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Esports Insider & the University of Warwick announce the agenda for ESI Next Gen, the UK’s first conference dedicated to esports and video games in education

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The leading B2B esports events and media company, Esports Insider (ESI) and the University of Warwick are pleased to reveal the agenda for the inaugural ESI Next Gen, a one-and-a-half day conference dedicated to esports and video games in education. Offering interactive sessions, networking and insights on March 22nd-23rd, 2023 at the University’s Esports Centre.

The UK has steadily increased the number of esports-focused qualifications on offer, moving beyond competitive play there are now 39 esports courses through 14 providers (according to UCAS) across the UK, now providing three-year degrees or Higher Education courses on the wider industry or specific aspects such as Event Management, Digital Marketing, or Coaching, Health and Well-Being.

As two leading authorities in esports business and education, Esports Insider and University of Warwick have crafted the first ever ESI Next Gen conference to bring together leaders from universities and colleges from across the UK and beyond, alongside professionals from both the esports and games industries to discuss the skills the industry can offer young people. This includes game developers, publishers, esports teams, tournament operators, education sector service providers, and regional government all under one roof, right on the doorstep of one of the UK’s largest creative clusters. There’ll be ample industry related and education-focused content, as well as extensive networking opportunities and interactive workshops for students looking to get into the industry.

The event is supported by Gold Sponsor IN4 Group, Official Youth Esports Partner Esports Coaching Academy and event partners Chillblast, Viperio, NSE, Esport1, Swipe Right PR, UKIE and NUEL. ESI Next Gen is set to welcome over 250 attendees, with over 30+ speakers across more than 9 live sessions.

Speakers this year include educators & industry executives such as:

  • Meg Daintith, Talent Acquisition Manager at Electronic Arts
  • Phil Bale, Operations Manager at Ubisoft Leamington
  • Kalam Neale, Head of Education at British Esports
  • Gina Jackson OBE, Founder of SKILLfull
  • Ólafur Steinarsson, Co-founder & COO at Esports Coaching Academy
  • Mikayla Sinead, Founder & CEO at Bridge Network Group
  • James Fraser-Murison, Director of Esports at Queen Marys College
  • Becky Wright, Senior Partnerships Manager at NSE
  • Dr Bianca Wright, Curriculum Lead: Immersive and Associate Professor at Coventry University
  • Shahneila Saeed, Programme Director for Digital Schoolhouse

At ESI Next Gen, there will be five panels and two workshops, all designed to support education staff, industry stakeholders and students equally. The event will explore leadership in esports and gaming education, navigating the obstacles of curriculum development, potential graduate opportunities, policy matters, and sector growth.

Esports Coaching Academy will host a ‘Pathways to Building a Career and Business in Grassroots Youth Esports’ workshop, which will provide attendees with valuable insights and resources on the grassroots esports industry and how to build a career and business in it. Topics will include the current landscape of youth esports, career pathways, business opportunities and best practices in grassroots esports.

Sam Cooke, Managing Director and Founder at ESI stated: “We are delighted to be working with the University of Warwick for our first inaugural ESI Next Gen. This event will provide a great opportunity to explore and promote the collaborative relationship between the esports and video game industries and educational institutions, so as to create a strong foundation for the new emerging talent.”

The event will kick off with a networking social and the final of Lions Clash, a Valorant tournament for UK universities and colleges, followed by an evening reception on 22nd March 2023, allowing attendees to register early, experience a live esports event, and network in a relaxed and welcoming environment.

Jack Fenton, Head of Esports at University of Warwick says: “This is a huge landmark for Warwick as co-creating the ESI: Next Gen concept has been an exciting strategic goal for both us and for Esports Insider. I know that this will be the Esports Centre’s biggest and most impactful event to-date and we’re really proud to be acting as a catalyst for the creative and digital sector. I can’t wait to see the collaboration that spins out of this event!”

Join us for ESI Next Gen 2023 to celebrate the convergence of esports, video games and education on March 22-23 at the Esports Centre, Coventry.

Bring your team of 3 or more and save with our Group Registration rates. Currently enrolled students may register to attend #ESINextGen at a special discounted rate. Tickets are available now, including an option for inclusive accommodation.

eSports

SuperGaming Reveals Nationwide Grassroots Indus Battle Royale Esports Tournament Series With Rs. 5,50,000 Prize Pool

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Made-in-India battle royale Indus is hosting its first ever series of nationwide grassroots esports tournaments dubbed Indus Inferno. This is SuperGaming’s summer special of tournaments with prizes and bragging rights on the line — but most importantly: a chance for players to experience Indus at the highest skill level and be the best in India’s first new-generation battle royale.

Created by award-winning Pune-based developer SuperGaming, Indus is an Indo-Futuristic battle royale slated for mobile, PC, and consoles with pre-registrations live on Google Play for Android. Pre-registrations for the game have crossed 10 million already.

Indus Inferno kicked off with the Regional Scrims featuring a Rs. 50,000 prize pool this week. The scrims were met with immense excitement, with players hailing from multiple cities across India.

The Indus Inferno Finale scheduled to take place on 1st June will feature a lucrative prize pool of Rs. 5,00,000.

Player registration for the Open Qualifiers is now open and will end on 19th May. The Qualifiers are set to run from 20th May to 24th May. It is important to note that only the top 2,000 players from the Inferno in-game Leaderboard will be eligible to register for the qualifiers. The top 10 winning teams from the Open Qualifiers will earn coveted spots in the finale, joining the invited esports teams for an epic showdown.

