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KAIROS GROUP ACQUIRES GAMING AND ESPORTS ORGANISATION HORIZON UNION

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KAIROS GROUP ACQUIRES GAMING AND ESPORTS ORGANISATION HORIZON UNION
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GLOBAL gaming media company, Kairos Group, has acquired gaming and esports organisation, Horizon Union (Horizon).

The latest organisation to join Kairos Group, which is also home to Kairos Media, Kyma Media, Turopium Sports and Entertainment and Kairos Ventures, Horizon will be managed and operated out of its base in Manchester.

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 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.

Horizon entered the esports space in January 2022 with the acquisition of esports team Top Dogs, competing in the APEX Legends Global Series (ALGS) league. With the UK esports industry continuing to show extensive growth, Horizon is hyper focused on continuing to develop and nurture grassroot competitive talent as well as establishing stature.

Alongside founding Horizon both Kieran and Will worked at Kairos Media for two years, with Kieran as an account manager and Will as a campaign manager.

Commenting on the acquisition, co-founder and operations and commercial lead at Horizon, Kieran Wood, said: “Working with the Kairos Group team for nearly 2 years has been nothing short of a life changing experience, both professionally and personally.

“The level of progression and development from working at Kairos Media and Horizon simultaneously has worked hand in hand to creating a sustainable and profitable organisation in Horizon.

“I could not be prouder of what we’ve achieved so far but we’ve still got a long way to go. Horizon’s future is looking very strong, with even more partners and creators joining and more esports ventures in the pipeline and we can’t wait to begin this next phase under the Kairos Group umbrella. “

Co-founder and talent and partnerships lead, Will Mollett, added: “A journey with Horizon that began in 2017 is now merely just the beginning come 2022.

“Working with Kairos Group is nothing short of a phenomenal opportunity for growth, not only as an organisation but also for our creators, who are always at the forefront of Horizon. Surrounding ourselves with like-minded individuals, who know the space better than anybody else, assists in all areas to the highest degree. The future is bright and I cannot wait to get started.”

Founded in 2015, Kairos Group has offices in the UK (London and Manchester), with teams also in Germany, France and the USA. The group has worked with some of the largest, most exciting brands in the world, including Facebook, Epic Games, KFC, JBL and Porsche.

Drew Townley, CGO of Kairos Group and managing director of Kairos Media, said: “Will and Kieran have been some of the brightest minds and hardest workers at Kairos Media since they joined. The opportunity for Kairos Group to support a journey, that I have no doubt they would have excelled at regardless, was too good to turn down.

“It adds a completely new pillar to the Group with a gaming organisation itself, with ambitions to do esports the right way in the UK and beyond. We already have some of the most forward thinking brands on this journey with us and Horizon only adds to the incredible offering for any partner.”

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IESF puts out call for nominations for IESF Athletes’ Committee

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For five years Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) had one of its athletes on IESF’s Athletes’ Commission.

With the IESF launching its Athletes’ Commission in the Hilton Hotel in Shangai in 2016, the Athlestes’ Commission was instrumental in ensuring the rights and interests of athletes were always tacken into account at IESF’s Board.

The first chairman of the Athletes’ Commission, as elected in 2016, was none other than Koen Schobbers. At the same election, Jason Batzofin, who was a learner at St John’s College, was elected on the committee and served with distinction.

In 2019 Jason Batzofin was elected as chairman and continued to serve with distinction until, due to unforseen circumstances, felt the need to resign. Upon Jason’s resignation, Tiffini Lim was appointed as Chairlady by IESF’s Board.

To stand for this important committee, National Federation’s Athletes Representative shall satisfy at least two of the points below:

a) Shall have experience as an esports athlete;

b) Shall have experience in esports;

c) Have worked with their National Federation in the past three (3) years;

d) Have represented their Member nation at an IESF-accredited event

It must be noted that no nation may have more than one representative in the Athletes Committee.

Key Information:

• Registration Opens: 27 November 2022
• Registration Closes: 6 December 2022 (15:00 Bali Time)
• Voting Begins: 7 December 2022 (15:00 Bali Time)
• Voting Closes: 10 December 2022 (15:00 Bali Time)

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Challengermode launches in-game tournaments with The Battle of Polytopia, ushering in a new era for esports & competitive gaming

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Challengermode launches in-game tournaments with The Battle of Polytopia, ushering in a new era for esports & competitive gaming
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Global esports platform Challengermode has signed an exclusive 5 year deal with developers of turn-based civilization strategy game The Battle of Polytopia, Midjiwan, to development of the game’s competitive esports scene.

This partnership is a huge step forward in Challengermode’s mission to directly support game developers in realizing their games’ esports ambitions, proving just how easy it is for players to make the jump from casual multiplayer to grassroots competitive gaming – and for 3rd party esports organizers to host easily accessible competitions in-game.

