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Global Esports wins India’s first-ever televised BGMI Master Series Tournament 2022!

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Global Esports wins India’s first-ever televised BGMI Master Series Tournament 2022!
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NODWIN Gaming’s three-week-long premier television tournament — the BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA (BGMI) Masters Series that was broadcast on Star Sports 2 on primetime starting June 24, has concluded in a grand final event on July 17, 2022. Global Esports was crowned the champion of this series following an edge-of-the-seat match between the top teams like Team GodLike & Orangutan. The winner was awarded the BGMI Master Series trophy, INR 25 lakh as prize money, and took home the new Hyundai VENUE. The tournament had an overall prize pool of INR 1.5 Cr.

The winner was announced after the three-week-long tournament’s exciting and long-drawn five-day grand finale. The tournament finals saw teams give a tough fight and pull all stops to dominate the leader board with an eye on the trophy. The season also saw lesser-known teams like team Insane Esports and Chemin Esports excel and make an impression.

“What a series this has been for NODWIN Gaming, for the community and for our partners on the whole! We’ve been able to place esports right in the upper echelons along the likes of several big league traditional sports like cricket, football and tennis. This tournament is a game-changer for every aspiring gamer out there. My heartiest congratulations to Global Esports who’ve raised the bar of professional gaming with their skillset and focus. Each team played like true champions till the very end. I’d also like to thank all our partners Star Sports, Spotify, Swiggy, Loco, Glance Live, Wings, Gillette and Hyundai who instilled their faith in our vision and drove this event to mass success. Onwards and upwards from here,” said Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director, NODWIN Gaming.

KING, an Indian singer, and songwriter performed his latest releases Baazi and Sinner on the sets of BGMI, courtesy of Glance and Warner Music India to get players grooving to his music and pumped up for their next battle. Television host, Jatin Sapru, presented the last two days of the competition.

“Gaming has become an entire culture in itself which is representative of participation in a cultural phenomenon that has reached a scale that you simply cannot ignore. It is no longer super-niche but very much a part of the mass culture. This is one sport where we have looked to partner with NODWIN to build something from the ground up. Here, we have not just acquired the rights. We invested in both resources and efforts.  When we do this, we do it with the ambition of building something that will reach a certain scale. We are delighted that our hypothesis is being proven right that a popular game when converted into a marquee sporting property will attract millions of viewers,” said Sanjog Gupta, Head of Sports, Star & Disney India.

“As a progressive brand, Hyundai shares strong synergies with various Sports across the globe and it gives us immense pleasure to be an integral part of the e-sports bandwagon. We are delighted to be associated with BGMI Masters Series organized by NODWIN Gaming. The new Hyundai VENUE personifies the aspirations of Gen MZ customers, elevating their experience through everyday dynamism, exciting performance and hi-tech features. Being one of the largest automobile manufacturers in India, a large part of our customers belong to the Millennial and Gen Z age group, who draw strong associations with esports and spend significant time engaging in such activities. Realizing their interests and to fuel the passion for E-Sports, we are bringing a Lit extravaganza to this series by presenting the new Hyundai Venue to the winner,” said Virat Khullar, AVP & Group Head, Marketing, Hyundai Motor India.

“Spotify aims to bring the best in audio to gamers, creating experiences wherever they play and however they choose to listen. Our partnership with NODWIN for BGMI Masters Series 2022, is an exciting opportunity to advance that goal in India. Specifically, for the tournament, we have curated the Top Gaming Tracks India playlist for those who wish to get in the zone before a match, and have featured top BGMI gamers in The Mythpat Podcast (a Spotify Original), talking about match strategies and tactics. This is just the start of our partnership with BGMI, stay tuned for more to come!” said Neha Ahuja -Head of Marketing at Spotify.

“We have seen the power of the esports community come alive on Loco yet again, with the BGMI Masters Series alone garnering nearly 100 million views and the finals achieving a new platform record of 2.5 lakh concurrent live viewers. As the pioneer and largest investor in the Indian esports and live game streaming ecosystem, Loco has empowered all stakeholders involved and has provided a strong financial backing for the community to grow. Esports is set out to become the sport of the masses in India and we are proud to provide opportunities for viewers and creators on our platform as we continue to democratize gaming entertainment and turbocharge fan experiences!”, said Ashwin Suresh, Founder, Loco.

“Over the last year, Glance has made significant endeavors to bring premium eSports to users right on the lock screen of their smartphones.  We are delighted to share that over 25 million consumers in India have discovered and watched BGMI masters on Glance. We hope that the combined reach BGMI Masters has achieved through TV and lock screens makes this a watershed moment for esports in India as she aims to become an esports powerhouse, especially ahead of the launch of esports at the next Asian Games,” said Yashashvi Takallapalli, Vice President – Gaming, Glance.

