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Le Mans Virtual Series – Joint Venture Between Motorsport Games and Automobile Club de l’Ouest – Reveals Full Driver Entry List for the 2021-22 Season

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Le Mans Virtual Series - Joint Venture Between Motorsport Games and Automobile Club de l'Ouest - Reveals Full Driver Entry List for the 2021-22 Season
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The recently launched 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual Series, a joint venture between Motorsport Games Inc.  — a leading racing game developer, publisher and esports ecosystem provider of official motorsport racing series throughout the world — and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (“ACO”) — the creators and organizers of the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans and promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (the “FIA WEC”), announces today the full entry list for the 2021-22 Endurance Esports Championship.

The 38 team entries feature 177 driver names on the full-season roster list and include champions and prominent drivers from nearly all major motorsport disciplines, including Formula One, the WEC, INDYCAR, the International Motor Sports Association (“IMSA”), Formula 2 and 3, Formula E and Extreme E, GT World Challenge and more. Participating this season are open-wheel luminaries of motorsport, such as 2009 F1 Champion, Jenson Button, F2 racer, Jack Aitken, Formula E racer Sergio Sette Camara, current INDYCAR Championship points leader, Alex Palou and INDYCAR driver and 2019 INDYCAR Rookie of the Year, Felix Rosenqvist.

The Le Mans Virtual Series’ driver roster also contains some of the most exciting up and coming young professional drivers, including F2 and F3 stars Liam Lawson, Bent Viscaal, Victor Martins and Caio Collet, as well as female driver Beitske Visser, who races in the W Series and the WEC. The FIA WEC, 24 Hours of Le Mans and IMSA are represented by former champion Bruno Senna, plus former F1 stars Stoffel Vandoorne, Harry Tincknell, Will Stevens, Matt Campbell, Yifei Ye and many other prominent racers.

Demonstrating his racing versatility, Timmy Hansen – World Rallycross and Extreme E driver, will race alongside winners from Japan’s Super GT, the Super Formula championships and GT racers from all around the world. Rounding out the list of professional racing drivers is last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual winning line-up, who are reuniting for the Rebellion GPX Williams team to defend their title. Teams making up the rest of the grid include Team Fordzilla, Red Bull Racing Esports, Team Redline, Panis Racing, Team Project 1 and Team WRT, among others, plus championship and Le Mans-winning worldwide brands, such as Alpine, Ferrari, Porsche and BMW, just to name a few.

Joining this roster of esteemed professional racing drivers are elite competitors from the sim racing scene, including popular names such as Michi Hoyer, Bono Huis, Jan von der Heyde, Joshua Rogers and Kevin Siggy. There will be 98 sim drivers within the full 177 driver roster.

An overview of the driver roster construction and format is as follows:

  • Teams must submit a full-season roster of 4 or 5 drivers.
  • A minimum of 2 drivers must be FIA graded (or its equivalent).
  • The remaining drivers are sim drivers.
  • For each of the first 4 online rounds, teams will nominate 3 drivers from their full season roster 7 days before each race. Of these, one must be an FIA-graded driver (or its equivalent).
  • For the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual finale – scheduled to be held January 15th and 16th, 2022 in Birmingham, UK at the 2022 Autosport International motorsport show – line-ups will increase to 4 drivers per entry with a minimum of 2 FIA-graded drivers (or its equivalent). An additional 20 entries are expected for the live, televised event, with some of the most well-known motorsport names in the world due to appear.

 

Given the ongoing calendar uncertainty in real world racing, there is provision within the regulations to allow for the replacement of FIA-graded drivers if the originally nominated drivers are not available.

The combination of top level names from these two racing worlds competing on classic tracks, culminating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual – the virtual equivalent to the world’s greatest sportscar event – promises to deliver exciting and highly competitive endurance events that are guaranteed to thrill esports enthusiasts globally.  For those same fans, running alongside the Le Mans Virtual Series will be the Le Mans Virtual Cup  – an esports series where anyone with rFactor 2 can compete and earn the opportunity to secure a spot on the grid for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.

