The meteoric rise of commercial esports football tournaments
As football maintains its position as one of the most popular sports around the globe, with an estimated 3.5 billion fans worldwide, and continues to draw in mind-blowing viewing figures – 328 million people watched the tragic end to England’s Euro 2020 campaign back in July – fans are hungry for more and have increasingly been eyeing up a new and exciting form of sporting entertainment: esports football.
Esports events and competitions are rapidly gaining traction with sports and betting fans, and esports football is no exception. As esports-mania sweeps the globe, efootball tournament organizers including are leading the charge, helping to bring this exciting new sport to an ever-growing audience of action-hungry internet users.
It’s small wonder that this form of entertainment has attained such staggering levels of popularity. Efootball clashes offer all the exciting action you’d find in any real-life football showdown, but the virtual version also boasts the major advantage of having more matches to sink your teeth into, broadcast more often. And, what’s even better for punters looking for a quick fix of sporting thrills is that matches are short, lasting just 12 minutes, but are still jam-packed with all the drama and action fans demand.
Commercial esports football tournaments are one of the new ways this popular esport is manifesting itself, and these competitions have experienced a major boost to their popularity as fans branch out into this exciting new field. ESportsBattle has seen its viewer numbers skyrocket by 42% from September’s figure to almost 40 million in December. Football has also been giving its virtual counterpart a leg-up, as major tournaments such as Euro 2020 have seen a marked increase in interest in cyber football competitions.
Live streaming is held on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube hosting a wealth of different efootball tournaments and leagues. Available 24/7 on EsportsBattle, these allow punters to watch virtual versions of all the biggest tournaments and leagues, with digital versions of their favorite teams going head-to-head in intense, edge-of-your-seat showdowns.
BLAST partners with esports and video games betting platform unikrn
Esports entertainment company BLAST has announced a multi-year global partnership with unikrn, the most expansive video games and esports betting platform on the market.
As BLAST’s global partner, unikrn will be deeply embedded into the BLAST fan experience – including fan-led activations, social giveaways, broadcast integration, and physical / digital branding on the BLAST Premier tournament series and upcoming BLAST.tv Paris Major.
unikrn will also own the BLAST Picks segment, where the BLAST broadcast talent team predicts their winners from each day’s play, along with BLAST.tv PickEms whereby the Counter-Strike community have their say on predictions. More information on unikrn integration for the BLAST.tv Paris Major will be announced closer to the event kickoff.
unikrn has one of the most expansive video games and esports betting platforms on the market, with the online bookmaker being built for the new generation of gamers and esports fans. The unikrn esportsbook brings premier esports tournaments and the biggest sporting events into one convenient place, giving players more titles, more markets and more ways to level up the fun every day.
unikrn, available now in Brazil and Canada, with exception of Ontario, is built for the new generation of gamers and esports fans and aims to expand its global footprint throughout the BLAST partnership. The unikrn esportsbook brings premier esports tournaments and the biggest sporting events into one convenient place, giving players more titles, more markets and more ways to level up their fun every day. In addition to their traditional sportsbook and casino offering, the platform also offers players an opportunity to bet on their own skills with its UMode product, as well as Moneymatch, which gives players the opportunity to face off in public or private lobbies across a variety of different titles, with bragging rights and real money on the line.
Oliver Clarke, Commercial Director at BLAST, said: “We are delighted to welcome on board unikrn as our latest global partner. Their tailored esports and gaming offering means fans of the BLAST.tv Paris Major and BLAST Premier tournament series have a safe, secure and dedicated betting platform. 2023 is an exciting year for BLAST with more events happening than ever before and we are thrilled to have unikrn join us on this momentous journey.”
“BLAST is an epicenter of action for esports fans around the world and has produced some of the most memorable moments in the history of competitive Counter-Strike play,” said unikrn CEO Justin Dellario. “unikrn is built for these moments, when fans are looking for the deepest and best possible experience as they root on their favorite players and teams. We are thrilled to be BLAST’s partner, and to bring our world-class insights and betting opportunities to its millions of fans.”
BLAST Premier is a worldwide Counter-Strike tournament series where the best teams and biggest superstars fight it out for glory and a multi-million dollar prize pool. These tournaments attract tens-of-thousands of fans to live events in big arenas from London and Copenhagen to Miami and Sao Paulo, with millions more watching at home on broadcast in over 150 territories and in 25 different languages.
The BLAST.tv Paris Major is one of the most renowned and highly-regarded esports events in the calendar year, giving thousands of teams from all around the world an opportunity to compete for a £1.25 million prize pool, a chance to etch their names in Counter-Strike folklore and a shot at being named the best team in the world.
Viperio and Luckbox Join Forces for the BLAST EU RMR A
Viperio, the North East of England’s leading esports club, and Luckbox, an award-winning provider of licensed, real money esports betting, sports betting and casino games, announced a new partnership for Viperio’s run in the BLAST Paris Major EU RMR A in Copenhagen this April.
The partnership will see Luckbox become an official sponsor of Viperio as they take on the best teams in Europe for a chance at competing in the last ever Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major in Paris later this year. As part of the sponsorship, Luckbox will feature as a new core sponsor on the Viperio jersey and social media accounts. The two organisations will also be collaborating on a series of new digital content, set to release in the coming weeks.
