games more accessible, and create a level playing field for them to enter in years to come. We want VCT Game Changers EMEA to be that stepping stone for women, in the EU to show off their VALORANT skills and compete in a fair, safe environment but still within the ecosystem, said Vera Wienken, Brand Manager DACH for Riot Games and a leader of the VCT Game Changers EMEA initiative.

“We’re very excited to announce the expansion of VCT Game Changers to the EMEA region, and we’re proud of how this initiative has helped create a competitive ecosystem that is more representative of the diverse VALORANT community,” said Alexandra LePlante, Event Manager for Riot Games. “However, ultimately we would love to see enough diversity within the wider competitive VALORANT ecosystem in years to come, that we no longer need programmes like VCT Game Changers.”

VALORANT quickly established itself as a fan-favorite among the global first-person shooter community after launching its closed beta in April 2020. The game made history on its first day, breaking viewership records with 34 million hours-watched in a single day, and surpassing 1.7 million peak concurrent viewers, a peak concurrent record second only to Riot Games’ 2019 League of Legends World Championship Finals. Over the course of VALORANT’s two-month beta testing period, an average of nearly 3 million players logged on each day to play. Fans also demonstrated their enthusiasm for the shooter by watching more than 470 million hours of VALORANT closed beta streams on Twitch, the world’s leading service and community for multiplayer entertainment, and Korean video-streaming service AfreecaTV.

You can tune in to the action on Twitch and follow all the updates on the official VCT Europe twitter. During the semi-finals and finals of each event, you can join your favourite content creators as they host watch parties and enjoy the games with the community.

Bitcoin

Thunderpick is launching the first ever eSports tournament series with a prize pool in Bitcoin

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Thunderpick is launching the first ever eSports tournament series with a prize pool in Bitcoin
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The Thunderpick Bitcoin Series is an online event that officially starts on the 17th of January with a CS:GO tournament that will last until the 7th of March. Other CS:GO and Dota 2 tournaments within the Thunderpick Bitcoin Series are expected later in 2022.

The first tournament of the Series will host top CS:GO squads from all over the world. There will be a total of 23 teams competing for a chance to win a chunk of the 1.2 Bitcoin prize pool with at least $75,000 guaranteed. The minimum amount is a secure prize, but there is no telling how high the Bitcoin price might go up during the playoffs, so the main prize might be even higher!

The format of the CS:GO tournament will be a standard best-of-three, divided further into three stages with the collective 50 Bo3 matches. In the closed qualifier 4 teams will face double elimination, where the winning team will advance to the main stage. Main stage will feature 16 teams where only 8 can get into the final stage and play against 4 additional guest teams. During the Grand Finale the top teams of the tournament will fight over who will take the main prize home.

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eSports

LEC Partners with Red Bull, Warner Music, and Secretlab for 2022

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LEC Partners with Red Bull, Warner Music, and Secretlab for 2022
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We’re thrilled to announce the return of three long-term partners for the LEC 2022 season.

As we prepare for the start of LEC Spring 2022, we’ve been working with our partners to ensure that we offer the best possible viewing experience for our fans around the world. Today, we’re proud to announce that three of our long-term partners will be returning to support the 2022 season.

The first of these partnerships is our Official Energy Drink Supplier, Red Bull. This will be our fourth consecutive year working with Red Bull and we can’t wait to build on our partnership throughout the year.

Red Bull will excite the LEC followership by creating content activations that will appear throughout LEC events and also promoting grassroots LoL esports over the next 12 months. Further, Red Bull Solo Q, the official 1v1 League of Legends tournament, in which fans can compete against each other, is returning for 2022.

Next, we are ecstatic to confirm that Warner Music will once again be joining us as an Official Music Partner for 2022. Over the four years we’ve been working with Warner, they’ve introduced some truly amazing artists to LEC fans and we can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for the year ahead.

Warner Music was instrumental in powering the 2022 LEC promotional video with Chrissy Constanza, and will be bringing a similar calibre of talent to LEC content going forward.

Finally, we’re excited to confirm that Secretlab will be returning for a multi-year partnership as the Official Gaming Chair Partner for the LEC and EU Masters! From chairs inspired by K/DA’s music releases and the Ruination event to the premiere of Arcane on Netflix, Secretlab has been a constant in the League of Legends universe, celebrating major League milestones since 2019. As the Official Gaming Chair at regional leagues and global tournaments including the World Championship, the Mid-Season Invitational, and All-Star, esports teams have gotten familiar with Secretlab chairs and we’re delighted to have them return to support the LEC for the third year running with the new Secretlab TITAN Evo 2022.

Additionally, the exclusive Secretlab x League of Legends Tilted emote that was first dropped during Worlds 2021 will be making its return during LEC 2022 – stay tuned to Secretlab’s social media pages to find out how you can get yours.

“LEC has constantly kept us on the edge of our seats with mind blowing plays each year. With the induction of increasingly younger talents across the league, following an action-packed year which made LEC 2021 the most watched season of all time, we’re expecting even more epic faceoffs in the upcoming season and the teams can count on being supported by the world’s best gaming chairs in their battle for a spot at Worlds,” says Beatrice Wee, Senior Manager, Global Partnerships, Secretlab. “There’s no compromise when it comes to equipping Europe’s best.”

With these amazing partners alongside us, we can’t wait for what will no doubt be the most exciting year of LEC action yet. Will MAD Lions continue their reign at the top, or will old favourites G2 Esports or Fnatic rise back to the top spot with their refreshed rosters?

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Cryptocurrency

Gambit Esports Partners with EXMO

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Gambit Esports has announced a one-year partnership with cryptocurrency exchange platform EXMO.

As part of the deal, EXMO will become the general partner of Gambit Esports’ CS:GO, Dota 2 and Apex Legends rosters, as well as AS Monaco Gambit’s Dota 2 and Fortnite teams.

As part of this collaboration, Gambit, with the support of EXMO, will in detail introduce the possibilities of cryptocurrencies to the esports fans, and will also help to debunk many myths in the industry.

“Many of our players have already become crypto-enthusiasts – cryptocurrencies have been a part of their portfolio for quite some time already, along with stocks and real estate. That’s why I support this partnership which we launch together with one of the most tech-savvy cryptocurrency exchanges on the market. Welcome to the Gambit family, EXMO!” Konstantin Pikiner, Sports Director of Gambit Esports, said.

“We are pleased to welcome EXMO as the General Partner of our AS Monaco Gambit Dota 2 & Fortnite teams. The support of a renowned company like EXMO will allow us to continue nurturing our Esports section, while also developing a particularly innovative and engaging component,” Oleg Petrov, Vice-president & CEO at AS Monaco, said.

“Cooperation with a successful esports team has been in our plans for a while. Therefore, we are delighted to start our partnership with Gambit Esports, one of the most successful esports organizations in the world. With our joint initiative, we intend to highlight how much esports and cryptocurrencies have in common: both areas have become a part of modern life, and the last couple of years have only strengthened public interest in these industries. For traders, just like for esport athletes, such personal qualities as strategic thinking, courage and speed of reaction to changes are of great importance. Together with Gambit, we want to create many interesting opportunities for our audiences,” Sergey Zhdanov, CEO of EXMO, said.

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