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Welcome WePlay Studios: WePlay Esports announces plan to establish new brand identity



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WePlay Esports, one of the world’s most prominent esports business representatives, is happy to announce the start of a branding renovation that will reflect the company’s values and its strategy to grow in the entertainment industry. The first stage of rebranding involves changing the business name to one matching the company’s current course of operation — WePlay Studios.

Throughout its history, WePlay’s mission and values have been based on a dream — the dream of creating not just events and shows but emotions and memories for both viewers and participants. Over more than ten years of work, WePlay Esports has organized and hosted over 25 esports tournaments and gathered a community of over two million subscribers and viewers on its platforms. WePlay Esports was honored to be shortlisted for the 43rd Annual Sports Emmy Awards in the Outstanding Esports Championship Coverage category and a finalist of the 2021 Esports Awards for Creative Team of the Year, among many other awards.

Today, the team is happy to announce the start of a new round of business development as a production company specializing in content creation in the field of entertainment and gaming. Based on the knowledge gained in esports, technology, and the event business, WePlay Studios aims to create groundbreaking entertainment innovation to excel viewers’ experience and accelerate industry development with end-to-end solutions in broadcasting, augmented reality, computer graphics, and venue design.

Yura Lazebnikov, managing partner and co-founder of WePlay Studios. Photo: WePlay Studios

The history of WePlay began in Kyiv with a staff of 12 and a common passion for gaming. Over more than 10 years of work in Ukraine, we have scaled up to 150+ employees and opened offices and high-tech arenas in Kyiv, Ukraine, and Los Angeles, U.S. During this time, our team has acquired an incredible set of skills and world-class expertise that is second to none. With this in mind, our team is ready to take a step forward to new challenges and projects. We are not leaving esports — we are pushing boundaries,” says Yura Lazebnikov, managing partner and co-founder of WePlay Studios.

Based on the company’s new strategy, WePlay Esports is changing its branding and name to WePlay Studios, reflecting the expansion of its activity beyond the realm of esports.

Starting in 2022, WePlay Studios has bolstered its expertise by trying its hand at streaming gaming shows and entertainment events. The company became the strategic partner for the One True King influencer network and the official production partner of Enthusiast Gaming for NFL Tuesday Night Gaming, a first-of-its-kind gaming collaboration bringing together NFL players and legends and top gaming content creators from prominent organizations.

Maksym Bilonogov, chief visionary officer and general producer at WePlay Studios. Photo: WePlay Studios

“Throughout the company’s history, we’ve tried different directions, experimented a lot, and created different products that led us to the one that has become the essence of our current business model — producing content. We’ve built our recognition and awareness around creating iconic events. That is why becoming WePlay Studios is a logical step forward for us,” says Maksym Bilonogov, chief visionary officer and general producer at WePlay Studios.

Iryna Chuhai, chief marketing officer at WePlay Studios. Photo: WePlay Studios

When you play a video game, you represent a character striving for recognition in their community and lead them towards something bigger and more important. Our team works as we play — aiming towards bigger goals. That’s why continuous improvement and evolution are the only way to create awareness among the audience and be remembered by them. The WePlay Studios team is ready to amaze the public even beyond esports. We are ready to prioritize and encourage all the audience’s interests and show how important they are to us,” says Iryna Chuhai, chief marketing officer at WePlay Studios.

The rebranding will take place over the coming months as a series of steps: from naming change and an update of the brand’s visual elements and color palette to overhauling the corporate website and content around the company. The WePlay Studios team will inform about all changes on its official website and social media pages: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Follow the links to stay on top of the upcoming news.

Compliance Updates

LEC Introduces Sporting Financial Regulations



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To support the long-term financial stability and competitive balance of the LEC, the league is going to introduce new financial regulations – known as Sporting Financial Regulations (SFR) – for the start of the 2024 LoL Esports Season.

The LEC SFR will encourage teams to maintain the total sum of its five highest-paid player salaries below a certain threshold, with teams exceeding the threshold having to pay an excess fee (SFR Fee).

In doing so, the LEC seeks to create a financially sustainable environment for its pro players, partnered teams, and the league itself, allowing all parties to grow at a healthy and scalable pace, and protect the ecosystem from unsustainable spending practices. In addition, the framework will support the league by creating a better competitive balance and more engaging competition, further enhancing the experience for players and fans.

“In the current economic climate, we are dedicated more than ever to creating a sustainable future for our players, teams, and the LoL Esports ecosystem in EMEA as a whole. The LEC SFR, which will come into effect from the beginning of the 2024 Season, is one way in which we’re continuing to work towards our goal of long-term financial sustainability. By doing this, we aim to encourage teams to operate more sustainable businesses to provide job security for players and ensure we serve our fans for decades to come,” said Maximilian Peter Schmidt, Director of League of Legends Esports EMEA.