The following teams have been invited for the Indus Inferno Finale:

  • Team Moggers

  • Team Redlock

  • Team Pushpa

  • Destruction of Game

In addition to this, teams of Indus content creators, community members, several esports organizations as well as winners of past playtests will be present for the tournament. There’s a total prize pool of Rs. 5,00,000 with the winners netting Rs. 2,50,000 and the runners-up, third-place, and fourth place getting Rs. 1,00,000, Rs. 75,000, and Rs. 50,000 respectively. The most valuable player will get Rs. 25,000.

More importantly, the finale will feature India’s top esports team owners so Indus’ best players can have face to face opportunities to be scouted for a career in esports playing Indus. These include:

  • Godlike Esports

  • Revenant Esports

  • Orangutan

  • Entity Gaming

  • Reckoning Esports

  • Carnival Gaming

  • Chemin Esports

  • True Rippers

  • Enigma Gaming

  • Team Tamilas

  • Marcos Gaming

  • TWOB

“With Indus Inferno and previous Indus esports tournaments that we’ve been running since last year such as the Indus Invitational and Indus Unchained, we want to lay the foundation for a sustainable esports ecosystem for our community and the nation at large,” says SuperGaming CEO and Co-Founder Roby John. “Having India’s best esports team owners at the finale is our small way of making that happen.”

SuperGaming is also going to have exclusive rewards, developer panels, and more, so head on over to the official Indus Discord server for all the details.

Players will be able to share their thoughts on various aspects of the game and impact the direction of how SuperGaming crafts its most ambitious title yet through this official esports tournament.

This is inline with how SuperGaming has crafted its biggest hits — MaskGun and Silly Royale. Popular multiplayer shooter MaskGun has amassed over 80 million players since its launch with a relentless focus on putting its players first leading to some of its biggest community members featuring in-game as well as celebrating India-specific events like Diwali.

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eSports

ANICHESS PARTNERS WITH ESPORTS LEADER TEAM SECRET AHEAD OF PVP LAUNCH

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Anichess, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands and the progressive chess-based online strategy game developed in partnership with Chess.com and five-time World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, today announced a partnership with global esports brand Team Secret to further connect competitive gaming and Web3. John Yao, CEO of Team Secret, will join Anichess as an advisor.

Anichess is an innovative chess-based Web3 game developed in a collaboration between Animoca Brands and Chess.com, the renowned global online chess platform. Anichess provides a novel tactical twist on the classic game of chess by implementing spells that open up new strategies and gameplay, and that require players to rethink the rules of traditional chess as they uncover the expansive lore within the world of the gameboard. Anichess recently raised a funding round of US$1.8 million, led by Sfermion and Amber Group with participation from Fenbushi Capital, Aspen Digital, SNZ Capital, and others (see announcement of 25 April 2024).

Team Secret is a global esports brand dedicated to bringing together the best gamers to compete worldwide, while also delivering entertaining experiences to its fans. It offers advertising and promotional sponsorship, talent and team development, business management, coaching, and other forms of support to both professional and aspiring players in the esports arena.

The partnership between Anichess and Team Secret aims to solidify chess’s esports status by combining a new platform to play and learn on for an engaged audience of up-and-coming online chess masters. Ahead of the player-versus-player (PvP) mode launch later in Q2 2024, Anichess will receive input from Team Secret on its game design as well as support in bringing the spellbinding game to a dedicated community of esports players.

“Esports has always been a core pillar of Anichess’ modernization of chess’ legacy,” said Brian Chan, head of Anichess. “Anichess’s engaging visuals, tools to improve and thrilling spells make it an amazing platform for all competitors, regardless of chess experience. We look forward to those willing to take on the challenge when PvP arrives in-game soon.”

“For how ancient the game of chess is, its esports scene is a fresh, rising star in terms of viewership, player base and tournaments,” said John Yao, CEO of Team Secret. “Anichess is a promising twist on chess, with even more of what makes the original great: compelling tactics, broad recognition and rewards for players willing to think outside the box and surprise opponents. I’m looking forward to guiding Anichess into the realm of esports and integrating the new chess platform into our dedicated community.”

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eSports

Kambi and Abios Join ESIC as Anti-Corruption Supporters

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The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has announced Kambi and Abios, its esports data subsidiary, as new ESIC Anti-Corruption Supporters. This partnership signals the alignment of Kambi’s longstanding commitment to corporate probity and sports integrity with ESIC’s ongoing battle against match-fixing and corruption in esports.

Kambi and Abios join a distinguished class of other Anti-Corruption Supporter stakeholders who have historically worked with ESIC to ensure that attacks against the competitive integrity of esports competition are appropriately reported and dealt with. Anti-Corruption Supporters assist ESIC in investigating suspicious betting activity, supporting ESIC’s broader mission to combat cheating and betting fraud in the esports industry. Kambi and Abios’ entrance into the Anti-Corruption Supporter class will see the entities actively work with ESIC to assist in ESIC’s mission to disrupt, prevent, investigate and prosecute all attempts to compromise competitive integrity in esport competition.

Abios’ Managing Director and Founder, Anton Janér, commented: “Our mission at Abios has always been to enable the sustainable growth of esports. As such, we’re incredibly excited to join ESIC in their mission to future-proof esports through combatting match-fixing and other integrity-related malpractices. Fair play is a crucial component in ensuring the viability of esports as a long-term community and investment and we hope to be able to support the industry together with ESIC going forward.”

Stephen Hanna, ESIC’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are pleased to welcome Kambi and Abios as Anti-Corruption Supporters. Kambi and Abios are well trusted and recognised operators in their respective industries, and their entrance into the Anti-Corruption Supporter class of ESIC membership emphasises their shared commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and fair play within the esports industry.”

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