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Esports Proposed As Official Medal Sport At AIMAG 2025

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Esports has been included into the proposed list of official medal sports to be contested at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games 2025. Announced at the recently concluded 41st Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly last week, this proposal is a step towards seeing esports elevate its status from demonstration games to a full-fledged medal event.

Set to take place in Riyadh, AIMAG 2025 will be the 7th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, and marks the first time Saudi Arabia. The next AIMAG will take place next year in Chonburi, Thailand.

If successful, having esports feature as an official medal event at AIMAG would have brought the progress full circle, following its debut in a multi-sporting event’s program at the AIMAG 2017 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan as a demonstration sport. From thereon, esports has appeared at the 2018 Asian Games as demonstration sport followed by full-medal events at the 2019 and 2021 SEA Games. Esports was also planned as a full-medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games that is currently postponed.

Mr Animesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, 8bit Creatives, India’s leading esports consulting and talent agency & an ex-esports athlete:

With esports gaining the momentum that it has, it has made its way into various national and international platforms including the Asian Games. The most recent consideration of adding esports to AIMAG 2025, comes as a very welcome move. At a time when the gaming industry in India is getting redefined and diversifying into many new games while recovering from recent setbacks, this comes as a validation of the prominence of esports in this world. Clearly, the growth track that Gaming and Esports have been on, is going to continue.

Such developments instil a lot more confidence in the whole sporting ecosystem built around esports and is an inspiration for budding esports players to hone themselves. Our esports teams, 8bit & sOul are all motivated to work hard and represent India in these national and international tournaments and bring laurels for the country. At 8Bit Creatives, we are committed to nurturing and supporting more and more esports players in our country to put India on the global map.

Mr Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF):

What better news than this, from the first addition of esports as a demonstration event at AIMAG 2017 to being included as a proper medal event at AIMAG 2021 (postponed due to the pandemic) and now possible inclusion at AIMAG 25 brings us immense joy & excitement. It is safe to say that Esports is not far away from being considered a mainstream sport now courtesy of the remarkable efforts undertaken by the AESF and the OCA. The event AIMAG 2025 is set to take place in Riyadh and the Saudi Arabia government recognised esports as a sport there which is very encouraging.

ESFI is proud to be a full member of the AESF and to have participated in all major sporting events conducted by the OCA. With these constant landmarks scaled by Esports on the international stage under the committee that has already recognised it as an official sport, it is now time for the Indian government to do the same as well so that we will have the proper infrastructure, training facilities and coaching given to our young esports athletes.

Rohit Jagasia, Founder & CEO, Revenant Esports:

It’s great to see Esports continue its transition into major international multi-sports events after the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. The AIMAG is a prestigious game organized by the OCA and having Esports as a full-fledged medal event in it will only increase its significance among the Indian population.

A lot of international organisations have already given official recognition to Esports and if our government was to follow suit, it would provide immense motivation to the hardworking gamers and esports athletes of the country who are already exceeding expectations in different rosters. We would definitely be excited to see India compete in Riyadh at AIMAG 2025 and win medals.

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

It’s an absolute big win for the community. Being honoured as an official medal sport gives so much more credibility to esports, not only as a sport but as a viable career option. We need more of such instances to attract higher interest from the government, investors, and most importantly, fans. Not too long until we see Esports being placed in the same league as cricket, football, basketball, etc. and having similar fan power, scale and craze.

Asia

NODWIN Gaming appoints former TEC Co-Founder Ishaan Arya as Vice President of Sales & Partnerships

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NODWIN Gaming, the leading South Asian gaming and Esports company, has appointed Esports veteran Ishaan Arya, as Vice President of Sales and Partnerships to bolster its leadership team.

With over a decade of experience, the former co-founder of The Esports Club has played a pivotal role in spearheading some of the country’s largest gaming and Esports events, including The Arena, India’s premier consumer gaming event. His guidance not only propelled The Esports Club to unprecedented heights but also facilitated its expansion beyond India into the markets of the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

In his new role at NODWIN Gaming, Ishaan will focus on enhancing the value of the company’s existing IPs, such as BGMS, DreamHack India, NODWIN India Premiership, Valorant Challengers South Asia, and Comic Con India, ensuring their sustained growth and global audience engagement. He will be working on new brand partnerships, initiatives and innovating IPs as NODWIN Gaming pushes the boundaries in the gaming, esports, and lifestyle segments.

Sharing his thoughts, Ishaan Arya, Vice-President of Sales and Partnerships at NODWIN Gaming, stated, “I am excited to join NODWIN Gaming to contribute to their massive roster of global gaming, esports, and lifestyle events. As one of the top new-age sports media organizations in the world, NODWIN Gaming’s visionary approach and global roadmap have always been top-notch. Alongside a fantastic team, I am eager to utilize my expertise in large-scale gaming events and publisher partnerships to elevate the company to new heights.”