Supporting this year’s Le Mans Virtual Series will be some of the world’s most high-profile brands, including: Thrustmaster as Official Hardware Partner, Rolex as Official Timepiece Partner, Total Energiesas Official Energy Partner, Goodyear as Official Tire Partner, LEGO® Technic as Official Engineering Partner and Algorand as Official Blockchain Partner.

 

About Le Mans Virtual Series

Le Mans Virtual Series is a global, elite esports series made up of 5 rounds which bring together endurance racing and sim racing’s top teams to compete on some of the world’s most famous racetracks. International FIA-licensed real-world drivers are teamed up with leading esports protagonists to take on endurance classics for a total prize fund of US$250,000, culminating in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual which will take place live and televised at the Autosport Show International at the Birmingham, UK. The Le Mans Virtual Series is a joint venture between leading racing game developer, publisher and esports ecosystem provider of official motorsport racing series throughout the world, Motorsport Games, and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (“ACO”) – the creator and organizer of the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans and promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC).

 

Round 1: 4 Hours of Monza, Italy                     September 25, 2021                           Online only

Round 2: 6 Hours of Spa, Belgium                    October 16, 2021                                 Online only

Round 3: 8 Hours of Nürburgring, Germany November 13, 2021                              Online only

Round 4: 6 Hours of Sebring, USA                    December 18, 2021                             Online only

Round 5: 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual             January 15/16, 2022                           ASI, Birmingham, UK

 

Asia

Galaxy Racer appoints new Head of Marketing, India & South Asia

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Galaxy Racer appoints new Head of Marketing, India & South Asia
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Former Garena Esports Project Manager for India, Romeo Misao, joins Galaxy Racer to head up the organisation’s rapid expansion plans for the region

Galaxy Racer (GXR), one of the fastest-growing esports, gaming and lifestyle organizations in the world, headquartered in Dubai, has announced the appointment of Romeo Misao as the Head of Marketing for India and South Asia. The announcement follows the organisation’s spate of new hires globally and the recent signing of Galaxy Racer’s Chief Marketing Officer, Allan Phang. 

Misao will lead the best-in-class regional marketing initiatives for both Galaxy Racer and Nigma Galaxy, the competitive esports division of Galaxy Racer, focusing on the company’s aggressive expansion plans across India and the South Asia region.

Misao was previously the first esports hire in India for Free Fire, the award-winning mobile Battle Royale game by the leading game’s publisher, Garena. He led and executed esports initiatives for Free Fire in India and Bangladesh as their Esports Project Manager. 

He spearheaded and launched the leading premium esports IPs in India that went on to be record-breaking such as the Free Fire India Championship Fall 2020 with 300,000 concurrent viewership and the Free Fire World Series, Singapore 2021 with 1.9 million concurrent viewership on local Hindi language streams.

Misao has also worked for award-winning brand BenQ-Zowie, where he drove gaming and esports projects and contributed to the success of the brand’s ranking as the No. 1 Gaming Monitor. He led all Marketing and Communications for US leading display brand, ViewSonic in India and contributed to the growth of the brand in the major display product line with a Top 3 ranking in India. This positioned the brand among the top display segments which led to major collaborative promotional projects with leading games publishers such as Tencent.

Galaxy Racer was founded in 2019 and currently has over 100 content creators across Middle East North Africa (MENA) and Southeast Asia (SEA), amassing over 370 million followers and generating over 2 billion monthly views.

Nigma Galaxy, the merger between Team Nigma,  champions of The International 7 Dota 2, and Galaxy Racer, will be leading the competitive esports team division, with an impressive roster of twelve esports teams in Dota 2, League of Legends, CS:GO, Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, BGMI and Free Fire, with over 60 male and female esports athletes from over 20 countries.

Allan Phang, Chief Marketing Officer of Galaxy Racer commented, “Romeo’s vast marketing experience and deep knowledge of the Indian esports industry is vital as part of our strategic initiatives for India. His work is exceptional and I am looking forward to working together with him. As Galaxy Racer pushes forward with our aggressive expansion plans, having a leader of his calibre is important to spearhead our marketing campaigns. We look forward to having Romeo onboard with us. Welcome to our galaxy!”

