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Intel® Extreme Masters Cologne 2023: Local heroes G2 Esports crowned the final Cologne CS:GO Champion at the Cathedral of Counter-Strike

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Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Cologne 2023 has come to a thrilling conclusion, with G2 Esports emerging victorious after an intense battle between 24 of the best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams from around the world. The competition was held from July 26th to August 6th, and the final three days took place in front of more than 37,000 passionate fans at the iconic LANXESS arena in Cologne, Germany.

ESL’s flagship event in LANXESS arena saw many record-breaking moments, with the tournament selling out faster than any other ESL event in Cologne previously, filling the most seats ever as well as capturing the highest average viewership for any other esports event hosted in the German city.

The Play-in Stage began on the 26th July, with 16 teams battling it out for one of the top eight spots. From the 29th July, the Group Stage saw the top eight teams from the Play-in Stage and eight squads that directly qualified, be split into two groups of eight and go head-to-head. The six best teams – Astralis, Cloud9, ENCE, G2 Esports, HEROIC, and Team Vitality –  then proceeded to the live Playoffs on August 4-6, during which they faced off against each other in front of the sold-out LANXESS arena.

The Playoffs had a sensational start with Team Vitality dominating the first Quarter-Final, beating Cloud9 2-0. The second Quarter-Final saw Danish squads HEROIC and Astralis face each other, with the latter emerging victorious in another 2-0 win. The Semi-Finals first saw Finnish and French esports organizations, ENCE and Team Vitality, battle it out for three intense rounds, with ENCE becoming the first team to secure a spot in the Grand Final following a 2-1 win. The second Semi-Final saw G2 Esports dominate, defeating Astralis 2-0 and advancing to the final game of the competition.

The electrifying best-of-5 Grand Final saw G2 Esports control the first two rounds against ENCE, going 2-0 up. ENCE started off strong in map 3, and despite catching up, G2 Esports were unable to secure the win, leading the Grand Final to go into the fourth map.

 

 

After a hard-fought and exciting match, G2 Esports beat ENCE by a score of 3-1 winning the coveted and renowned IEM Cologne trophy, taking home $400,000 of the $1,000,000 total prize pool, and joining Team Vitality and ENCE in the race to securing Intel® Grand Slam V. Moreover, the squad is the first team to secure a spot in the Group Stage of the first ESL Pro Tour (EPT) Championship event in 2024.

G2 Esports Rifler Nikola “NiKo” Kovač also secured his very first EPT DHL MVP award which is judged on a combination of player performance, fan voting, and broadcast talent voting.

Following the win, Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač commented: “This is the biggest trophy of my career – I’m super happy right now! It’s been a long journey to finally get this trophy but it wouldn’t be possible without this team and I’m so happy to have them by my side. I’m really proud of everyone, we kept it cool and calm throughout the whole series and it doesn’t feel real that we managed to win both [EPT Championship] tournaments in the same year. The experience and playing in the LANXESS arena was amazing!

By winning the IEM Cologne 2023 title, the German organization claims two EPT Championship competitions back-to-back in the same year, having secured the IEM Katowice trophy earlier this year as well. Furthermore, G2 Esports’ Justin “jks” Savage once more showed he is a force to be reckoned with, winning his third EPT Championship title in two years’ time.

IEM Cologne 2023 saw a peak viewership of more than 727,000.* Moreover, the live part of the event attracted more than 37,000 fans from 70 different countries over three days.

Next up in the ESL Pro Tour is the ESL Pro Tour Season 18, kicking off on August 31 – October 1. For more information and the latest updates about ESL’s Counter-Strike esports ecosystem, head to the official ESL Pro Tour website, and follow ESL CS on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

eSports

NODWIN(R) Gaming ropes in Android as title partner for BGMS Season 3; to be powered by Garnier Men

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NODWIN® Gaming, South Asia’s leading gaming and esports company has officially announced Android as the Title Partner for India’s premier esports event Battlegrounds Mobile India Series (BGMS) Season 3. Additionally, the tournament will be Powered By leading men’s skincare brand, Garnier Men, marking the first time that Android and Garnier Men have partnered with an Indian esports tournament.

The high-voltage action of Android BGMS Season 3 is being broadcast on Star Sports for the third consecutive year as the nation’s best BGMI squads battle it out for glory. The entire tournament will be played on high-performance Android devices.

