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Tekken star Abhinav Tejan and eFootball ace Ibrahim Gulrez crowned champions of NESC 2023; qualify for 15th World Esports Championships

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Putting up stellar performances, notable Tekken athlete Abhinav Tejan and eFootball pro Ibrahim Gulrez triumphed in the finals of the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2023 organized by the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) and secured their berths at the global finals of the 15th World Esports Championships (WEC) which will take place in Iasi, Romania from August 24 – September 4, 2023.

The 15th World Esports Championship 2023 will have a whopping prize pool of $500,000 (INR 4.12 crore) and is set to be the largest edition of the tournament to date with at least 130 countries participating in eFootball, DOTA 2, Tekken7, Mobile Legends, PUBG: Mobile and CS:GO.

Despite starting from the loser bracket, Tejan who is a well-renowned name from the Tekken7 community proved his mettle against other top athletes of the country and will be representing India at the WEC for a record 6th time. The 29-year-old who won the South Asia regional finals of the Tekken World Tour 2022 last year defeated Loveneet in the grand finals by 3-2, 3-2.

“I have won a lot of tournaments in these past few years but winning the NESC 2023 was really important to me I had lost two times in it in the past 2 years. So, I wanted to make a comeback by winning it this year. Qualifying for the IESF finals in Romania had given me the chance to represent India for the 6th time in IESF finals which is personally a really proud moment. I am really looking forward to the finals where I will try my level best to get my country a medal this year,” said Abhinav Tejan.

Similar to Tejan, Gulrez also began his campaign from the loser bracket and displayed immense perseverance as well as high-quality gameplay to become the eFootball champion. He beat Pritesh Quinton Dsouza (bad_pritt) by winning the first round by 3-2 and the second round by 3-0 to seal his maiden qualification at the WEC.

“The feeling is really amazing. I have been trying to achieve this feat for the last couple of years and to finally get there feels amazing. My victory involved a mixture of hard work and some luck. One can only feel that happiness after trying so hard to win the competition for the last couple of seasons,” said Ibrahim Gulrez.

Alongside Tekken and eFootball, the esteemed national qualifiers were also organized for popular PC titles CS:GO and DOTA 2.

In CS:GO (Open), Team Orgless5 toppled the two-time NESC champions Team Wicked Gaming by winning the finals by 2-0. Comprising team captain Harsh Jain (f1redup), Jaspreet Singh (SpawN), Sadab Khan (SK wow^), Piyush Kalwania (clouda), Nikhil Kathe (N1kace) and substitute Omkar Thube (omkar09), the team was dominant throughout the tournament and produced scintillating performances against India’s leading CS:GO teams.

“Our motto to win the qualifiers was to trust the process, trust ourselves and trust our decisions. We worked extremely hard to defeat the country’s best CS:GO teams and become the champions. The World Esports Championships are very important for us and now we will prove ourselves in the regional qualifiers to qualify for the global finals as well,” said Harsh Jain, captain of Team Orgless5.

On the other hand, Team Top G comprising skipper Manav Kunte (mnz), Vishal Vernekar (HBK), Abhishek Yadav (Abhi-), Shahbaz Hussain (PinkMaN), Krish Gupta (Krish`) and substitute Jaikishan Malik (KaEL) prevailed in the finals of DOTA 2 by defeating Team Mob with a 2-0 score line in the finals. The squad’s notable players Vishal and Abhishek were also part of the historic DOTA 2 team that won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Esports Championships in 2022.

“We are beyond ecstatic to win the DOTA 2 India Qualifiers and it is an honour for us to represent India on the international stage. We have put in countless hours of practice, analyzing every move, and strategizing every play to reach this point, and it’s an incredible feeling to see our hard work pay off. The team has an unbreakable bond and we know that we can achieve anything if we keep this synergy together. We would also like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to ESFI for providing us with this amazing opportunity to showcase our skills on a national platform and we promise to give our best shot to bring home the championship,” said Manav Kunte, captain of Team Top G.

Team Orgless5 and Top G will now be participating in the upcoming Asia regional qualifiers to qualify for the global finals of WEC 2023. The teams will first be competing in the South Asian qualifiers in online mode and upon qualifying will play the regional finals offline. The dates of the regional qualifiers will be announced by the International Federation soon.

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. NESC23 was also supported by Upthrust (Event Partner), Inox (Multiplex Partner) & Hama (Training Partner)

The NESC’23 concluded on Monday, March 27 and witnessed a total participation of 275 athletes from all over the country.

eSports

BLAST and British Esports Team Up to Bolster UK’s Esports Industry During Landmark Year For the Industry

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BLAST, the global esports entertainment company, and British Esports, the national body for esports in the UK, have announced a strategic partnership during a landmark year for the UK industry.

This collaboration will focus BLAST and British Esports efforts on political lobbying, grassroots development, education, careers, and professional development. The partnership comes during a historic year for the UK esports industry, with a record number of tier one esports events taking place, helping to position the region as a global hub for esports and gaming.