Challengermode will provide Midjiwan with its esports expertise and automated tournament technology to guide the development of The Battle of Polytopia for competitive audiences worldwide across Steam, iOS and Android. Players will be able to browse, play and see the results of tournaments from within the Polytopia game app itself without having to leave the game client or use any external 3rd party esports mechanisms. The aim is to create a robust esports community for The Battle of Polytopia where grassroots players can compete seamlessly in an organized setting for real prizes.

Robel Efrem, CEO and founder of Challengermode said: “We couldn’t be more excited to be helping Midjiwan expand the competitive gaming side of The Battle of Polytopia. I’ve been a big fan of the game for years, so having the opportunity to assist with the creation of its nascent esports scene is a dream come true. It’s also an excellent opportunity for Challengermode to demonstrate benefits of game developers working directly with companies in the esports space to rapidly scale up their own competitive gaming operations, making their games better integrated and more accessible to esports hopefuls of all levels. With the sustained growth of the grassroots esports sector, we fully expect more game developers to add competitive modes such as tournaments, leagues and ladders alongside their classic multiplayer modes in the near future.”

Integrating with the Challengermode Game Integration API opens up possibilities for Midjiwan to develop other valuable additions for the competitive community in Polytopia, including “Live Games” – a play clock game mode where players have a bit more than 1 minute from the start of their turn to make their moves. Players will also be able to access replays of matches, meaning all multiplayer games they complete can be saved, rewatched and shared as much as they like.

Christian Lovstedt, General Manager at Midjiwan, adds that: “Challengermode’s dedication at the grassroots level esports players made them the perfect partner to work with in building out our competitive gaming scene for The Battle for Polytopia. As a developer, it was important to us to integrate the esports aspects of Polytopia with the main game itself, removing the barrier that usually exists between casual multiplayer and the competitive play that players can enjoy at a more professional level. We welcome Challengermode’s esports expertise in bringing the competitive side of The Battle for Polytopia to a wider audience than ever before, and look forward to working closely with them in this endeavour.”

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Compliance Updates

SIS awarded ESIC Gold Standards accreditation for Competitive Gaming offering

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SIS awarded ESIC Gold Standards accreditation for Competitive Gaming offering
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Endorsement marks out supplier as only esports betting events provider to officially meet new integrity measures

SIS (Sports Information Services), the leading multi-channel supplier of 24/7 live betting services, has been awarded the Esports Integrity Commission’s (ESIC) Gold Standards, the highest possible accreditation from the industry association.

The award sees SIS become the first esports betting events supplier to meet ESIC’s stringent new criteria, created to set unmatched levels of integrity and safety in the esports betting industry, for its Competitive Gaming portfolio (Esoccer, Ebasketball and CS:GO).

The purpose of the ESIC Gold Standard is to build on its existing principles by setting out a list of standards for tournament organisers, ensuring that events are run to the highest level of integrity and safety for the benefit of all stakeholders.

With stringent integrity measures in place, SIS Competitive Gaming follows best practice outlined by ESIC in addition to strict operational measures in place to ensure that each event is fair.

Each SIS Competitive Gaming head-to-head match, all of which take place from within SIS’ UK-based self-contained studios, is streamed live with experienced casters providing live in-game commentary. The streams take place through a secure platform that is exclusive to licensed operator sites where the age of the audience has been verified and is not available on open streaming services, meaning there is less danger of toxic messaging of the sort that is often carried on unlicensed sites.

All events are overseen by a dedicated ESIC-trained integrity referee and have a real-time link to SIS’ expert trading team, which closely monitors betting activity. Rigorous gamer competitiveness and predictability tracking measures are in place, through supremacy and volatility reporting, with all events taking place in a jurisdiction with well-respected legal and employment rights.

The new ESIC Gold Standards have been created to elevate transparency and impartiality, and required SIS to meet a number of rigorous requirements across the board, including:

  • No communication devices allowed anywhere in the gaming studios
  • Minimum of three employed personnel (independent from gamers) watching every event
  • Controlled fixed game settings to ensure fair and competitive play
  • Employees are fully background checked for criminal records, with references taken
  • Ensure all gamers are of sufficient skills and expertise to compete against other pro gamers.
  • ESIC anti-corruption code to be signed by all staff and gamers

SIS continues to work with ESIC to evolve the Gold Standards to improve Integrity and the visibility of clear tangible rules and standards by which tournament organisers should run events.

Adam Conway, Head of Esports & Competitive Gaming at SIS, said: “We are extremely proud to have received this new accreditation, which shines a light on the very high integrity and safety standards we have always put at the core of our Competitive Gaming offering.

“Our operator partners and their customers appreciate our high levels of integrity, such as visible referees invigilating every game, making us the only esports betting events supplier to do so.”

Ian Smith, Commissioner at Esports Integrity Commission, said: “ESIC’s new Gold Standards set heightened levels of integrity and safety in the Esports industry for the benefit of all stakeholders, and through ongoing assessment of SIS’ Competitive Gaming operations, which meet all the key integrity requirements, we are delighted to award SIS with ESIC’s Gold Standards, our highest possible accreditation”.

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