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YouTube star, AboFlah on track to raise more than US$10 million for refugees, will continue living in a glass room near Burj Khalifa until completed

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Galaxy Racer’s AboFlah is raising US $10M for charity in livestream from glass room near Burj Khalifa
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The World’s Coolest Winter campaign, which celebrates the UAE’s most beautiful tourism destinations, is extending humanitarian support to more than 100,000 refugees and people in need through a new humanitarian initiative called Warm Winter.

The campaign has collaborated with Galaxy Racer’s Content Creator AboFlah, to support hundreds of thousands of refugees and families in need in Africa and the Arab world. It aims to raise over US$10 million to provide food, winter clothing, blankets, mattresses and critical aid to help displaced men, women and children prepare for harsh winter conditions.

Launched in partnership with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and Galaxy Racer, a Dubai-based lifestyle organization that specializes in esports, gaming, lifestyle and handles AboFlah’s presence and activations, the humanitarian campaign is calling on everyone to help vulnerable people get through the winter. It will provide aid and support to the largest number of refugees and people in need in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Food Banking Regional Network.

Anyone from anywhere in the world can donate to the humanitarian initiative. Contributions can be made to the Warm Winter campaign, which started on January 7th 2022, at MBRGI.ae/WarmWinter.

As part of the campaign, AboFlah is living in a glass room in Downtown Dubai, near the Burj Khalifa, until US$10 million is collected, with USD$4m raised so far. The live-stream is taking place on YouTube and other content creators and influencers will be collaborating and creating their own posts to raise awareness of the humanitarian initiative.

AboFlah’s YouTube channel is one of the fastest-growing YouTube channels in the world, with over 23 million subscribers and over 2.8 billion views. He is followed by millions of fans who avidly watch his vlogs, comedy shorts and formatted shows covering video games and popular culture.

Millions in Need of Support

AboFlah said: “Warmth in winter for those facing harsh winter conditions is no less important than food and water. There are millions of refugees and displaced people who need all the support they can get. I wanted to participate in this humanitarian initiative and hope everyone will contribute by bringing warmth to the lives of those who are deprived of it. The World’s Coolest Winter campaign deserves appreciation for launching Warm Winter in cooperation with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and I am proud to support it.”

 

Joint Efforts to Directly Reach Those in Need

For her part, Sarah Al Nuaimi, Director of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, said: “The Warm Winter initiative from the World’s Coolest Winter campaign represents joint efforts and fruitful cooperation between reputable institutions in charity, humanitarian and relief. We are pleased to see Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, UNHCR and the Food Banking Regional Network unite alongside influential content creators to raise awareness about this important cause. Warm Winter reaffirms the UAE’s established culture of compassion and humanitarian work. As we celebrate our nation’s beautiful natural and touristic attractions during the cooler months, we will not neglect nor forget refugees and needy families facing bleak, life-threatening conditions in other parts of the world this winter.”

Galaxy Racer Links Content Creators with Humanitarian Initiatives

For his part, Paul Roy, CEO of Galaxy Racer, said: “At Galaxy Racer, we believe in giving back to the community and all of us, including our content creators such as AboFlah, share this value as well. AboFlah has done a lot of charities in the past and has been an inspiration to many. We are confident this initiative is going to be record-breaking for the right reasons and we are happy to support the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and its partners into making this a reality for the greater good with positive impact.”

Founded in 2019 with its headquarters in Dubai, Galaxy Racer is the largest esports, gaming and lifestyle organization in the world, and plays a key role in supporting the campaign, by utilizing its leading global role to attract some of the most prominent content creators in the region. The organization has previously achieved several successes, including its global partnership with LaLiga, Spain’s top professional football league, organiser of the GirlGamer Festival World Finals in Dubai and organised a Dubai inter-school FIFA tournament, including awarding deserving scholarships worth a total of US$70,000 to the winners, which contributed to achieving Dubai’s vision in the field of the future of technology. Through its several activities, it encouraged young people to explore new job opportunities in the esports and gaming industry, to establish Dubai as a regional and global hub for competitive esports events.

Direct Access to Hundreds of Thousands of Beneficiaries

UNCHR and the Food Banking Regional Network will purchase basic supplies and necessities such as blankets, winter clothes and heating appliances and provide them to refugees in Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. The assistance will also extend to individuals and families in Syria and Egypt. UNHCR estimates that there are 3.8 million refugees and displaced people in the Arab region, as well as millions in Africa, who need critical assistance to survive winter.

Khaled Khalifa, Senior Advisor & Representative to the GCC, UNHCR, said: “UNHCR provides vital support to millions of refugees and displaced people in the region. Through our cooperation with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, we can jointly implement large-scale campaigns to relieve hundreds of thousands of refugees from life-threatening conditions. We are pleased to support the Warm Winter initiative, which reaffirms the importance of the collective efforts led by the UAE to provide relief to those most in need, in cooperation with global partners.”

An Open Letter of Solidarity

Dr. Moez El Shohdi, Founder and CEO of the Food Banking Regional Network noted that the humanitarian initiative launched by World’s Coolest Winter campaign, which aims to provide all the necessities for a warm winter to all those in need, embodies the values ​​of compassion, kindness and human solidarity.

He said: “FBRN is proud to cooperate with MBRGI, UNHCR and content creators interested in humanitarian work on this critical project. Warm Winter will provide direct support to refugees and those in need, serving as an open message of solidarity to aid millions of refugees and displaced people facing bleak conditions this winter.”

Warm Winter is an extension of AboFlah’s past humanitarian work. A previous campaign in October 2021 raised US$1 million from 31,000 donors during a 28-hour live broadcast which garnered over 28 million total views, to support refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq in coordination with UNCHR.

eSports

MTG Sells ESL Gaming to Savvy Gaming Group for $1.05 Billion

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Swedish esports and gaming firm MTG has agreed to sell ESL Gaming to Saudi-backed Savvy Gaming Group at an enterprise value of $1.05 billion.

