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THE F1 ESPORTS SERIES PRO CHAMPIONSHIP IS BACK!

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2022 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship presented by Aramco returns with more live shows than ever before.

 

The 2022 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship presented by Aramco returns on Wednesday 14th September in a new three day-per-Event format with an increased offering of live shows. This year’s schedule of Events and full driver line-ups have been announced, as teams prepare to battle it out once again for a piece of the huge $750,000 prize pot.

This year, drivers will compete in four Events that will each feature three days of racing action, with qualifying and the race of each Round taking place on its own day. Both qualifying and the race for Round 1 at the Sakhir International Circuit, will take place on Wednesday 14th September, before Round 2 (Imola) and Round 3 (Silverstone) will take place on the Thursday and Friday respectively. Each qualifying session will be live from 15:30 BST on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Huya, with the race be broadcast live from 19:30 BST on the same platforms, plus Facebook. All the race streams will also be broadcast with select TV broadcasters too, including Sky Sports F1, Viaplay and ESPN. Production will again come live from the Gfinity Arena in London, but drivers will continue to race from team Esports facilities or factories, or their own homes, and will compete on the official F1® 22 video game, developed by EA and Codemasters.

Last year’s series exceeded expectations and shattered records last year reaching over 23 million views across all digital platforms, representing a 103% year-on-year increase; the Grand Final alone saw 4.5m fans tune in to watch – a 67% YoY increase. The competition’s impressive appeal is undeniable as over 1.3 million people attempted to qualify for this year’s championship, almost three times as many as last year.

For their third consecutive year, Aramco return as the presenting partner of the Pro Championship alongside long-term partners DHL and Fanatec, who continue to play a fundamental role in the F1 Esports Series, with the latter again supplying hardware to all drivers for this year’s campaign, as it has done since 2018.

HUGE MOVES ACROSS THE GRID

Since last year’s Championship, there have been several high-profile moves across the grid, including Lucas Blakeley, who was third in last year’s competition, moving from Aston Martin to McLaren Shadow, Manuel Biancolilla’s return after a year out to join Aston Martin, and Filip Prešnajder’s move from Alfa Romeo to Alpine. Reigning back-to-back champion Jarno Opmeer remains at Mercedes, whilst Brendon Leigh stays at Ferrari alongside team-mate Davide Tonizza. Red Bull have retained all their drivers, including the formidable pairing of Marcel Kiefer and Frede Rasmussen.

This new season brings plenty of new talent to the grid as Alpine sign Briton Luke Smith who finished second in the 2022 Pro Exhibition, while Aston Martin bring in Pro-Exhibition semi-finalist Josh Evans, and Haas sign the 2022 Pro Exhibition champion, Thomas Ronhaar.

2022 CALENDAR ANNOUNCED

This year’s campaign will begin on Wednesday 14th September, as drivers replicate the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship by starting off at the Bahrain International Circuit, before taking to the iconic circuits of Imola and Silverstone.
While most of the selected venues remain the same as last year, Suzuka joins this year’s calendar, as F1 looks forward to returning to Japan, and the season finale will take place at another new addition to this year’s schedule, as competitors battle it out for the title at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, mirroring the real-life Formula 1 championship.

Brandon Snow, Managing Director – Commercial at Formula 1®, said:
“We’re very excited about the new season of the F1 Esports Series Pro Championship and its growing success, and with so many promising big moves and intriguing driver shifts on the grid, we can’t wait to kick off the season and get racing. As always, we want to thank our partners Aramco, DHL and Fanatec for their continued support which enables us to bring elite sim-racing to an increasing number of fans around the world.”

Paul Jeal, F1 Senior Franchise Director at Codemasters, said:
“The new era of F1 has delivered incredible drama, and it’s time for the best esports drivers to take their seats in a fresh format for a piece of the £750,000 prize pot. With up-and-coming talent facing off with established pros, this season could be the most unpredictable yet, and we can’t wait for lights out.”

John Clarke, CEO at Gfinity, said:
“The F1 Esports Pro Championship continues to go from strength to strength. Last year’s viewing numbers more than doubled, which resulted in a record 1.3million drivers taking part in the battle for a place on one of the F1 teams’ rosters. That number has now been whittled down to the top 30 drivers who are primed to come together and test their skills on twelve iconic Formula 1 circuits. This year’s event promises to be the biggest and best yet and we can’t wait to bring the racing live to the world from the home of F1 Esports, the Gfinity Arena.”

eSports

Zebronics Unveiled as Gaming Peripherals Partner for the Skyesports Champions Series, an INR 10,00,000 BGMI Esports Tournament

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Skyesports, India’s leading esports tournament organizer, has onboarded Zebronics, the country’s leading brand in IT & gaming peripherals, home & personal entertainment, and lifestyle accessories as the gaming peripherals partner for the Skyesports Champions Series, an INR 10,00,000 esports tournament in Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI).

The Skyesports Champions Series features India’s top esports teams competing for glory in BGMI across the semifinals (Feb. 28 to March 4) and the grand finals (March 5 to 10). With an exclusive livestream on YouTube in multiple languages, the tournament is set to captivate gaming audiences from across the country.

Zebronics, as the gaming peripherals partner, will be showcasing its exceptional array of products designed to meet the diverse needs of gamers. Additionally, the company’s vision of elevating esports talent in India has been met with the Skyesports Champions Series, a tournament that featured open-for-all qualifiers, giving a chance to every gamer from every nook-and-corner of the country to compete professionally.