Moreover, Crunchyroll, the world’s largest destination for anime and manga, has also joined forces with Android BGMS Season 3 as the anime partner while energy drink brand Red Bull has been onboarded as the Official Energy Drink Partner of Android BGMS Season 3. By leveraging the prominence of the tournament, partners will aim to engage with its widespread audience, while also elevating the overall experience for players and fans alike.

Anshuman Wanchu General Manager, Marketing, Garnier, L’Oréal India said, “We are delighted to partner with the BGMI Masters Series 2024. It is an incredible opportunity for us as this collaboration allows us to connect with the dynamic and passionate gaming and youth community in a meaningful manner. As a brand committed to innovation and excellence, we look forward to some incredible showcases in season 3 of BGMS. With this partnership, we aim to empower gamers to elevate not only their game, but also their skin care routine, and inspire them to achieve their best, both in the arena as well as in their daily lives.”

The tournament has also continued its association with TVS Raider, the sporty commuter motorcycle from TVS Motor Company as the Official Mobility Partner and Philips OneBlade, the male grooming product of Philips India as the competition’s Official Styling Partner.

Commenting on the partnership, Aniruddha Haldar – Senior Vice President (Marketing) – Commuters, Media and Corporate Brand commented, “We at TVS Motor company had Collaborated previously with Nodwin Gaming to help us develop a close connect with the Gaming audience – we are pleased to share that this collaboration has helped us to gain brand love, better connect to the gaming audience during and post the previous season. We are back again to announce yet another collaboration with Nodwin Gaming for the BGMI Master Series 3, this is in view to further strengthen our connect and engagement with the gaming audience.”

“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Android, Garnier Men and Redbull for the highly anticipated third season of BGMS. Having such notable partners whose vision for the growth and development of competitive gaming in India mirrors our own, is a tremendous asset. Their involvement not just highlights the emergence of esports as a mainstream sport but also the massive potential of youth engagement in this field. Together, we are confident in our ability to provide the necessary resources and visibility required to nurture and promote esports talent nationwide,” stated Akshat Rathee, Co-founder and Managing Director, NODWIN® Gaming.
The opening weekend of Android BGMS Season 3 was a resounding success, recording peak concurrent viewership exceeding 140,000 on digital platforms. The tournament commenced with a three-day Opener Week, where all 24 teams—20 invited and 4 qualified— were in action at the Android Arena in Chhatarpur, New Delhi.
The top 18 teams led by table toppers Team 8Bit, and consistent performers OneBlade, IQOO Soul and Team X Spark progressed to the League Week. They were joined by Team Z and Godlike Esports who were selected through audience voting from the bottom six. Meanwhile, Team Limra, Gujarat Tigers, Viking Esports and FS Esports were eliminated from the competition.

During the League Week from July 22 to August 4, the 20 teams will compete in the Survival Week and Domination League stages. The top 4 teams will secure direct qualification for the Finals, while the remaining 16 teams will participate in the playoffs scheduled for August 6 and 7. In the grand finale from August 9 to August 11, the top 12 teams from the Playoffs, along with the 4 best teams from the League Week, will compete to fight for the BGMS Season 3 title.

Adding a touch of innovation, this season also includes three exciting formats –

1) Powerplay (Active throughout the tournament) – Squads will earn double points for each finish they achieve in the first circle of every match.

2) Bounty (Active during the League Weeks – Survival week and Domination week) – The top 4 squads from the overall standings of League Week one, followed by the top four in each subsequent match will carry a bounty. Teams can earn bonus points only by eliminating an entire squad with bounty on them, with 10 points per squad.

3) Impact Player (Active during the weekend matches of the League Stage: July 27-28 and August 3-4) – The in-game leader (IGL) of each squad will conduct a random draw to designate an Impact Player who will earn double points for each finish they achieve. Teams will earn four points for every finish by the Impact Player during Powerplay.

“Going beyond traditional tournament formats, our new concepts are designed not only to heighten the intensity of the tournament for players and viewers but also to set a new standard for esports in India. These innovations aim to push the boundaries of competitive gameplay, and I am incredibly excited to see this new format unfold. Similar to traditional sports tournaments, Android BGMS Season 3 will produce memorable, nail-biting moments and games decided by the smallest of margins. We will witness players rise to the occasion, carrying their teams to victory,” added Akshat Rathee.

The teams who will be advancing to the League Week of Android BGMS Season 3 are as follows: Team 8Bit, OneBlade, IQOO Soul, Team X Spark, REVENANT, Entity, Gods Reign, Team Forever, Reckoning Esports, Carnival Gaming, Raven Esports, WSB GAMING, VASISTA ESPORTS, TEAM ORANGUTAN, Global Esports, MOGO eSports, Team Tamilas, Carpediem, Team Z and Godlike Esports.