Viperio’s run in the BLAST Paris Major EU RMR A will take place live from the BLAST Studio in Copenhagen, April 6-9. Viperio’s first fixture is against global leading esports club FNATIC in a best of one series at 11:30 am BST (12:30 pm CEST).
“I’m happy to welcome Luckbox as an official sponsor ahead of our Counter-Strike team’s run in the upcoming Regional Major Raking event in Copenhagen this April. It’s great to have a market leader like Luckbox back our team as we hope to challenge some of the biggest names on the planet and try to qualify for the last ever Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major,” Christopher Sword, Founder of Viperio, said.
“Viperio’s qualification to the RMR is really exciting. I’m a big Viperio fan, and having them join forces with Luckbox to create hype around the RMR and make memories for fans around the world is a great opportunity. I looked forward to seeing their journey on the path to Paris,” Dave Souza, Head of Communications at Luckbox, said.
Tekken star Abhinav Tejan and eFootball ace Ibrahim Gulrez crowned champions of NESC 2023; qualify for 15th World Esports Championships
Putting up stellar performances, notable Tekken athlete Abhinav Tejan and eFootball pro Ibrahim Gulrez triumphed in the finals of the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2023 organized by the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) and secured their berths at the global finals of the 15th World Esports Championships (WEC) which will take place in Iasi, Romania from August 24 – September 4, 2023.
The 15th World Esports Championship 2023 will have a whopping prize pool of $500,000 (INR 4.12 crore) and is set to be the largest edition of the tournament to date with at least 130 countries participating in eFootball, DOTA 2, Tekken7, Mobile Legends, PUBG: Mobile and CS:GO.
Despite starting from the loser bracket, Tejan who is a well-renowned name from the Tekken7 community proved his mettle against other top athletes of the country and will be representing India at the WEC for a record 6th time. The 29-year-old who won the South Asia regional finals of the Tekken World Tour 2022 last year defeated Loveneet in the grand finals by 3-2, 3-2.
“I have won a lot of tournaments in these past few years but winning the NESC 2023 was really important to me I had lost two times in it in the past 2 years. So, I wanted to make a comeback by winning it this year. Qualifying for the IESF finals in Romania had given me the chance to represent India for the 6th time in IESF finals which is personally a really proud moment. I am really looking forward to the finals where I will try my level best to get my country a medal this year,” said Abhinav Tejan.
Similar to Tejan, Gulrez also began his campaign from the loser bracket and displayed immense perseverance as well as high-quality gameplay to become the eFootball champion. He beat Pritesh Quinton Dsouza (bad_pritt) by winning the first round by 3-2 and the second round by 3-0 to seal his maiden qualification at the WEC.
“The feeling is really amazing. I have been trying to achieve this feat for the last couple of years and to finally get there feels amazing. My victory involved a mixture of hard work and some luck. One can only feel that happiness after trying so hard to win the competition for the last couple of seasons,” said Ibrahim Gulrez.
Alongside Tekken and eFootball, the esteemed national qualifiers were also organized for popular PC titles CS:GO and DOTA 2.
In CS:GO (Open), Team Orgless5 toppled the two-time NESC champions Team Wicked Gaming by winning the finals by 2-0. Comprising team captain Harsh Jain (f1redup), Jaspreet Singh (SpawN), Sadab Khan (SK wow^), Piyush Kalwania (clouda), Nikhil Kathe (N1kace) and substitute Omkar Thube (omkar09), the team was dominant throughout the tournament and produced scintillating performances against India’s leading CS:GO teams.
“Our motto to win the qualifiers was to trust the process, trust ourselves and trust our decisions. We worked extremely hard to defeat the country’s best CS:GO teams and become the champions. The World Esports Championships are very important for us and now we will prove ourselves in the regional qualifiers to qualify for the global finals as well,” said Harsh Jain, captain of Team Orgless5.
On the other hand, Team Top G comprising skipper Manav Kunte (mnz), Vishal Vernekar (HBK), Abhishek Yadav (Abhi-), Shahbaz Hussain (PinkMaN), Krish Gupta (Krish`) and substitute Jaikishan Malik (KaEL) prevailed in the finals of DOTA 2 by defeating Team Mob with a 2-0 score line in the finals. The squad’s notable players Vishal and Abhishek were also part of the historic DOTA 2 team that won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Esports Championships in 2022.
“We are beyond ecstatic to win the DOTA 2 India Qualifiers and it is an honour for us to represent India on the international stage. We have put in countless hours of practice, analyzing every move, and strategizing every play to reach this point, and it’s an incredible feeling to see our hard work pay off. The team has an unbreakable bond and we know that we can achieve anything if we keep this synergy together. We would also like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to ESFI for providing us with this amazing opportunity to showcase our skills on a national platform and we promise to give our best shot to bring home the championship,” said Manav Kunte, captain of Team Top G.
Team Orgless5 and Top G will now be participating in the upcoming Asia regional qualifiers to qualify for the global finals of WEC 2023. The teams will first be competing in the South Asian qualifiers in online mode and upon qualifying will play the regional finals offline. The dates of the regional qualifiers will be announced by the International Federation soon.
One of the country’s top sports & Esports communication agencies, Artsmith-Concepts & Visions, will continue its support to the Esports Federation of India as their official communication partner. NESC23 was also supported by Upthrust (Event Partner), Inox (Multiplex Partner) & Hama (Training Partner)
The NESC’23 concluded on Monday, March 27 and witnessed a total participation of 275 athletes from all over the country.
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