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Launch of Guild College – New venture with SCL Education to offer BTEC qualification in esports

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Guild Esports (LSE: GILD), a global team organisation and lifestyle brand, is pleased to announce the launch of Guild College to provide a new career pathway for young people into apprenticeships, professional roles and higher education related to the esports industry.

As part of this new venture, Guild has entered a fouryear partnership with SCL Education, a leading UKbased provider of post16 further education specialising in sports, which will provide a oneyear BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Esports and a further twoyear BTEC Esports Level 3 Extended Diploma as a progression route.

Guild Esports will receive a fourfigure sum from SCL Education for every student enrolled into the course. SCL Education projections for total student intake for the course in the first year of the programme, based on their existing comparable courses, is 125 individual learners. This funding will stem in part from a subcontracting agreement with SCL Education, which holds a direct contract with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), an executive agency of the UK Government sponsored by the Department for Education.

SCL Education, as experienced providers of BTEC qualifications for clubs like Leeds United College and the West Ham Foundation, will manage the programme on behalf of Guild resulting in minimal additional spend or increased headcount at the Company.

The course will be delivered through 600 guided learning hours per student over the course of the academic year, in line with UK official further education study programme requirements. The Company’s facilities will support the delivery of the esports BTEC qualification including student access to Guild’s HQ facility in Shoreditch for technical and practical workshops.

Enrolment for the course will commence immediately, with the programme welcoming its first cohort(s) of students in September 2023.

The new BTEC qualification is skillsfocused and will support the creation of longterm careers in the growing esports industry both in the UK and internationally. The esports industry is projected to generate revenues of approximately $1.38 billion globally by the end of 2022, with the total esports audience set to rise 8.7% year on year to reach 532 million individuals at year end (source: Newzoo, 2022).

SCL Education will also support Guild Academy growth through the delivery of elite programmes focused on proplayer development, and community outreach programmes with the goal of positively impacting 1,000 children through esports in 2023.

Kal Hourd, Chief Executive at Guild Esports, said: Our pioneering course leverages Guild’s position as one of Europe’s leading team organisations and will furnish learners with the opportunity to obtain a Level Two Diploma to support their career ambitions in a fastgrowing industry worth more than £1 billion. By getting involved in grassroots esports development in the UK, Guild will also support a pipeline of talent both in terms of the star players of tomorrow and future esports business leaders.

“While the esports further education sector in the UK is fast growing, regular access to the stateoftheart facilities of a fullyfledged global esports organisation is a first for a post16 esports course and something no other learners in the country currently have available to them. Guild College is proud to offer this experience to students.”

Stuart Allen, Group Director of Operations and Principal of Education, SCL Education, said: We’re delighted to be partnering with industry leaders, Guild Esports, to deliver our BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Esports. An organisation made up of passionate people with the shared mission of delivering a unique learning experience, our learners have a bright future ahead of them in an industry full of great career opportunities.”

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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Tundra Esports Announces Addition of Ludwig ‘Zai’ Wahlberg as Dota 2 General Manager to the Team

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The veteran offlaner and captain will serve as the cornerstone for Tundra Esports’ Performance Management Team

Tundra Esports is delighted to announce the addition of Ludwig ‘Zai’ Wahlberg to its Dota 2 Performance Management Team, taking on the role of General Manager.

A household name in the competitive scene to both fans and peers alike, Wahlberg brings over tens years of experience, numerous championships and four top-three finishes at The International to the Tundra Esports tribe. Alongside his impressive tenures on some of the highest profile rosters in Dota’s history, he retains the impressive record of a 66.6% win rate across his 2,000+ game career; the highest of all pro Dota players*. For someone with such an intimate relationship with success in Dota 2, Wahlberg is expected to bring about a new level of excellence to the team’s management style and gameplay.

