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Indian Esports Industry Overwhelmed With DOTA 2 Team Winning Bronze Medal; bat for Esports recognition as a sport & Brands Support for the Athletes

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The Indian DOTA 2 team produced a power-packed performance to clinch the bronze medal at the first-ever Commonwealth Esports Championship. 

The Indian Dota 2 team, comprising Moin Ejaz (captain), Ketan Goyal, Abhishek Yadav, Shubham Goli, and Vishal Vernekar, defeated New Zealand by 2-0 in a best-of-three format. 

Indian Esports industry is overwhelmed by this bronze medal win and bat for Esports recognition as a sport so as the players who are bringing laurels for the country gain the benefits and support any sports community and athletes would receive. Also, the community requires the brands to come forward and support the teams and athletes in a long run to reach their ultimate potential. 

Not to forget that Esports is a proper medal event in Asian Games 2022 which is scheduled next year in Hangzhou from 23rd September to 8th October 2023 (earlier in 2018 it was there as a demonstration title and India had managed to secure the bronze in Hearthstone courtesy of Tirth Mehta). The esports titles in which the Indian contingent is participating are – FIFA 22, DOTA 2, League of Legends, Street Fighter V and Hearthstone. So, there are multiple medals at stake in esports at Asian Games 2022.

Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation:

This win is a historic moment for the Indian Esports ecosystem and will not only aspire many esports athletes to represent India on a global stage but will help establish India as an esporting nation. We need to build a robust & sustainable esports ecosystem for India which is inclusive and diverse (developed across multiple esports titles), leading to the shaping up of not one/two but hundreds of medal winners across multiple esports titles and gender.

For brands, they have to look at Esports as their long-term marketing strategy to develop and grow the sport and not just for their activation tools. Our athletes/teams need support and encouragement from the brands for the long run just like any other sports athlete. We hope brands will put their focus and eyes on this next-generation sport and come up with a long-term vision to grow the sport and upskill our esports talent.

Animesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO at 8bit Creatives, a leading gaming talent management agency and an ex-esports athlete himself:

After years of grinding, this victory has surely put us a step ahead in the process of recognizing esports as a sport by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). As someone who dreamt that esports and gaming will one day shine, when people were not even thinking about it, it personally means a lot to me ofcourse. But when I see the impact it is having on the industry and on our society, I realize its true impact. We have the potential and we can surely nurture many athletes for such upcoming events.

Apart from that, it should be inspiring for many of us as we won one in Asian Games 2018 and now this one makes it clear that we can do a lot more if given the desired chances. We hope that this win will result in more tournaments around all Esports titles and a  tally of investments and sponsorship for the teams and athletes in India. The more support for gaming flourishes, the more gamers can help good brands and products reach the right audience.

Mr Sagar Nair, Co-Founder & CEO, Qlan, The Gamer’s Social Network:

The win at the Commonwealth Games 2022 by the Indian Dota 2 team will go down as a landmark moment for Indian esports on multiple levels. I’m confident that this victory will pave a path for esports in India to be put in the bracket alongside any other mainstream sport in the country. The fogged perception and narrative around esports in India will witness a much-needed change in the right direction where every esports title will be backed by the stakeholders of the ecosystem. You never know what title will lead India to its next medal.

Looking at it from a marketing perspective, this opens up doors for brands to get into team sponsorships, athlete endorsements, product integrations and any other form of brand partnership that brands have been engaging with other sports and athletes. Also, as esports is a proper medal event at the next Asian Games, this can potentially open the floodgates for brands to reach out to a massive GenZ consumer base.

Rohit Agarwal, Founder & Director, Alpha Zegus, the next-gen marketing agency specializing in the domains of gaming & lifestyle:

It’s a very big moment for the entire gaming community. Seeing our Indian team being a part of CWG was a matter of pride in itself, but our victory added immense confidence in everyone about the direction in which Indian Gaming Space is going. Not only is this a confidence booster for players, parents, and other stakeholders, even brands will take notice of such achievements. They would definitely want to associate with current (or potential) names that put India on a global roadmap, similar to sports like Cricket.

We might even see brands recognize players from games apart from the mainstream games, and give a certain monetization boost to a new segment of gaming altogether. 