With the UK holding an 6% share of the global esports market and the global sector expected to reach $1.6 billion by the end of this year, this partnership aims to capitalise on this momentum and foster further growth.
Robbie Douek, CEO of BLAST, said: “This partnership with British Esports is a pivotal step in our mission to support the esports ecosystem in the UK. By focusing on key pillars together, we aim to create a sustainable and inclusive environment that encourages growth and professional development at every level. This year alone, the world’s biggest game publishers are choosing the UK as a destination for their esports ecosystems and arena events, helping position the region as a global hub for esports and big-scale events.

This partnership with British Esports will allow us bridge the gap between tier one arena events and grassroots esports.”
Chester King, CEO of British Esports, said: “2024 is a landmark year for esports in the UK as we host some of the most iconic global esports events.

This is an incredible opportunity to leave a legacy from grassroots to professional that promotes the UK as a leading global destination for esports. That is why we were thrilled when Robbie and the team at BLAST visited our National Esports Performance Campus in Sunderland earlier this month to finalise our partnership. This collaboration between two leading British esports organisations will not only help to solidify the UK as a leading hub for esports but also ensure that we are nurturing the next generation of talent and providing them with the tools and opportunities they need to succeed.”

The partnership comes in a month where London is set to host two tier one esports arena events in consecutive weeks, with the BLAST Premier Spring Final taking place in Wembley Arena this week and the RLCS London Major in Copper Box Arena next week. These combined events will see more than 25,000 fans watch live esports events in-person in the United Kingdom in June alone.
To mark the launch of the partnership, Robbie Douek, CEO for BLAST, recently met Dave Martin, SVP for British Esports, for a tour of the National Esports Performance Campus in Sunderland.

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eSports

Intel® Extreme Masters Cologne 2024: All 16 teams set to compete in the 10 year anniversary event

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From August 10 – 18, 16 top Counter-Strike (CS) teams will battle it out during Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Cologne 2024 for a share of the $1,000,000 prize pool, a win in the race to secure the Intel® Grand Slam V, and the coveted trophy. Today, we are thrilled to share with you the full lineup of teams competing in the celebratory event.

IEM tournaments are the pinnacle of esports competition for players worldwide and are at the heart of excitement for fans from around the globe. This year, we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary at the LANXESS arena as the final three days of IEM Cologne 2024 will once again take place in the iconic and packed-out arena in Cologne, Germany.

Also dubbed the Cathedral of Counter-Strike, the event’s significance lies in its long-lasting traditions and ability to consistently deliver legendary moments. This year, everyone is invited to go on a trip down memory lane and to experience the world’s best CS teams to-date playing CS2 for the first time on stage in Cologne.

The teams competing at IEM Cologne 2024 are:

  • Team Spirit (IEM Katowice 2024 winner)
  • FaZe Clan (IEM Chengdu 2024 winner)
  • MOUZ (ESL Pro League Season 19 winner)
  • G2 Esports (IEM Dallas 2024 winner)
  • Team Vitality (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • Natus Vincere (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • Astralis (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • Virtus.pro (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • ALTERNATE aTTaX (Online Qualifier Germany)
  • HEROIC (ESL World Ranking Europe)
  • Eternal Fire (ESL World Ranking Europe)
  • Team Falcons (ESL World Ranking Europe)
  • Complexity Gaming (ESL World Ranking North America)
  • 9z Globant (ESL World Ranking South America)
  • The MongolZ (ESL World Ranking Asia)
  • FlyQuest (ESL World Ranking Oceania)
  • Team Liquid (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • Imperial Esports (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • FURIA Esports (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • BIG (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • BetBoom Team (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • paiN Gaming (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • MIBR (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • SAW (ESL World Ranking Global)
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eSports

SIS strengthens bet365 partnership with global launch of eSoccer product

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SIS strengthens bet365 partnership with global launch of eSoccer product
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Operator significantly enhances content offering around the world

SIS (Sports Information Services), the leading content supplier of 24/7 live betting services, has agreed a landmark deal with long-term partner, bet365, to deliver its comprehensive eSoccer portfolio across all regulated markets and boost the renowned operator’s global offering.

The integration of the complete suite of H2H Global Gaming League™ eSoccer matches will see bet365 benefit from the increase in betting opportunities which are proven to maximise engagement and margin.

The agreement considerably strengthens SIS’ Competitive Gaming offering across the globe with eBasketball already live. The addition of eSoccer contests means more than 150,000 events will now be available on the world’s leading sports betting operator’s online platform.

Built specifically for sportsbooks, SIS’ H2H Global Gaming League™ is proven to deliver superior margins, adding as much as 10% in value to operators. Professional gamers take part in all eBasketball and eSoccer matches which are produced entirely in-house at SIS’s UK-based secure studios.

Competitive Gaming is the only product available on the market to have been awarded the Esports Integrity Commission’s (ESIC) Gold Standards. The highest possible accreditation created to set unmatched levels of integrity and safety in the industry, it has trained referees overseeing every contest.

Paul Witten, Managing Director EMEA at SIS, said: “We are very pleased to launch our eSoccer product as part of our long-term partnership with bet365.

“It is evident that customers have taken to our fast-paced, highly competitive short-form action and engage with the many available betting opportunities and we expect this to continue with the integration of our complete Competitive Gaming offering across regulated markets.”

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