Romeo Misao, Head of Marketing, India and South Asia of Galaxy Racer commented, “I am excited to be working at Galaxy Racer, one of the fastest-growing esports, gaming and lifestyle organisations globally. I look forward to working with Allan and my fellow colleagues as we look to partner with brands who are interested in targeting Gen Z and Millennials. I cannot wait to unleash the awesome marketing initiatives I have in store for the Indian market and to put Galaxy Racer, Nigma Galaxy and India on the world map in the global esports industry.”

Galaxy Racer is creating a true 360-degree esports, gaming, content and lifestyle brand. Their group company, Riva Technology and Entertainment (RTE), have secured a strong streak of acquisitions, partnerships and brand licensing deals, including the iconic comic book series publisher Dark Horse Comics, with RTE producing multiple mobile games based on the massively successful The Umbrella Academy comic books and Netflix series.

Earlier this year, RTE invested in multiple companies including SUB2r who produce broadcast-quality streaming video cameras, Recast an over-the-top (OTT) platform, My LADS, an Augmented Reality (AR) technology engagement firm which powers fan engagement, the leading games publisher Rogue Games and OKLetsPlay, the leading platform for players to compete each other in competitions against other players across the world. 

RTE also owns a majority stake in global games producer Firefly Games, who have experience working with major studios and brands for world-renowned intellectual properties (IP) from Dreamworks Animation, NBC Universal, Skydance Media, and now MGA Entertainment, a consumer entertainment products company, to produce and publish mobile games based on their hit properties L.O.L Surprise!™ and Rainbow High, both featured on Netflix.

Galaxy Racer has recently brought onboard former Disney executive Guenther Hake, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Consumer Products in Greater China and CEO at Oriental DreamWorks, who will be assisting in an advisory role with Galaxy Racer’s brand partnerships, consumer products, apparel and merchandising endeavours. 

Galaxy Racer has also recruited Danny Lopez as Chief Content Officer, who was formerly the Director of Brand and Content at Guild Esports, an esports team co-owned by David Beckham, where he led the creative content development and execution across the board.

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Asia

Microgravity announces winners of MGL Call of Duty: Mobile tournament

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Microgravity announces winners of MGL Call of Duty: Mobile tournament
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Microgravity Ventures Private Limited, a facilitator of world-class gaming hubs and eSports tournaments in India, announced the winners of Microgravity Gaming League – MGL Call of Duty: Mobile, Team Deathmatch tournament. The two-day eSports tournament was held on 25 & 26 September in partnership with Battlefy. Top Call of Duty Squads from across the country competed against each other in a single eliminator format-based tournament in 5v5 multiplayer mode. All the participants were above 18 years of age and included professionals, enthusiasts and casual gamers.

The mightiest Call of Duty squads had to go through three phases – Qualifier Phase, Battle Phase and Zero Hour Phase. All the qualified squads competed against each other across multiple rounds in the Battle Phase. This phase was held in a single eliminator format-based tournament in 5v5 multiplayer mode. The top 8 squads were shortlisted for the quarter finals, semifinals and finals under the Zero Hour Phase and competed in a best of 3 format. The top 2 squads – True Rippers Esports & Team SUPREMACY battled against each other in the grand finale with True Rippers Esports coming out on top to conquer the Microgravity Gaming League (Freedom Month Special) – Call of Duty: Mobile tournament. The eSport tournament also witnessed some exceptional women gamers who were named #GamerGoddesses for their mind-blowing gaming skills.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rahul Bhattacharya, Co-Founder and MD, Microgravity said “It was great to see squads from across the country participating and showing their best gamer skills in MGL Call of Duty: Mobile Tournament. The momentum and the quality of content backed with human interaction has taken this tournament to next level. We saw some intense competitions and some fantastic gameplays in all three Phases. We would like to congratulate True Ripper Esports, who conquered this league and all the other participants, including our GamerGoddesses who pushed their boundaries with great enthusiasm. India has some extraordinary talent and we are looking to continue hosting more such tournaments. We aim to enable gamers to become leaders in the gaming space while taking online gaming to a new high.”

