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Introducing the Valhallan Esports League: a new competitive gaming experience for youth esports teams in the UK and Europe

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Valhallan Esports League (VHEL), a youth esports league exclusively designed for youth esports with players aged 10-16 years, is excited to announce its launch in the UK and Europe. The new initiative expands the US-based league’s footprint following three years of growth in North America.

This summer season, starting on June 12th, the league is inviting coach-led youth esports teams of 2-5 players to participate for free, in a thrilling opportunity to compete across a variety of popular games. The league is open to teams associated with schools, clubs, community organisations, LAN centres and independent teams.

The league features five highly popular esports titles: Valorant, Overwatch 2, Rocket League, Apex Legends and Fortnite. For this initial season, the registration fee that normally starts from £57 per team per season for non-Valhallan teams is waived, offering a competitive, safe and fun platform for young gamers to showcase their skills and teamwork.

Christopher Baarstad, Vice President of League Operations, said, “After three successful years of shaping the North American youth esports landscape with club teams and scholastic programmes, we’re thrilled to expand our reach and bring the unparalleled VHEL experience to the UK and Europe. Youth teams will have a unique opportunity to compete, develop their skills and foster lasting friendships. The VHEL difference lies in our unique approach, offering a supportive, affordable and anti-toxic league environment that has already attracted over 100 organisations and 2,000 student-players in the US. Now our aim is to create a vibrant gaming community that empowers kids to engage in healthy competition and have fun across the UK and Europe too.”

Registration for the league is open until June 11th, and teams can sign up on the Valhallan Esports League website. Participants will compete against other teams from the UK and Europe throughout the season. Moreover, twice a year, they will also have the opportunity to compete against their counterparts from the US arm of the league, adding an exciting international dimension to the competition.

The Valhallan Esports League is committed to creating a safe, inclusive and enjoyable environment for young gamers, emphasising fair play, sportsmanship and teamwork. With this launch, the organisation looks forward to fostering a thriving esports community for kids across the UK and Europe.

Here’s what coach-led teams in the US like so much about the league:

Safety & Collegiality – the highly moderated Discord server and strict anti-toxicity rules ensure a positive, collegial experience for all participants. VHEL prioritises safety and fair play, relieving the fear and anxiety of allowing kids to play others online, so coaches can focus on what matters most – guiding their teams to a successful, educational and fun season.

Cost Effective – VHEL keeps costs as low as possible to sustain league operations. The pricing model is based on a “team” model as opposed to the notorious “pay per player” model, so that teams are free to use roster cap sizes and substitutes without additional costs.

Unparalleled Support for Teams – VHEL understands the importance of timely assistance, which is why a dedicated support team is available around the clock via Discord, especially during crucial match-up times.

Competitive Divisional Play – forget the standard swiss model – VHEL’s divisional play structure guarantees exciting, evenly matched contests that foster growth and skill development. Divisional champions advance to face other top teams in the playoffs.

eSports

Abios scales up esoccer offering through new data deal with Betinvest

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Abios scales up esoccer offering through new data deal with Betinvest
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Through a new data partnership with Betinvest, Kambi subsidiary Abios gets access to an additional 4,650 matches of esoccer from the tournaments CyberLive!Arena (CLA) and Esport Pro Club (EPC). This allows Abios to power its partners with fast and engaging betting experiences, perfect for sportsbooks looking to capitalise on the combination of digital esports and analogue sports.

Last year, Abios released its esoccer offering featuring an odds feed, widgets and accompanying streams, creating an all-in-one betting experience. It proved to be a popular product for sportsbooks looking to increase live content after big events or during season downtime.

To increase coverage, create a more consistent offering and enable larger customer differentiation, Abios has partnered with sportsbook solutions provider Betinvest. Through the deal, Abios gets access to over 4,650 monthly events across CyberLive!Arena (CLA) and Esport Pro Club (EPC) tournaments.

This allows Abios to price and provide data and streams for an increased number of events, making sure there is live content available in the sportsbook, even during breaks in the seasonal football season.

The events are played in EA Sports’ FC game, formerly known as FIFA, which allows two players to control teams of players on a high-tech, simulated football field. In its simplicity and likeness to football, the game and its esports segment cater to fans of both football and esports, making it a bridge connecting both worlds.

Dariia Petrus, Business Development Team Lead at Betinvest, says: “Looking forward, our partnership is poised for significant growth and innovation. We’ve established a solid base for collaboration, opening up a range of exciting opportunities for us to explore together. The synergy of our shared expertise and efforts sets this venture apart, making it a noteworthy endeavor. This collaboration goes beyond achieving shared goals; it’s about the enriching experiences and mutual growth we’ll achieve along the way. We’re genuinely excited about what lies ahead and eagerly anticipate the start of our joint efforts.”

Oskar Bonnevier Fröberg, Managing Director and Founder of Abios, comments: Abios has recently taken significant strides to facilitate our esoccer product reaching new heights. With proprietary modelling, access to best-in-class data sources and a team of esports experts, we’ve been able to build a reliable odds feed coupled with exciting bet offers.

