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Red Bull secure hat-trick of wins in F1 Esports Series Pro Championship Event 2, and go level with Mercedes in the title race

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The 2021 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship presented by Aramco continued with three more nail-biting races as drivers took on an iconic trio circuits, Silverstone, Monza and Spa, in Event 2, with Red Bull taking wins in the each of the three rounds. Jarno Opmeer and Lucas Blakeley continued their strong starts with more impressive displays, and lead the Drivers’ Championship with 101 and 87 points respectively. Meanwhile, in the Teams’ Championship, the picture reflects real life as Mercedes and Red Bull lead the way, both on 140 points, and are well placed to get the lion’s share of the $750,000 prize pot.

One of last year’s leading title contenders Frede Rasmussen, secured his first win of the season – a first for Red Bull this year – with a brilliant performance at Silverstone, where he also started on pole. Rasmussen had the lead for the majority of the race, but had to wrestle it back from Mercedes’ Dani Moreno, who took P1 with just a few laps remaining, before the Red Bull driver regained the position going into the final corners. Lucas Blakeley continued his brilliant start to the season for Aston Martin with another podium finish in P3, despite a timing error that suggested he had crossed the line in second place ahead of Moreno.

Wednesday’s action continued with another thrilling encounter at Monza, as Marcel Kiefer made it an even better day for Red Bull with his first win of the season, showing why he cannot be counted out of this year’s title race. Kiefer and Rasmussen looked set to deliver a valuable 1-2 finish, before Opmeer, who started on pole, jumped into P2 on the penultimate lap – and things got even worse for Rasmussen as he was spun by Ferrari’s David Tonizza going into the first corner of the final lap, and fell down the order. Blakeley secured another podium finish after benefitting from time penalties that were given to Moreno for leaving the track, who finished in P3, and Tonizza for his collision with Rasmussen.

Rasmussen made it three wins out of three for Red Bull in Event 2 with a dominant drive and a tyre strategy that worked to perfection for him as he was victorious in Spa. In very wet conditions, Rasmussen, Opmeer and Kiefer were among those that chose to start on intermediate tyres and hope that they would last to the end of the race, which they certainly did. It looked like a 1-2 was on the cards for Red Bull, with Kiefer sitting behind Rasmussen going into the final lap, before he was overtaken, first by Opmeer, who secured another big points haul in his title quest, and then Tonizza, with the two former world champions finishing P2 and P3 respectively.

Event 3 will see the drivers race for the first time ever on the Portimão circuit, before battling it out at Zandvoort and the Circuit of the Americas, in a trio of undoubtedly action-packed races on 24-25 November.

Following Event 2, the official standings are as follows:

Driver standings

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Team standings

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Drivers are continuing to race remotely from their homes or team facilities, as they did in the 2020 season, but the hugely popular competition continues to broadcast from the Gfinity Esports Arena in London. Following the same Event format as recent campaigns, teams battle it out on the official F1 2021 video game, developed by Codemasters, with the live shows are streamed online via official channels of Formula 1 on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Huya, as well as broadcast on television via select international broadcast partners.

F1 Esports events have achieved over 40 million views across TV and digital, in the last 18 months, and this popularity led to a record number of people attempting to be a part of this year’s Pro Exhibition, with almost half a million taking part in qualification. Qualification for next year’s competition is now open through a challenge in the official F1 2021 video game, with the first event live until 31st October. If you would like to find out more information on how to take part in the F1 Esports Series and for more information on the Pro Championship presented by Aramco, visit www.f1esports.com.

Full race results:

Round 4 – Silverstone

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Round 5 – Monza

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Round 6 – Spa

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Asia

Aurora Gaming Crowned Champions of $350,000 Skyesports Masters 2024, Earns Spot in Skyesports Championship

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Aurora Gaming has been crowned the champions of the Skyesports Masters 2024, defeating OG 3-1 in an intense Grand Finals. With this victory, the team will take home $105,000 of the $350,000 prize pool and secure a slot in the next tournament of the 2024 Skyesports Counter-Strike 2 roadmap, the Skyesports Championship 2024.

The Skyesports Masters 2024 took place from April 8 to 14, featuring eight teams from India and Europe competing for the lion’s share of the substantial prize pool.

Coming in after a first-place finish at the Skyesports Grand Slam 2024 in Pune, India, last month, Aurora Gaming were on a hot streak and favored to win it all. The Siberian team had a dominant run throughout the upper bracket, achieving first place.

Facing Aurora in the Grand Finals was OG. The team had already lost to Aurora in their opening game of the Skyesports Masters and had to navigate through a high-stakes lower bracket, eliminating ENCE, Ninjas in Pyjamas, BIG, and BetBoom to reach the Grand Finals.

Aurora proved to be the stronger team this time as well, with a decisive 3-1 finish. The map-wise results were as follows:

● Anubis: 13-6 (Aurora Gaming)

● Mirage: 11-13 (OG)

● Ancient: 13-10 (Aurora Gaming)

● Overpass: 13-3 (Aurora Gaming)

In a post-match interview, Aurora’s Evgeniy “Norwi” Ermolin expressed gratitude to the team’s fans, stating, “I am feeling really good; we played really well today. Thank you for watching, for the support, and for everything. We will continue trying our best and look forward to playing some LAN.”

The Skyesports Masters 2024 reached a peak viewership of 41,833, a significant increase from the previous year, according to Esports Charts. Counter-Strike esports in India was given a revival through the 2023 and inaugural edition of the Skyesports Masters, the Playoffs for which happened in Bangalore, India. Skyesports has also announced that the Skyesports Masters will return for its third edition in the summer of 2025 with a six digit prize pool.