Asia

India thrashes Pakistan and Bangladesh to qualify for 14th World Esports Championships in CS:GO

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India’s CS:GO team produced vigorous performances in the South Asian Regional Qualifiers of the 14th World Esports Championships after hammering Pakistan and Bangladesh in the South Asian regional qualifiers.

The team, comprising of skipper Ritesh Sarda (Defaulter), Shuvajyoti Chakraborty (Mcg1LLzZz), Anshul Adardkar (KiiLSwitCh), Hrishikesh Shenoy (Crazy_Gamer) and Harsh Jain (lynX), recorded identical 2-0 victories over Pakistan and Bangladesh in the semi-finals and final respectively.

Besides CS:GO team, prominent Tekken 7 athlete Hitesh Khorwal (rcool) and well renowned eFootball professional Hemanth Kommu (peshemak7) will also represent India at the World Esports Championships, scheduled to take place in Bali from Nov 29 – December 12, 2022. Hitesh and Hemanth secured their berths by winning the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2022, conducted by Esports Federation of India (ESFI) earlier this year.

Organised by International Esports Federation, the prestigious event will witness participation of top athletes from over 120 countries, competing in six different Esports titles—CS:GO, Dota 2, Tekken 7, eFootball, as well as PUBG mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang which will be making its debut at the championships. The 14th WEC has a prize pool of USD 500K (~INR 4 Crores).

“The team was simply too good for the opposition in terms of their skills, strategies and coordination. They won comfortably against Pakistan and Bangladesh shows the confidence they have in their gameplay. We are extremely proud of their performances and are now looking forward to seeing them compete with the best teams from all over the world in Bali. Everyone at ESFI wishes them the best of luck for the grand tournament,” said Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation.

Led by Sarda, the dominant Indian team hardly had to break a sweat in their matches as they comprehensively defeated Pakistan in two different maps by 16-6 and 16-4 and then displayed a similar aggressive performance to outperform Bangladesh in both maps of the final by 16-7 and 16-5.

“It feels amazing to represent India again at the World Esports Championships in back-to-back years. We definitely want to improve on our performances from last year and have been working very hard to do so. The team has done very well in showcasing its qualities in game while prevailing in all these qualifiers but the WEC final will be a stern test on a much higher level and we want to match that. I have high hopes from the tournament and we want to bring some glory from it back home,” said Sarda, captain of the Indian CS:GO team.

The same CS:GO team had participated in the last edition of World Esports Championships, held in Eilat, and finished eighth in the final.

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The best of grassroots CS:GO to take on the pros at Red Bull Flick Invitational Copenhagen in November

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The best of grassroots CS:GO to take on the pros at Red Bull Flick Invitational Copenhagen in November
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Red Bull Flick, the definitive global 2v2 CS:GO Pro vs AM tournament will reach a pulse-racing conclusion for 2022 in an epic November finale at the Red Bull Flick Invitational Copenhagen.

Taking place over an action packed weekend during 19th- 20th November, Red Bull Flick Invitational Copenhagen will see the very best of the amateur CS:GO scene battle it out in intense 2v2 matchups building to an once-in-a-lifetime chance for them to test their mettle against world-renowned Pro teams on the big stage, and a shot at the €50,000 Prize Pool. The LAN pre-stage qualifier will take place in Copenhagen with all the national and international event winners to determine the duos that will progress to the main stage. The Red Bull Flick Invitational will conclude with an impactful finals day broadcast and highlight event on the 20th November, where the qualified amateur duos face their idols in a play-off bracket featuring eight pro invited duos.

Held in the heart of the Danish capital, the Red Bull Flick Invitational will bring the hopeful future stars into the European centre of counter-strike history to immerse themselves with a unique competitive experience alongside CS:GO’s most memorable competitions. The pre-stage LAN will take place in a closed, offline qualifier on Saturday 19th November. With the top two AM duos determined, the nail-biting Pro v AM playoff stage will be broadcast from NEP Studios on the following day. This year’s competition is sure to bring the live audience closer to the action as well as providing an unforgettable experience for digital audiences across the globe and in several languages on Twitch and YouTube on the 20th November.

A total of 26 amateur duos teams from EMEA and – for the first ever time – North America, will be offered a chance at glory, having earned their way through National and International Qualifiers. Pre-stage qualifiers will whittle down the amateurs duos to the final two in a tensely competitive group stage to start the first day of the competition. After facing their peers in the pre-stage qualifiers, the top amateur duos will then face-off against the eight invited pro teams in an intense play-off bracket on the big stage, all leading to an epic Grand Final.