“Swiggy has been looking at interesting ways to engage with the gaming TG. The opportunity with BGMI Masters Series gave us a chance to do that at scale. We have done some interesting integrations during the series such as owning the “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” segment in addition to having live delivery activations in the studio. We also ran a contest wherein we gave away 100 free Swiggy dinners on a daily basis, through QR code ads that we ran during the course of the series.” said Saurabh Nath, AVP Brand.

Commenting on the finale, Vijay Venkateswaran, Head of Sales and Marketing, Wings said, “The BGMI Masters has drawn to a close and what a journey it has been. Intense seems an understatement. Congratulations to Global Esports. A roller coaster ride if there ever was one. Props to all the teams who have participated and gave their best. It was an entertaining spectacle from the start to finish. Wings is proud to have partnered with NODWIN Gaming to produce such a huge show of talent and skill. We are immensely overjoyed that we are part of a project that celebrates gamers in all its glory. Here’s to more such ventures that push the horizons of gaming.”

The first-ever televised BGMI tournament was a collaboration between NODWIN Gaming and Star Sports. Glance Live and Loco enabled the digital distribution of the tournament. The series was broadcast in Hindi, Tamil and English.

The total prize pool for the tournament was INR 1.5 crore to be distributed among the winning team, the weekly winners and the top performers.

Performance awards for the finals:

  1. The Eliminator Award – Most finishes – Goblin from Team Soul
  2. The Cruiser Award– Most walked distance – Robinū from team Chemin Esports
  3. The Damager Award – Most Damage – Jonathan from GodLike
  4. The Dost Award – Most Assists – Nakul from Global Esports
  5. The Saviour Award – Most Revives – Hector from Team Soul
  6. The Doctor Award – Most Heals – Destro from Chemin Esports
  7. The Tapatap Award – Most Headshots – Goblin from Team Soul
  8. The Survivor Award – Most Survival Time – Driger from Orangutan
  9. The Motorhead Award – Most Vehicle Distance – Ash from Orangutan
  10. The MPV Award – Most Finishes – Jonathan from GodLike
  11. The Hunger Cure Awards – Most WWCD – Orangutan

The BGMI Master Series has broken all viewership since it went live, clocking over 1.2 million impressions surpassing the impressions of Australian Open Day 1, French Open Day 1 and UEFA CL Semi-Finals! The series clocked 12.3 million views through the first eight days of broadcast on TV.

Asia

Fintechs in Kazakhstan Raises Concerns Over Proposed Gambling Regulation

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Fintech companies in Kazakhstan are urging greater scrutiny of a proposed law intended to regulate betting transactions in the country.

The submitted legislation, currently in its final reading, would form a monopoly entity, the Unified Accounting System (UAS), the firms said in a joint press release. The UAS would be used to determine market participants, process payments, maintain a single “electronic wallet” and make settlements with clients. A critical concern is that it could charge up to 1.5% in commissions on all market transactions, within a market where regulated transactions exceed KZT1.2tn ($2.6bn) annually.

Irina Davidenko, a spokesperson for Kazakhstan’s payments industry, commented: “The proposed legislation would be a step backwards for Kazakhstan, harming competition in the country’s vital payments sector and signaling to the outside world that necessary business reform is being driven by shadowy interests, rather than what’s right for industries and consumers.”

The proposal, partly billed as a public health move against problem gambling, resembles a previous initiative, the Betting Accounting Centre (BAC). It was shelved in 2021 after a scandal involving a deputy minister who was dismissed for accepting bribes from BAC lobbyists, according to the press release.

The lack of transparency on the UAS structure and ownership as outlined in the legislation is another aspect of the change that is seen by critics as troubling.

The reintroduction of a UAS model occurred as late as the second reading of the legislation. If passed by parliament, it will become law without the comprehensive impact analysis and scrutiny typical for such significant regulatory change.

Observers argue the new regulation duplicates existing regulatory functions already managed by Kazakh state bodies and was proposed without the cooperation of the National Bank of Kazakhstan. The central bank has previously developed its own reform proposal that avoids introducing a monopolistic entity.

Opponents further contend that the regulation could cause “significant economic damage”. National Bank of Kazakhstan representatives and the payments industry have sounded alarm bells, but the issues have not been adequately addressed, the press release added.

The concerned fintech and payment companies want the legislation to be reconsidered. They are advocating for it to be sent back to the lower house of the legislature for a full regulatory impact analysis and thorough examination to ensure that it does not adversely affect industry or the economy.

