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Williams Esports Announces eNASCAR Driver Line-up and New Livery

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Williams Esports has announced that they have retained both their drivers ahead of the forthcoming eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series 2023 Series.

Donovan Strauss and Vicente Salas will look to continue their progression in eNASCAR after a solid first season representing the team. Strauss was the 2022 eNASCAR Rookie of the Year after his consistent performances secured him automatic qualification for the 2023 season, while Salas qualified from the eNASCAR Road to Pro Contender Series, winning the first race of the series at Phoenix in early November.

The eNASCAR team will be sponsored again by Duracell, with a custom livery showcasing the iconic coppertop of a Duracell battery. Contested over twenty rounds, this year’s Championship will be streamed live on the Williams Esports Twitch channel for each race. The first event is to be held at LA Coliseum on January 31.

Steven English, Director of Esports at Williams Racing, said: “We are delighted to welcome back both Donovan and Vicente after a great first season with the team which saw a number of top 10 finishes for both drivers.

“It is now time for us to go from strength to strength in the series and show our credentials as one of the best teams in the competition. I have full faith that this will be a standout season for the team.”

Vicente Salas, eNASCAR Driver at Williams Esports, said: “I feel more prepared than I’ve ever been for this year. Running contender helped me learn what I need to do better and it showed me I can really run up front. Consistency and playing the long game will be key. I feel blessed to return to Williams Esports and I cannot wait to get after it.”

Donovan Strauss, eNASCAR Driver at Williams Esports, said: “I’m very honoured to have another shot with Williams Esports in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series in 2023.

“The biggest thing I’m focused on this year is my mental game. If I can stay on the right track with that, I have hopes of contending for the playoffs. I’m looking forward to continuing to improve my craft in the series and bring in good results for our team in 2023.”

eSports

Team Top-G crowned champions of NESC 2023; become first ever Indian female CS:GO team to qualify for World Esports Championships

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Scripting history, team Top-G emerged as champions of the inaugural all-female CS:GO qualifiers with a stunning 2-1 victory against team Purr-ple at the ongoing National Esports Championships (NESC) 2023 organized by the Esports Federation of India (ESFI). Following this monumental result, Top-G has become the first Indian female CS:GO team to qualify for the global finals of the World Esports Championships (WEC).

With ace CS:GO athletes such as captain Swayambika Sachar (Sway), Shagufta Iqbal (xyaa), Nidhi Salekar (Stormyyy), Dilraj Kaur Matharu (COCO), Aastha Nangia (CrackShot) and Priyanka Choudhary (ALEXAA) as Substitute in their squad, Top-G proved their mettle against team Purr-ple in the closely-contested finals.

Expressing her feelings on the stellar victory, the team captain of Top-G, Swayambika ‘Sway’ Sachar said, “Winning the finals was an unreal feeling for all of us. We felt so many emotions before, after, and most importantly during the match and the adrenaline rush was on another level. Triumphing in this tournament and representing India on an international stage is a dream come true for all of us and we aim to prove on the world stage why we deserve this spot. We are grateful to ESFI for providing us with such an amazing opportunity and we truly appreciate the efforts put in by them to uplift women in Esports.”

Top-G dominated the first map by 16 -10 before Purr-ple made a stunning comeback to win the second map 16-14. While both teams were going toe-to-toe in the enthralling finals, Top-G utilized their effective teamwork and proficient attacking tactics to edge out their opponents and take the last map by 19-15 in overtime.

 “It gives us immense joy to see a female team representing India at the World Esports Championships for the first time in history. The electrifying finals were a testament to the ability that our country’s female athletes possess and why ESFI has constantly been taking significant efforts to provide them with opportunities to display their talent and high-quality gameplay. We would like to congratulate Top-G on their remarkable accomplishment and look forward to them winning at the regional & global finals in Romania,” said Vinod Tiwari, President of the Esports Federation of India.

The ESFI will now be organizing friendlies against distinguished CS:GO teams from other countries for team Top-G before their participation at the WEC 2023 which is scheduled to take place in Iasi, Romania.