*With more than 200 pro matches played

Wahlberg’s addition further cements Tundra Esports’ commitment to growing and evolving its performance management team and the move marks a significant milestone for the organisation’s continued journey towards competitive success in the world of Dota 2.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Ludwig ‘Zai’ Wahlberg to Tundra Esports as the Dota 2 General Manager and support his journey into management after his illustrious playing career,” the co-founder and Esports Director for Tundra Esports, Anthony Graham, said. “We are doubling down on our approach to Dota and I don’t think there is a better person to lead our Dota operations going forward than Wahlberg.”

Wahlberg joins the already star-studded 2024 Tundra Esports Dota roster, consisting of:

1 – Ivan ‘Pure-‘ Moskalenko
2 – Topias ‘Topson’ Taavitsainen
3 – Ivan ‘MinD_ContRoL’ Ivanov
4 – Edgar ‘9Class’ Naltakian
5 – Matthew ‘Whitemon’ Filemon

“After an extensive break from the game, I’m very excited to be involved with Dota again but in a different capacity,” Wahlberg said. “I’m looking forward to stepping into a new role as General Manager for Tundra Esports and to use my previous experiences and insights as a player to manage and influence its Dota division.”

Fans will get to witness his impact on the team’s performance first-hand in its upcoming match against The International 12 champions Team Spirit this Sunday at DreamLeague Season 22.

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Esports to Beat Football? SOFTSWISS Shares Sports Betting Trends for 2024

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Esports to Beat Football? SOFTSWISS Shares Sports Betting Trends for 2024
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Esports is raising its position among top sports by bets in 2023. The product team of the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, a top sports betting software provider, reflects on the past year.

 

Esports Unstoppable Rise

Over the past three years, the top three sports by bets remain unchanged, with football, tennis and basketball maintaining their leadership. In contrast, esports has demonstrated a consistent upward trend, progressing from the seventh position in 2021 to the fourth in 2023. Notably, Counter-Strike stands out, claiming the sixth position among the top ten disciplines by the number of bets.

Alexander Kamenetskyi, Head of SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, comments: “Considering the rise of esports, we guide our partners to focus on cyber disciplines, engaging audiences beyond traditional betting demographics. Highlighting the cybersports potential for operators, Newzoo’s report projects 640 million viewers by 2025.”

 

Mobiles Drive 92% of Operator GGR

Another notable trend in sports betting, which has remained unchanged for several years, is the consistent growth in bets made from mobile devices. According to the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, 80% of bets in 2023 were placed via mobile versus 70% in 2022 and 68% in 2021. This trend solidifies as players increasingly opt for mobile convenience, especially in live betting scenarios. More importantly, it was mobile devices that contributed 92% to the operators’ GGR.

Kamenetskyi adds: “Mobile betting is one of our main focuses in product development. We put much effort into improving our mobile application and mobile website. It is specifically important for locations facing challenges with internet connectivity and regions like LatAm and Africa where internet coverage is still growing.”

 

Casino Turnover Drops During Major Sports Events

The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team has repeatedly emphasised shifts in player behaviour around major sports events. Specifically, there was a 10–20% drop in online casino turnover, coinciding with the World Cup 2022. This highlights a dynamic wherein a significant portion of casino players redirect their focus towards sports betting based on seasonal patterns. Considering audience preferences, reinforcing casinos with sportsbooks is a logical step.

Kamenetskyi adds: “This pattern underscores the strategic imperative for iGaming stakeholders to recognise the synergistic relationship between casino ventures and sportsbooks. Combining these options not only enhances casino appeal but also maintains player engagement, especially during sports events. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook is compatible with any casino platform on the market.”

Additionally, the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team notes the strengthening of other trends like regulation and responsible gambling that have recently been highlighted in the iGaming Trends 2024 report by SOFTSWISS. The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team will be glad to discuss all learnings during the first SBC Summit Rio at the stand D360.

 

About SOFTSWISS 

SOFTSWISS is an international tech company supplying software solutions for managing iGaming projects. The expert team, which counts over 2,000 employees, is based in Malta, Poland and Georgia. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.

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