MTG, which owns 91.46% of ESL Gaming, corresponding to $960 million, said it was expecting net proceeds of around $875 million from the deal, including transaction-related costs.

It added that it would return at least 40% of the proceeds to shareholders, while using the rest to strengthen its position in the global gaming market, and continue its “buy and build strategy”.

“Following the transaction, MTG will focus fully on accelerating growth in its pure-play gaming business,” MTG, which has a market cap of around 9.76 billion crowns ($1.05 billion), said in a statement.

MTG, which bought ESL and DreamHack in 2015 and merged them under the name ESL Gaming, has acquired several gaming companies in the past year, including Hutch Games and Ninja Kiwi.

It added that Savvy Group, which is backed by the Saudi Arabian government’s Public Investment Fund, was also buying tech platform FACEIT to merge the two companies into a global gaming platform.

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HORIZON UNION ENTERS APEX LEGENDS SPACE WITH ACQUISITION OF ESPORTS TEAM

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HORIZON UNION ENTERS APEX LEGENDS SPACE WITH ACQUISITION OF ESPORTS TEAM
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GAMING and content organisation, Horizon Union, has unveiled its entry into APEX Legends through the acquisition of European esports team, Top Dogs.

Competing in the highest level of competitive APEX, the APEX Legends Global Series (ALGS) league, Horizon Union will be represented by players Ruabbe, Mimu and ZeroNothing, who have competed for the likes of G2 Esports, Obey Alliance and ENCE.

Top Dogs, which will now be branded under the name Horizon and powered by UFO Gaming, will be competing in the playoffs of the ALGS on 22 January 2022, after qualifying in the ALGS Split 1  League in December 2021.

Speaking on joining Horizon Union Ruabbe, captain of the Horizon team, said: “Mimu, ZeroNothing and myself have been continuously pushing expectations as a team and are super happy and excited to be joining Horizon Union. Having been given such an opportunity with a leading organisation, we are ready to achieve great things with Horizon throughout 2022.”

The move to APEX further signals Horizon Union’s commitment to entering the esports space following the news of its partnership with decentralised social gaming platform, UFO Gaming, in late 2021. The partnership will see both organisations expand brand affinity in the gaming sphere, with a particular focus on esports.

Will Mollett, co-founder and talent and partnerships lead at Horizon Union, said: “Horizon’s movement into the highest level of APEX is merely a testament to our vision for the brand, with the acquisition of a fantastic EU team, Top Dogs.

“With this spearheading our esports efforts, we could not be happier to be working with a trio of like-minded individuals, hungry for success.”

Kieran Wood, co-founder and operations and commercial lead at Horizon Union, added: “Esports has always been an element of Horizon that we’ve kept close to our heart as the brand scaled. The collective drive to compete at the highest level is a goal that the entire team shares and seeks to achieve with our esports launch.

“Our first steps with Apex Legends is a sign of intent and a nod to what’s to come with Horizon throughout 2022 and we couldn’t be more excited for this venture to begin.”

Founded by Kieran Wood and Will Mollett in 2017, Horizon has grown to house over 35 creators who drive and deliver content via an always-on strategy. Working alongside global brands such as UFO Gaming, GFUEL, Boost Gaming, and ChampionUS, the organisation operates on the core principles of working closely with creators to provide strategic business value, within various verticals in the gaming world.

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WePlay Holding teams up with ISDE to provide an esports educational program

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WePlay Holding teams up with ISDE to provide an esports educational program
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The WePlay Holding esports group entered into a partnership with ISDE Law Business School to offer a new Esports Business ISDE Master’s degree program. To contribute to the training of future esports industry professionals, WePlay Holding will provide its experts to ISDE as guest professors and invite students for unpaid internships.

ISDE Spanish University Center, founded by world-leading law firms, uses a practical methodology to train and teach its students. Adopting a hands-on approach, ISDE invites professionals from various industries and offers internships from the first year.

As experts in the esports sector, WePlay Holding supports the new Esports Business ISDE Master’s degree course within an annual partnership. Besides teaching students the basics of esports, WePlay Holding will invite some of them to join the team for 3–6 months to work on real-life cases.

Esports is much more than an entertainment industry sector — it’s also highly technological. Therefore, to develop the industry further, esports needs professionals who can tell the difference between a traditional publisher’s business model and a mobile one, build a digital strategy, understand the ins and outs of content production, etc. The Esports Business ISDE Master program aims to transmit to students this knowledge, allowing them to contribute to esports after graduation.

“WePlay Holding seizes every opportunity to support the development of esports, especially when it comes to education. We are looking forward to the start of the course and are ready to make every effort to nurture the future aces of the industry,” says Oleh Humeniuk, CEO of the WePlay Holding esports group.
“In esports as any other field, something more than talent and vocation is needed. Training and study are important to stand out. Not any training, not with anyone. You need to be trained by the best with the most appropriate method. ISDE and WePlay Holding are going to provide it, only to those who really want to make out of the esports business their living and turn their Passion into a Career,” shares Alejandro Martín, Head of Admissions Department at ISDE.

The ISDE program isn’t the first educational project for WePlay Holding. In 2021, WePlay Esports, the flagship company of WePlay Holding, jointly with Kyiv National I.K. Karpenko-Kary Theater, Cinema, and Television University, launched the Computer Graphics Film Director course.

Esports education programs channel the fans’ creativity and enthusiasm into a vocation. WePlay Holding prides itself on the opportunity to support initiatives that popularize esports and develop the industry with the help of up-and-coming talents.

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