To help us provide 24/7 content to partners across the globe, we’re thrilled to have Betinvest onboard. With the content they provide, we can ensure even higher flexibility and availability for our partners, ultimately leading to more differentiated and optimised sports betting offerings.”

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Esports World Cup Reveals First Five Game Titles for Summer 2024

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Esports World Cup (EWC) Foundation this week revealed the first five games that will be part of the inaugural Esports World Cup this summer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The addition of Honor of Kings, Counter-Strike 2, Dota 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, StarCraft II to the Summer 2024 program underscores the EWC’s mission of bringing together diverse game communities for a truly global event.

“With a mix of storied PC games and some of the biggest mobile esports titles in the world, Esports World Cup captures the past, present, and future of esports,” said Ralf Reichert, CEO, Esports World Cup Foundation. “StarCraft II, Dota 2, Counter-Strike 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Honor of Kings are all outstanding titles for the Esports World Cup. From the games that foundationally defined this industry, to the premier mobile titles beloved by a new wave of gamers, we are building the World Cup to connect with and elevate clubs, players, fans, and the entire esports community.”

The first set of titles features three games with rich histories central to the global popularization of esports. Franchises like StarCraft built standout esports ecosystems during the early days of the industry, and titles such as Dota have consistently shattered viewership and prize pool records throughout decades of competitive play. Counter-Strike 2 represents a new era for a storied esports title, which remains one of the most popular esports in the world 25 years later.

Mobile games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang lay the foundation for a new frontier of esports – one that leans on the accessibility of the platform and opportunities to host top-tier competition anywhere a 5G signal is available. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is among the most-watched esports in the world by peak viewership, and presents an opportunity to engage an underserved, yet large and diverse, segment of esports fans.

Honor of Kings, the most-played mobile MOBA, is the latest title confirmed for inclusion in the Esports World Cup. Honor of Kings has announced a $15 million commitment to build the game’s international esports ecosystem. In 2024, its esports circuit will feature more tournaments than ever, with over 1000 events across global markets to support the game’s full international launch later this year.

Esports World Cup aims to bring this mix of platforms, genres, and fans together for the largest-ever celebration of gaming as a global sport. Alongside initiatives such as EWC Foundation’s Club Program, announced earlier this month, the tournament will help foster cross-game competition, connecting the audience to their favorite titles and new opportunities for fandom, and facilitating world-class tournaments in dozens of titles.

Participating publishers and games were introduced on social media through related videos that captured not only their unique IP, but the regions that have been integral to their esports history. The campaign highlights the rise of esports as a global sport and the convergence of these regions and their favorite games at the Esports World Cup in summer 2024. The full list of reveals and the cities featured in their CGI reveals to date includes:

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (Shanghai, China)
Dota 2 (Seattle, Washington, USA)
StarCraft II (Seoul, South Korea)
Counter-Strike 2 (Cologne, Germany)
Honor of Kings (Shenzhen, China)
Additional titles will be announced soon.

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DATA.BET unleashed the power of esports at ICE London 2024

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DATA.BET unleashed the power of esports at ICE London 2024
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  • About 63% of esports representatives at the exhibition visited ICE Esports Arena, sponsored by the company

DATA.BET, a leading provider of esports solutions, successfully participated in ICE London 2024, the largest iGaming exhibition, focusing on demonstrating esports potential for betting operators and software providers. This year, all attendees not only discovered recent DATA.BET’s product releases and updates, but also had fun at the sim-racing F1-themed ICE Esports Arena, sponsored by the company.

The arena became a dynamic platform for about 1,500 esports enthusiasts and industry professionals to network and compete in different activities. On each exhibition day, everyone was able to test their racing skills and participate in exciting challenges, such as Pit Stop, VR and Sim-racing and Pro Head-to-Head. During three days, 47 participants managed to get to the finale of the daily tournament, Beat the pro, fighting against professional sim-racers. All finalists of this challenge received branded gifts, and three of them became champions with drones as the main reward.

But not only challenges and prizes ensured a thrilling show for everybody. The DATA.BET’s trading team used the tournament’s live-generated content to produce odds line, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to watch the esports betting creation process.

The esports data provider also became a headliner of the Esports Betting Conference held on February 8 within the ICE VOX. Together with other industry experts, Alex Kozachenko, Chief Product Officer of DATA.BET, explored the significance of delivering reliable data and shared valuable insights in a panel discussion, ‘Stepping Out of Data Beta’.

Alex emphasized, “We were delighted to offer ICE visitors a memorable experience, collaborating with the exhibition organizers. The strategic participation at major iGaming events like ICE is integral for reshaping the esports landscape and reinforcing the DATA.BET’s commitment to unlocking the full potential of esports for operators and software providers. We are not just observing industry trends but actively contributing to the evolution and optimization of esports for the broader audience.”

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