With a whopping prize pool of $500,000 (INR 4.12 crore) and at least 130 countries participating, the 15th WEC is set to be the largest edition of the tournament to date. The global finals of the prestigious tournament will take place from August 24 – September 4, 2023.

One of the country’s top sports & Esports communication agencies, Artsmith-Concepts & Visions, will continue its support to the Esports Federation of India as their official communication partner.

The ongoing NESC is witnessing the participation of 275 athletes across four different titles – CS:GO, DOTA 2, Tekken7, and eFootball 2023 and its exciting action is being streamed live on ESFI’s Youtube, Facebook, and Glance Gaming channels.

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Africa

MSSA’s view of encouraging females to play esports

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Esports, or electronic sports, has become a global phenomenon, with millions of people tuning in to watch competitive video game matches online or in person. As the popularity of esports continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly important to encourage diversity and inclusivity in the industry, particularly in terms of gender.

Since 2009 Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has had an active policy to increase female representation in esports. This is important for a number of reasons. First, it is simply a matter of fairness and equality. Women should have the same opportunities to compete and succeed in esports as men. By promoting gender diversity in the industry, we can help to break down barriers and create a more inclusive environment for everyone.

However, as MSSA President, Colin Webster, stated, “There are also practical reasons why having more females play esports is important. For one, it can help to grow the industry. Women make up a significant portion of the gaming market, and by tapping into this market, esports organizations and companies can reach a wider audience and increase their revenue streams.”

Webster added, “Additionally, having more females involved in esports can help to address some of the toxic behaviors and attitudes that have plagued the industry in the past. Women have historically faced harassment and discrimination in the gaming world, but by promoting gender diversity and inclusion, we can help to create a more welcoming and supportive community.”

There are also potential benefits to individual female players. By participating in esports, women can gain valuable skills and experience in areas such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving as well as earn Regional, provincial, and National Colours that may help such females obtain bursaries in order to study further. These skills can then be applied to other areas of their lives, such as their careers or personal relationships.

However, increasing female representation in esports is not without its challenges as MSSA is painfully aware. Women are still underrepresented in the industry, and those who do participate often face a range of barriers and obstacles. Some of these include online harassment and discrimination, a lack of female role models and mentors, and limited opportunities for sponsorship and funding.

MSSA faced very stiff opposition from many gamers, some of them who even have daughters, over the years when promoting its policies of enablement and inclusion.

To address these challenges, MSSA has always taken proactive steps to promote gender diversity and inclusion. This has included initiatives of providing incentives and creating real and credible upward movement. MSSA is the only esports national federation, world-wide with 40% of its Board consisting of female Board Members.

In conclusion, increasing female representation in esports is not only a matter of fairness and equality, but also a practical way to grow the industry and create a more inclusive and supportive community. By taking proactive steps to promote gender diversity and inclusion, we can help to build a better future for esports and for everyone involved in it.

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Asia

Removal of Hearthstone as Contested Esports Title At Hangzhou Asian Games 2023

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Esports is going to make its debut at the Asian Games 2023 as a proper medal event, earlier in 2018 it was there as a demonstration title. The Asian Games 2022, originally scheduled for September last year, will now be held from September 23 to October 8, 2023. This multi-nation event will cement the industry mark into a mainstream sports scene. 
 

The seven official events, and publishers, are:

1. Arena of Valor Asian Games Version

2. Dota 2

3. Dream Three Kingdoms 2

4. EA SPORTS FIFA branded soccer games

5. League of Legends

6. PUBG Mobile Asian Games Version

7. Street Fighter V

Showing his disappointment, please find below the quote on behalf of Mr. Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) on this announcement:
 

“It is unfortunate to hear that Hearthstone will not be included in the upcoming Asian Games, especially because India’s first Esports medal at the tournament came in this very title in 2018 when Tirth Mehta clinched the bronze medal. That achievement holds a special place in our Esports community and we were hopeful that our talented athletes Shikhar Choudhary and Karthik Varma would be able to bring similar honour to the country by competing in this official medal sport.

Nonetheless, we respect the OCA’s decision and remain confident that our athletes will perform at the highest level in the other titles to make the country proud. We look forward to supporting them as they represent India in the prestigious tournament.”

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