Microgravity gave an overall prize pool of over Rs. 1,00,000 to the winners. The tournament winners, True Rippers Esports won Rs. 35,000 for their top-notch performance and for rising as the conquers of the tournament. The 1st runner up Team SUPREMACY and 2nd runner-up Bounty Hunterz won Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 15,000 respectively. ChieZze from True Rippers with 68 kills was the Top Fragger and took home a prize of Rs. 5,000. Oggy from Team SUPREMACY with 21 assists won Rs. 5,000 for the Most Assisted Kills. The #GamerGoddesses crown was given to DhruviOO7 and SnippetSnipe, who were the top-ranked women gamers and split the winning prize of Rs. 20,000. Additionally, 5 lucky viewers won a prize voucher of Rs.1,000 each for answering questions during the live feed and for showing their unconditional support.

On winning the Call of Duty: Mobile Tournament, Real Nimrod of True Rippers Esports added “I am really proud of my team who outperformed today and it was an amazing experience competing against several competitive squads across the country. This tournament is a great encouragement for the Indian gaming community and we feel honoured to be a part of it. We are very grateful to Microgravity for providing this opportunity to budding gamers and motivating them to do better.”

Microgravity has successfully organized three online gaming tournaments previously across PC, Mobile and Play Station which gained significant traction amongst online gamers. In May 2021, the MGL FIFA 2021 tournament was held which drew significant engagement from FIFA wizards with 3,000 registrations and 4 million impressions from across the country. MGL Free Fire was held during August and September 2020 with over 2.2 million impressions and over 20 thousand participants. Similarly, MGL Call of Duty: Mobile was organized in December 2020 and reported over 8 lakh impressions.

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Veloce joins forces with Codemasters to launch ground-breaking VERSUS ULTRA Series

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Veloce joins forces with Codemasters to launch ground-breaking VERSUS ULTRA Series
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  • Innovative esports series, to feature competitions across multiple leading titles from Codemasters, looks set to kick off in 2022
  • Lando Norris’ Quadrant is the first team confirmed for this unique esports tournament
  • ‘Original and engaging format’ to ‘break the mould’ in burgeoning gaming sphere 

In an industry first, Veloce Esports has announced a partnership with leading racing game developer Codemasters to launch a revolutionary, multi-title, global esports racing league – the VERSUS ULTRA Series – with Lando Norris’ Quadrant team revealing itself as the first official entry.

Veloce is well-versed in original and innovative projects in the burgeoning esports sphere, sparked by the success of its immensely popular #NotTheGP series during the lockdowns of 2020. The ever-expanding Veloce Esports ecosystem yields substantial monthly viewership figures in excess of 230 million across its various channels.

Codemasters is a world-leading video games developer specialising in the racing genre. Its portfolio includes DiRT, Project CARS, GRID, and the official series of F1® video games. The VERSUS ULTRA Series will feature an innovative event format with different stages of competition taking place across several Codemasters titles.

Some of the best-known global esports teams will be taking part, comprising world famous streamers, pro gamers, and more, with squads competing for the inaugural VERSUS ULTRA Cup.

The first team to throw its hat into the ring is Quadrant, F1 star Lando Norris’ ever-popular esports squad.

With the likes of F1 YouTube star Aarav Amin (Aarava), leading virtual racer Steve Alvarez Brown (Super GT), Maria Bish (RiaBish) and Niran Yesufu (FNG) on the books, Quadrant will undoubtedly be running at the sharp end during the inaugural season.

More information on the event format, team announcements and the VERSUS ULTRA CUP will be revealed in due course, with racing set to get underway in 2022.

Rupert Svendsen-Cook, CEO, Veloce Esports, commented: 

“We’re delighted and feel very privileged to be partnering with such an established player in the industry as Codemasters, to launch what we know will be the best racing esports league in the world. We have worked closely with Codemasters for some time, as a large part of our media network features their titles, so it made a huge amount of sense to work together on this project.

“For us, the key focus is on entertainment for the gaming community and offering an original and engaging format that breaks the mould of the traditional racing esports leagues currently available. We’re incredibly excited to share further details regarding who and what is to come as we prepare to launch in 2022.”

Toby Evan-Jones, Head of Business Development, commented: 

“The VERSUS Ultra Series is an exciting new format which creates both action-packed content and the opportunity for our players to compete with their heroes from the real and virtual racing worlds. Codemasters’ expertise in delivering world-leading racing titles makes us the perfect partner for Veloce. We hope players of all levels will come together to create a fun competition which redefines the competitive gaming landscape with an innovative and inclusive format.”

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