Ilya Efimenko, commercial director of the payment organisation PayDala, said: “I appeal to the Senators, who need to know the true purpose of why the UAS has made a comeback in the bill.

“This is a re-emergence of the ‘Betting Accounting Center’ (BAC), a strikingly similar entity that was withdrawn before, and behind which, as the deputy from the Amanat party Elnur Beisenbayev said, are the powerful forces of ‘Old Kazakhstan.’

“Before our eyes, a monopolist, a private operator, is being created. The emergence of monopolies such as the UAS threatens the principles of a Fair Kazakhstan. Now everything is being done to break the financial system of Kazakhstan, recognized by experts as one of the best in Central Asia.”

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Asia

Chinese Embassy Urges Philippines to Ban POGOs

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The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines has urged the Philippine government to ban its offshore gaming industry, claiming that the “vast majority” of Chinese citizens involved in their operations are victims.

In an official statement attributed to a spokesperson, the embassy also denied any involvement in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry after uniforms of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force were discovered during a raid on a POGO compound in Pampanga earlier this month.

“We appeal to the Philippines to ban POGO at an early date so as to root out this social ill. And we firmly oppose any baseless accusation and smearing against China in connection with POGO,” the statement said.

The statement went on to say, “Chinese law prohibits all forms of gambling. The Chinese government strictly cracks down on Chinese citizens engaging in gambling business abroad including POGO. Ample evidence shows that POGO breeds serious crimes such as kidnapping for ransom, human trafficking and murder. POGO is detrimental to both Philippine and Chinese interests and images as well as China-Philippines relations.

“In recent years, the Chinese and Philippine law enforcement agencies have maintained close communication and cooperation and conducted multiple joint operations to bring down cross-border gambling and telecom fraud. Since 2018, nearly 3000 Chinese citizens implicated in the cases have been repatriated with joint efforts of both sides. In the past year alone, China has assisted the Philippines in shutting down five POGO hubs and repatriated nearly 1000 Chinese citizens.

“The vast majority of the Chinese citizens involved in these cases are victims of the Philippine offshore gambling industry. The Chinese government is committed to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”

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Pronet Gaming Triumphs at SiGMA Asia

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Pronet Gaming, an award-winning platform provider of full turnkey solutions, debuted at SiGMA Asia earlier this month with a stellar performance.

Held in Manila, Philippines, from 3 to 5 June at the SMX Convention Centre in Pasay City, the conference served as the perfect venue for Pronet Gaming to showcase its commitment to innovation, excellence and expansion in the vibrant Asian market.

Among the highlights of Pronet Gaming’s presence at SiGMA Asia was the “Best Multi-Channel Provider 2024” award that the company bagged at the SiGMA Asia Awards held on opening night. The recognition spoke volumes of Pronet Gaming’s unwavering dedication to delivering leading-edge solutions across multiple platforms, solidifying its position as a frontrunner in the iGaming industry.

In attendance were the Pronet Gaming team from both the London and Manila offices who gave an impressive showing, demonstrating the company’s global reach and commitment to providing unparalleled support to its partners. Their participation underlined Pronet Gaming’s mission to foster strong relationships and deliver tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of operators worldwide.

One of the standout attractions at the Pronet Gaming booth was the Spin-to-Win wheel, which captivated attendees and quickly emerged as a crowd favourite. With people queuing in droves for a chance to win exciting prizes, it proved to be thematic with Pronet Gaming’s ability to engage and delight audiences.

Alex Leese, CEO of Pronet Gaming, took the stage as a keynote speaker, participating in a fireside chat that offered valuable insights into the future of Asian iGaming businesses diversifying into other jurisdictions. More than galvanising Pronet Gaming’s thought leadership and deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges shaping the industry’s landscape, Leese spoke reassuringly of the giant strides his company has made toward setting up shop in Asia, as well as outlining a path to helping local Asian operators to expand their global reach into Europe & LATAM.

“One year ago, we were only at the ‘we will be in Asia, and we are on our way’ stage. As I speak here today, I am now proud to say that we have the office, we have the team, and we have the PAGCOR accreditation. Next time, I will be saying that we are established, with a much larger existing team, and operator clients on board. My aim is to be here again next year to say that we are well and truly on the ground,” Leese said.

SiGMA Asia provided an invaluable platform for Pronet Gaming to forge new connections and explore opportunities in the burgeoning Asian market. As the company gears up to launch its operations in Asia, the event served as a springboard for establishing strategic partnerships and fostering collaborations that will drive growth and success in the region.

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