“At NODWIN, we pride ourselves in encouraging our leaders to take ownership in various aspects of the business. As a founder himself, Ishaan not only brings a wealth of knowledge and experience but will also drive innovation and growth across key verticals of our gaming and entertainment segments,” said Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director of NODWIN Gaming.

Since its inception, NODWIN Gaming has cemented its position as a frontrunner in the global gaming and Esports industry. The company has been making significant strides in venturing beyond Esports, recently acquiring Comic Con India, alongside obtaining a 51% stake in the Singapore-based media company Branded.

With experience working with Comic Con India as well as industry giants like NVIDIA, Intel, LG, Lenovo, Dell, JBL & Amazon, in the past, Ishaan will be a key addition to NODWIN Gaming as they drive innovation and progress in the gaming and Esports sector.

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Asia

NOVOMATIC Showcases Exceptional Highlights at G2E Asia in Macao

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This year’s G2E Macao was a great success for NOVOMATIC. The gaming technology leader set new standards in the industry, with innovative products, state-of-the-art technologies and impressive new gaming solutions that were exceptionally well received by visitors and technology enthusiasts alike.

NOVOMATIC showcased its internationally acclaimed DIAMOND X cabinets and introduced new gaming content. The sophisticated J-curved DIAMOND X 1.55J featured the XTENSION LINK Volume 2, a high-performing Linked Progressive title with five new games, including internationally popular titles such as Golden Book of Ra and Golden Charming Lady in their exclusive XL versions. CASH FLOOD Link, another fan favourite, was also presented in the DIAMOND X 1.55J cabinet. This new Linked Progressive includes the titles Secrets of Wealth, Magic Cleopatra, and Roll on Fire – a trio that ensures three times the excitement on the gaming floors.

The multi-screen DIAMOND X 2.32/3.32 also attracted lots of attention, featuring the latest Linked Progressive Superia GOLDEN LINK Volume 2. This Jackpot offers a captivating gaming experience and golden winning chances with five new games, including Mermaid Beauty, Shanghai Club, Queen of the Night Magic, Empress Sissi, and all time NOVOMATIC favourites such as Golden Book of Ra and Golden Charming Lady.

A standout feature of NOVOMATIC’s presentation at G2E Macao was the brand new ETG solution, NOVO UNITY PRO. This advanced system enhances the casino floor with unparalleled functionality and flexibility to meet the demands of the future, enabling the integration of electronic live games such as SicBo and Baccarat as well as Roulette, Poker, Black Jack and slot games across numerous player stations. The innovative Simultaneous Betting functionality promises a new level of game engagement for players and offers the option to play up to three electronic live games at the same time.

The NOVOVISION casino management system revolutionises casino operations with an extensive range of features that go far beyond traditional accounting, jackpots, player tracking, cashless and TITO transactions. NOVOVISION also introduces biometric technologies for player recognition as well as access and payment solutions, setting new standards for the management of gaming operations.

Thomas Schmalzer, VP of Global Sales and VP of Product Management at NOVOMATIC AG, said: “As one of the most important trade shows for the Asian market, the G2E in Macao was an exceptional opportunity for NOVOMATIC to connect with our customers and expand our market presence. We are very pleased with our continuous growth in Asia and are proud to have presented a powerful portfolio of products and solutions at the trade show. We are looking forward to further strengthening our position as an industry leader using a specific product strategy and content tailored for the local markets.”

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Asia

PAGCOR CHIEF: BANNING IGLs COULD CAUSE BIGGER PROBLEMS

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The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation today said outlawing Internet Gaming Licensees or IGLs, previously called POGOs (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) could cause bigger problems since it would drive legitimate operators underground.

“If this happens, it would become harder for us to monitor them, and the number of illegal operators would grow and pose a bigger headache to our law enforcement authorities,” according to PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco.

“On top of these, the government will lose potential revenues of more than Php20 billion annually, without any guarantee that illegal activities will stop,” he said.

Mr. Tengco said it is very likely that when legitimate operators are banned, they will simply hide and vanish, bringing with them their gaming equipment like computers and machines and simply continue to operate without government monitoring and supervision.

“We have no guarantee that, once we ban the legitimate operators, they will simply close shop and return to their countries of origin where they are likely to face prosecution and jail, or worse,” he said.

“So they will just go underground here in the Philippines and continue operating,” the PAGCOR chief said. “Worse, they could join those who are engaged in illegal activities like scamming, hacking and other cybercrimes, which would cause bigger problems to us.”

“Once they are underground, we lose control over them,” Mr. Tengco said.

Despite this, the PAGCOR chief said the agency will respect whatever decision Congress will make on the issue.

“It is the prerogative of our lawmakers to outlaw IGLs, if they believe it will solve our problems.

“However, for us, the real problem are the criminal syndicates masquerading as POGOs. It is only through intensified law enforcement and the cooperation of all sectors that we would be able to address the problem of criminality,” Mr. Tengco said.

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