Commenting on the association, Yash Doshi, Director, Zebronics said, “The prospect of collaborating with Skyesports for SCS 2024 fills us with immense enthusiasm. This collaboration perfectly embodies our commitment to fostering the gaming ecosystem in India and providing gamers with unparalleled experiences. We eagerly anticipate the journey ahead, interacting with gamers on various platforms and delivering innovative gaming peripherals. Together with Skyesports, we are poised to make significant strides in advancing the esports landscape and supporting its evolution.”

Reflecting on the partnership with Zebronics, Shiva Nandy, Founder and CEO of Skyesports, added, “Building upon our successful collaboration during the 2023 edition of the Skyesports Champions Series, which garnered a peak viewership of 131,000, we are delighted to welcome Zebronics once again as the gaming peripherals partner for the SCS 2024. This partnership not only serves to showcase Zebronics’ impressive gaming-centric products directly to our gaming community but also signifies Zebronics’ long-term commitment to elevating the esports landscape of the country – a vision we share.”

After a series of intense open qualifiers, only 24 teams remain in the semifinals of the Skyesports Champions Series (SCS) 2024. This includes the countries’ top esports teams such as iQOO Soul, Revenant Esports, Blind Esports, Gods Reign, Orangutan, Entity Gaming, and more.

Set to happen from Feb. 28 to March 4, the semifinalists battle it out in BGMI for the 16 slots in the Grand Finals. All the action will be broadcast live from 1 PM IST onwards in Hindi and Tamil on the Skyesports YouTube channel.

Finally, the top 16 teams will compete in the Grand Finals from March 5 to 10, aiming to claim the title of the Skyesports Champions Series 2024 champions and seize a lion’s share of the INR 10,00,000 prize pool.

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Asia

Saudi’s Savvy Games and Esports Delegation Conducts High-level Visit to Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu

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HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, Chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation and Vice Chairman of Savvy Games Group (Savvy), and Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy, have this month led a senior business delegation to China. The delegation was accompanied by senior leaders from VSPO, the leading Chinese esports company, including Dino Ying, co-founder and CEO, and Danny Tang, co-founder, CFO and head of strategy.

Visiting Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, the delegation engaged with current and future partners in China’s games and esports industry. The visit further strengthened commercial partnerships between China, the world’s biggest esports market, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it implements Vision 2030 and becomes a leading global hub for gaming and esports.

In 2023, Savvy, wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, invested $265 million into VSPO, becoming the largest international investor. Savvy’s long-term investment is helping VSPO to continue to deliver on its global strategy and accelerate the growth of mobile esports.

The meetings in the visit also covered preparations for the inaugural Esports World Cup (EWC) which will take place in Riyadh in the summer of 2024.

HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, Vice Chair of Savvy Games Group, said: “We learned so much from this trip. We will work with VSPO to connect global esports markets and build Saudi Arabia into the hub of the global esports and gaming market. Through long-term investment and capital deployment, we will build a sustainable and profitable global esports ecosystem.”

Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy Games Group, said: “China’s position as the largest esports market, with over 400 million fans and significant industry revenue, underlines the valuable role the Chinese market will play in supporting the continued development of Saudi Arabia’s thriving gaming and esports sector. This visit provided a valuable opportunity to strengthen Savvy’s connection with our partners at VSPO, as well as building our insights and network within one of the world’s foremost games and esports markets.”

Dino Ying, Chair of VSPO, said: “Two years ago, I communicated with Savvy for the first time in a Zoom call. At that time, I realized that although we were from two different markets, our ideas on technological innovation, the future of esports, player ecology and professionalization were very consistent. That’s why we were already thinking about how to cooperate, not whether to cooperate. Now we are more confident because we have a shared vision and a friendship, and we plan to make more innovation for the industry together with Savvy in the future.”

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eSports

Riot Games Announces VALORANT Esports EMEA Partnership With Unilumin

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With the start of the 2024 competitive VALORANT Esports season now underway, we’re proud to announce our partnership with Unilumin, a world leading LED display solution provider!

Unilumin has been instrumental in helping us level up the fan experience at the all-new Riot Games Arena with their industry-leading LED display technology, of which 250 square meters will now feature across the Riot Games Arena in Berlin. We’re so excited to welcome them on board as an official supplier for VCT EMEA, VALORANT Game Changers EMEA, and VALORANT Ascension EMEA.

Unilumin’s screens will light up the stage at the Berlin arena – and their logo will feature across various VALORANT Esports EMEA broadcasts throughout 2024. They’ve supplied display solutions globally from Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, a mere stone’s throw away from us at the Riot Games Arena in Berlin. They’ve also worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment venues and global sports stadiums to illuminate events across the globe with grandstand, perimeter, and centerhung screens alongside scoreboards in major competition venues.

As we continue to level up the fan experience throughout 2024, we know Unilumin is the perfect partner to help us bring the most immersive experience and exciting atmosphere to the Riot Games Arena in Berlin, for our fans.

“Unilumin Sports is pleased to bring our solutions and technologies to the Riot Games Arena in Berlin and be a partner of VALORANT Esports in EMEA”, said Oscar Feng, the Global Director of Unilumin Sports. “We will use our well-designed products and fast response services to cooperate with Riot Games for their events and show the ultimate audio-visual experience to their fans.”

“After working with Unilumin for the refit of the Riot Games Arena, we’re delighted to welcome them as a supplier for our various VALORANT Esports EMEA events in 2024,” said Daniel Ringland, Head of VALORANT Esports EMEA. “Unilumin has helped us enhance the fan experience for those watching from home and joining us on-site, and we can’t wait to use their display technology throughout the season.”

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