With this victory, Aurora Gaming has secured a slot in the Skyesports Championship 2024, the details of which will be announced later. It’s the next tournament in Skyesports’ 2024 Counter-Strike 2 esports roadmap, which has paved the way for international teams to look at the tournaments as viable IPs for them to participate in.

Commenting on the Skyesports Masters 2024, Shiva Nandy, Founder and CEO of Skyesports, said, “Congratulations to Aurora Gaming for winning the Skyesports Masters 2024. With more than 40,000 concurrent viewers, the tournament has made a significant impact in the global Counter-Strike 2 esports ecosystem, and I couldn’t be more excited for the future. Up next, we will bring another elite tournament, the Skyesports Championship 2024, which will be the sixth edition of this IP and the first time that Counter-Strike 2 will be a part.”

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eSports

Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov is a New Virtus.pro Player

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Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov (pictured), one of the most decorated and famous players in CS2, a Major champion and winner of the Intel Grand Slam, is moving to Virtus.pro.

“The arrival of star players always generates excitement within the club and among its fans,” the Chief Executive Officer for Virtus.pro, Nikolai Petrossian, said. “Denis is a well-known figure in the world of eSports with an impressive list of major victories and exceptional skill. Few players won both at Major and Intel Grand Slam events.

“Our CS2 roster is strong thanks to teamwork, a clearly defined playstyle and the individual talents of our players. Transferring players with outstanding skills to improve specific areas is a common practice in sports. I am confident that Denis joining will give a powerful boost to the team in the upcoming challenges in Dallas, London and beyond.

“Denis will replace Nikolay ‘mir’ Bityukov in the VP lineup. Nikolay has been a loyal and valuable member of our team and we express our gratitude for his contributions. Nikolay ‘mir’ Bityukov is open to offers from other teams.”

“Virtus.pro is a top team,” Sharipov said. “The core of the roster has won a Major not a while ago and all the players are in their prime and ready for victories right now. We share the same ambitions and goals. Besides, I’m also excited about the idea of playing with Jame as he’s one of the most unique IGLs in the game. Can’t wait to adapt to my new team and start doing what I came here for, winning trophies.”

Sharipov has dozens of victories at elite tournaments, including:

  • PGL Major Stockholm 2021
  • Intel Grand Slam Season 3
  • BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020
  • IEM XVI – Cologne
  • EPL Season 14
  • BLAST Premier: World Final 2021

In addition, Sharipov was among the top-ten best players of the year by HLTV four times.

Updated Virtus.pro CS:GO roster:

  • Dzhami ‘Jame’ Ali (captain)
  • Evgeny ‘FL1T’ Lebedev
  • David ‘n0rb3r7’ Daniyelyan
  • Petr ‘fame’ Bolyshev
  • Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov
  • Dastan ‘dastan’ Akbayev (coach)
  • Pavel ‘PASHANOJ’ Legostaev (analyst)
  • Nikolay ‘mir’ Bityukov (substitute)
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eSports

NODWIN Gaming Partners with Global Esports Federation as Portfolio Management Company for Key Emerging Markets

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NODWIN Gaming, the leading South Asian gaming and eSports company, today announces the agreement with the Global Esports Federation (GEF) to become the portfolio management company (PMC) for key global emerging markets across South and Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East and parts of Southeast Asia. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in NODWIN Gaming’s ambition in driving the growth of gaming and eSports globally, by leveraging its expertise and leadership position in emerging markets worldwide.

The GEF convenes the dynamic, ever-evolving eSports ecosystem including the adjacent industries and diverse network of global impact partners. Established in 2019, the GEF has flourished to over 155 member federations engaging billions of ‘#worldconnected’ athletes, players and fans.

Firmly dedicated to its mission and universal values, the GEF has evolved to become an authentic voice of the eSports community, elevating the industry’s legitimacy and credibility at a global scale. Furthermore, the GEF plays a pivotal role in cultivating emerging technological development, user, fan and brand experiences that enable innovation in gaming while ensuring the sustainable growth for eSports and limitless opportunities that inspire the world’s hyper-connected youth.

With strategic partnerships with industry giants and a proven track record of organizing gaming events and lifestyle festivals, NODWIN Gaming has now acquired exclusive rights to create and market GEF-licensed eSports events in more than 20 countries such as India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Dubai, Bahrain, Jordan, Thailand and Vietnam in addition to the entire continent of Africa.

As a PMC, NODWIN Gaming also secures non-exclusive rights to host GEF-licensed events globally, which paves the way for synergistic collaborations amongst the company’s subsidiaries and strategic partners worldwide. NODWIN Gaming’s recent acquisition of the Turkey-based Ninja Gaming readies the company for endeavors in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa while its Singapore-based experiential marketing powerhouse branded focuses on the Asia Pacific region. With its equity investment earlier this year into Freaks 4U Gaming, a leading full-service gaming and eSports agency in Germany, NODWIN Gaming will tap into potential opportunities in developing GEF-licensed events in non-exclusive regions through the agency’s European as well as endemic and non-endemic network.

The co-founder and Managing Director for NODWIN Gaming, Akshat Rathee, shares his insight on the partnership with the GEF: “The world of eSports is evolving towards true global celebration of eSports titles across the world. The GEF truly epitomizes the hopes and aspirations of all the developing world markets that NODWIN Gaming seeks to develop. We believe our partnership with the GEF will bring the best of eSports opportunities to the youth of the emerging world.”

The Chief Operating Officer for the GEF, Mario Cilenti, commented on the partnership: “We are thrilled to have NODWIN Gaming on board as our PMC for the South Asia, Central Asia and Africa markets. Its capabilities and extensive experience makes it ideal partners to advance the GEF’s mission and further engage with eSports communities across key growth regions.”

For more information, please visit NODWIN Gaming on X or the official website.

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