SFR will encourage each team to maintain the total sum of salaries (known as SFR Spend) paid to the top five highest-paid players in a team within a certain range. The range includes both an upper spending threshold (SFR Threshold) and a lower spending threshold (SFR Floor), with the lower spending threshold amounting to 50% of the SFR Threshold. Meanwhile, the SFR Threshold is calculated based on a number of considerations, including LEC player salaries, League Revenue Pool of the current and forecasted years, team financial data – such as revenue and expenses – and other market indicators. Teams that exceed the SFR Threshold will be imposed with an SFR Fee.

An exception will be made to teams if a player enters into a contract with the team either during or before the end of the 2023 LEC Season Finals. In this instance, the SFR Spend will be reduced by one-fifth of the SFR Threshold or the actual salary amount; whichever is lower.

The policy will be introduced starting from the 2024 LEC Global Contract Start Date (21 November 2023), with the first cycle running until the 2024 LEC Global Contract End Date (18 November 2024).

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Abios Powers Nigerian Esports Betting Brand Oyawin with Data and Widgets



Abios Powers Nigerian Esports Betting Brand Oyawin with Data and Widgets
Reading Time: < 1 minutes


As part of Kambi Group, Abios powers Nigerian sports betting brand Oyawin with odds and statistics from the largest matches and tournaments in esports.

Oyawin, the newly launched mobile-first sportsbook, allows Nigerian esports fans to access a wide range of statistics, as well as streams and odds from top esports matches, directly on their phones.

Abios has supplied 1337Pro with data and statistics for the largest esports titles, including CS:GO, Dota 2 and League of Legends, for years. The organisation has expanded from being a media platform to include a sportsbook solution and Oyawin, a sports betting brand registered in Nigeria.

With the help of Abios’ product portfolio, Oyawin can provide a comprehensive esports solution to Nigerian bettors. It is focused on tier 1 esports titles, including CS:GO, League of Legends and VALORANT. With access to Abios’ full portfolio, Oyawin can engage their audiences with engaging content such as player props, data visualisations and embedded streams.

It also features Abios’ esoccer solution, allowing fans to engage with engaging around-the-clock content supported by widgets and streams.

Oskar Bonnevier Fröberg, CEO and Founder of Abios comments: “To support the growth of esports in Nigeria, we’re delighted to supply Oyawin with our esports odds, statistics and data visualisations. It allows Nigerian bettors to discover and get access to engaging content for the largest tournaments in esports.”

Jason Foster, Managing Director of 1337Pro Bet: “Abios data has powered for years, from fixtures, statistics and results to live stream links. We have now extended this success with full odds and trading integration for Oyawin. The platform’s successful launch has given us complete confidence in Abios and our products. We look forward to delighting our sportsbook operators.”

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Global Esports Federation Attends UN and Commonwealth Meetings



Reading Time: 2 minutes


The Global Esports Federation (GEF) has attended the 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting (#10CYMM) in London and the United Nations 78th General Assembly (#UNGA78) in New York City. The GEF actively supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (#GlobalGoals) and emphasises its commitment to youth empowerment and a more connected world.

At the UN Headquarters, the GEF engaged with global youth, world leaders, and organisations showcasing its dedication to the #GlobalGoals. It underlined the opportunity and role in empowering youth and making a societal impact.

As a partner of #SDGdigital, and alongside the ITU Secretary General, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the GEF presented the GameChangers Award, recognising youth-led organisations with innovative solutions for societal challenges.

“Sharing the messages of our community from London to New York City this week has been truly inspiring. Meeting world leaders and members of our global community, we conveyed the message that gaming and esports can be a powerful force for positive change in society, particularly for our youth. While many of us are connected, there are still 2.6 billion people who are not connected and therefore are left behind. The GEF is committed to working with partners worldwide to unlock the full potential of esports for a brighter future for all in our global community,” Paul J. Foster, CEO of the Global Esports Federation, said.

The GEF Vice President, Adrian Lismore, joined the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, at the 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting in London. The Ministerial Outcome Statement included the acknowledgment of the “economic value to the member states and welcome partnership with the Global Esports Federation and other stakeholders to further develop initiatives and projects.”

The summit brought together over 400 delegates, including Ministers, Government and Senior Officials as well as young leaders, to ratify the Marlborough House Commitment, inspiring hope among Commonwealth youth.

The Commonwealth Youth Ministers acknowledged the potential of esports in driving youth engagement, innovation and economic growth, welcoming partnerships with the GEF. They also recognised the role of start-ups, including esports, in employment generation, innovation and technological advancement, pledging support for their growth.

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