Red Bull Flick is the definitive global 2v2 CS:GO tournament, giving amateur players around the world a unique competitive platform, and putting a twist on the traditional 5v5 competitive format. Having started in 2019, the competition has gone from strength to strength and now gives thousands of amateur entrants a shot at glory to play the pros, and an opportunity for hidden gems of the competitive CS:GO scene to shine under the spotlight.

The unique format and structure at Red Bull Flick has inspired some of the most unpredictable twists and turns in CS:GO, including a true ‘David versus Goliath’ moment at 2021’s Red Bull Flick Helsinki Invitational, where Polish rookies Team Garnuchy won out against both BIG Clan and G2’s Duos teams.

This year, some of the biggest Pro teams on the CS:GO circuit will be sending their stars to Copenhagen, including the fan favourites from last year: G2, OG, Furia and Big Clan and Team Spirit, the defending champions of Red Bull Flick. Alongside them the Danish superstars from Copenhagen Flames and Heroic will also join the mix at the play-off stage to truly test the best amateur duos from around the world. The play-off stage will increase the pressure with a global broadcast and live audience, truly testing the amateur duos that progress in a competitive circuit environment. Fans in attendance can also look forward to an exclusive event experience featuring their favourite esports stars including Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein, who competed with Flamez in the first international qualifier for Red Bull Flick back in April.

Red Bull Flick has teamed up with industry leaders to produce an unforgettable experience for players & fans alike. AGON by AOC, a global leader in gaming monitors, is the Official Monitor Partner for the event, bringing exceptional visual clarity and ultra-high refresh rates to competitors. AMD joins as Technology Provider, ensuring the high-performance computing that will push the boundaries of the tournament. Backforce is the official Chair Partner, providing players and talent with high-end gaming chairs across the event.

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Ampverse’s Minana Esports secures largest gaming creator in the Philippines, ChooxTV to become brand ambassador and investor

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Ampverse’s Minana Esports secures largest gaming creator in the Philippines, ChooxTV to become brand ambassador and investor
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After officially launching its fifth market in the Philippines, leading esports and Web3 company Ampverse secures the nation’s largest gaming creator Edgar “ChooxTV” Dumali, with nearly 30 million social followers, to become an investor and brand ambassador for its Filipino esports team and lifestyle brand Minana.

This major deal comes as part of Ampverse’s growth strategy, following its commitment to invest more than P100 million to drive and accelerate the local gaming industry.

Streamer and content creator ChooxTV is known for his ingenious off-meta picks and wacky antics on his livestream and was named MVP of the Year in the 2021 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Awards Gala.

“Excited akong mag-invest sa Minana dahil sa pagbibigay daan nito na magkaroon ng isang panibagong  ‘youth lifestyle brand’ na magpapakita ng galing ng mga Pinoy,” Dumali said.

(I’m excited to invest in Minana as I really share their vision of creating a next generation youth lifestyle brand that celebrates the very best of Filipino talent.)

Alongside him, other notable gaming talents such as Eric Eruption, Hypebits, Lhea Bernadino, King Jasro, and Elanorm will also become brand ambassadors for Minana – totaling up to 55 million followers for all combined creators.

The newly formed Minana Esports are the current champions of the Philippine National Esports League in Mobile Legends. Prior to that, the team has won 11 straight championships and aims to be the most successful esports team.

In line with becoming the fastest-growing esports and Web3 company in Asia, Ampverse aims to build Minana into a leading Filipino youth lifestyle brand that spans entertainment, fashion, music, and lifestyle.

“We are incredibly proud to kick off Minana with a successful run and an official championship title under our belt. We will continue to build our success in competition, but at the same time create inspiration for the Filipino youth,” Minana Team Lead and Ampverse’s Regional Expansion Manager Julius “Banoobs” Mariano said.

A streamer with over 100,000 followers and named the “godfather of esports and gaming in the Philippines,” Mr. Mariano previously worked as country manager for Twitch, an Amazon-owned video live streaming service platform.

“Our vision is bigger than just competitive gaming, it’s about igniting the passion in every generation and building Minana as the leading youth culture hub for all gamers, creators, and anybody to fulfill their dreams,” Mariano added.

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