Fans can catch all the action of Android BGMS Season 3 on Star Sports 2 (HD & SD) in English and Star Sports First in Hindi from Monday to Saturday from 7:00 PM. On league week Sundays, Playoffs and Finals, the broadcast will be from 6:30 PM. Fans will also have the option to switch to Tamil & Hindi commentary on SS2 using the blue button.

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eSports

INSPIRED LAUNCHES RE-PLAY ESPORTS™ FEATURING CS:GO IN PARTNERSHIP WITH KAIZEN GAMING

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INSPIRED LAUNCHES RE-PLAY ESPORTS™ FEATURING CS:GO IN PARTNERSHIP WITH KAIZEN GAMING
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Inspired Entertainment, Inc., a leading B2B provider of gaming content, systems, and solutions, is delighted to announce the launch of Re-Play eSports™ featuring Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (“CS:GO”) with premium online sports betting and gaming brand, Betano.

Betano is owned by Kaizen Gaming, one of the biggest GameTech companies in the world, that is active with the Betano brand in multiple markets in Europe, South & North America and Africa and operates the Stoiximan brand in Greece and Cyprus.

Betano is the first brand to launch Re-Play eSports™. The innovative launch marks a major leap into the evolving landscape of sports betting. The game blends traditional Virtual Sports with fixed odds eSports, offering continuous 24/7 eSports events through Inspired’s certified Virtual Sports platforms.

Re-Play eSports™ showcases footage taken exclusively from CS:GO’s global tournament, the Champion of Champions Tour, which includes professional teams from across the globe. The official in-game data and video feeds that power Re-Play eSports™ are provided by GRID, a game data platform that specializes in providing in-game data solutions for the eSports and gaming industry.

CS:GO is a well-known and popular tactical multiplayer first-person shooter video game. In Re-Play eSports™, two teams go head-to-head to battle it out. Bets are offered on a variety of possible outcomes including which team will win, which team will get the first kill and total number of survivors.

“eSports is a rapidly evolving recreational activity with a global audience now exceeding 500 million.      Kaizen Gaming one of the industry’s leading operators, continues to recognize the incremental revenue potential that our products can generate, in both Virtual Sports and eSports betting,” said Ian Freeman, Chief Commercial Officer of Virtual Sports at Inspired. “By integrating Virtual Sports with eSports, we are tapping into an entirely new market, offering a wealth of game-changing opportunities. This not only attracts new players, but also provides our current players with an exhilarating new gaming experience.”

“We are the first operator to launch Re-Play eSports™ with Inspired, a company known for their innovative content production,” said Vangelis Kalloudis, Gaming Senior Product Manager at Kaizen Gaming. “Re-Play eSports complements our existing collection of Virtual Sports and opens up a whole new category of sports betting that allows us to expand our reach beyond the traditional realm of Virtual Sports, ensuring we are constantly enriching our customers experience.”

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Skyesports unveils open-for-all THE FINALS Online Community Cup with a $10,000 prize pool

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Skyesports, a premier global IP and community builder for gaming and esports, has announced THE FINALS Online Community Cup, a $10,000 open-for-all esports tournament giving a chance to every player from India to go pro.

Registrations for THE FINALS Online Community Cup are currently open. Players from every nook and corner of the country can register for the tournament. For players who don’t have a team, they can scout for one through the official THE FINALS India – Skyesports Discord server.

The tournament will be played on the exciting and fast-paced 5v5 Terminal Attack mode, the same mode that THE FINALS Esports Revolution Showdown was played in where Team Mortal defeated Team Scout in the Finals to become the champion.

Commenting on the tournament, Shiva Nandy, Founder and CEO, Skyesports, said, “After wrapping up THE FINALS Esports Revolution Showdown LAN event in Chennai, we have been bringing constant showdowns along with cafe events across the country. The community, however, has been demanding an open-for-all esports tournament, where they can showcase their skills. This is where THE FINALS Online Community Cup comes in. This is the first open tournament for THE FINALS in India and we are thrilled to announce a prize pool of $10,000 to support grassroots-level esports.”

All registered teams in THE FINALS Online Community Cup will compete across the Group Stage and the Playoffs to determine the India champions. With several prominent esports organizations already showing interest in THE FINALS, the cup will also serve as a scouting ground for the upcoming talent in this FPS title.

Certain matches from the Group Stage and the entire Playoffs will be live-streamed on THE FINALS India and Skyesports YouTube channel.

 

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