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Blizzard Entertainment® and ESL FACEIT Group Announce Multi-Year Exclusive Esports Deal

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Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., makers of the massive free-to-play first-person shooter Overwatch 2, and ESL FACEIT Group (EFG), the leading esports and video game entertainment company, today announced a multi-year agreement that will bring the next chapter of the game’s esports to life through the Overwatch Champions Series (OWCS).

The OWCS offers an esports circuit that is open, always-on, and global, marking a historic new chapter for Blizzard’s first-person shooter. The international competition circuit is open to players across North America; Europe, the Middle East, North Africa (EMEA); and Asia.

 

 

In addition to establishing EFG as the premier operator of the OWCS, the deal enables Blizzard Entertainment to take advantage of EFG’s full suite of properties to create an open, inclusive, and sustainable competitive community.

“A thriving esports scene is important to a game as competitive as Overwatch 2, and we’re very excited to be entering this next era for the franchise with EFG,” said Jared Neuss, Executive Producer of Overwatch 2.

“OWCS introduces a new era of Overwatch esports while honoring the traditions and passion built by Overwatch esports,” said Craig Levine, Co-CEO, ESL FACEIT Group. “Together with Blizzard Entertainment, EFG is well-positioned to create a truly global experience on the FACEIT platform and at DreamHack festivals.”

 

The Future of Overwatch 2 Esports

EFG will operate the Overwatch Champions Series in EMEA and North America. An Asia OWCS circuit will operate under WDG, a leading esports tournament organizer based in Korea.

Each region will have its own set of open qualifiers and tournaments, culminating with two live in-person international events to bring together the players and fans across the world. More details on qualification processes are available on PlayOverwatch .com.

 

Live Pinnacle Events at DreamHack Festivals

The OWCS will feature two tentpole tournaments in 2024 hosted at EFG’s immersive gaming lifestyle festival DreamHack. First, eight of the world’s top teams will head to Dallas from May 31 – June 2 for the DreamHack Dallas Major, a double-elimination tournament featuring eight of the world’s top teams.

Later in the year, teams from all three regions will come together for the World Finals at DreamHack Stockholm from November 22-24 in Sweden for the first live Tier 1 Overwatch competition in Europe in more than five years. Eight teams will compete for the first-ever OWCS championship title.

 

FACEIT: An Open and Sustainable Overwatch 2 Esports Infrastructure

FACEIT, the world’s leading platform for competitive gaming, will provide an open infrastructure for all amateur and pro players in the Overwatch 2 community. Users will be able to take advantage of FACEIT’s community features to find a network of players to connect with and events of all scales to compete in.

FACEIT will offer a rich and consistent schedule of events and content that creates a clear path to pro play for aspiring OWCS stars. Furthermore, the platform will support tournament organizers and community leaders looking to produce third-party competitions and community experiences.

 

Stay tuned as additional information about next year’s tournaments, including formats, ticket sales, prize pools, and more will be announced.

Head over to the official website and follow the latest OWCS updates on PlayOverwatch .com, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and Facebook.

For more general information, check out eslfaceitgroup .com and follow EFG on LinkedIn.

eSports

Oddin.gg fuels Dafabet with its esports odds feed and a variety of fast betting content including eCricket

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Oddin.gg is proud to announce its new partnership with Dafabet, a globally recognized platform and online betting powerhouse with global reach. Oddin.gg’s awarded odds feed has further improved the offer of one of the world’s biggest online bookmakers.

Dafabet stands out as one of the premier online betting platforms, boasting a vast, worldwide user base and a top-quality selection of offerings. With the integration of Oddin.gg’s comprehensive suite of esports products, Dafabet will enhance its esports betting experience for bettors by providing creative, esports-only markets and superior betting odds.

Leveraging Oddin.gg’s cutting-edge odds feed, known for its reliability, industry-leading uptime, and profitability, Dafabet will offer an enriched betting experience. The Dafa Sports betting site will also feature Oddin.gg’s fast betting content, including eFootball, eBasketball, and a unique eCricket.

Additionally, it will introduce a globally unique Counter Strike 2, 1 on 1 format and both male and female versions of a fast-paced table tennis betting product.

By incorporating Oddin.gg’s advanced technology, Dafabet will expand its esports markets, offering a broader range of options to its users regardless of their preferred platform: desktop, Android, iOS. This integration not only enriches Dafabet’s esports portfolio but also sets a new industry standard, combining Dafabet’s robust betting infrastructure with Oddin.gg’s expertise in esports betting.

James Barnfather, Head of Sports at Dafabet, comments: “With the esports industry skyrocketing, a trend we’ve already observed in our sportsbook, we recognized the need to supercharge our offerings to match market demand. Choosing Oddin.gg was an easy choice due to their unparalleled expertise and ideal product suite for our needs. This new alliance with Oddin.gg empowers us to intensify our commitment to esports betting globally. We have been eagerly anticipating the launch of these enhanced features for our players. On top of it, we see great potential in a 24/7 eCricket solution in line with growing appetite for cricket betting, yet lacking enough content such as football. The product is a perfect solution to fill the gaps. On the integration side, we have collaborated with various partners, and the feedback on Oddin’s integration has been overwhelmingly positive. Our team rates it as one of the best experiences, noting the prompt and precise responses.

Marek Suchar, Managing Director and Co-founder at Oddin.gg, explained why he is enthusiastic about the partnership: “We are really excited about this partnership with such a strong and well-known traditional brand. We admire the top expertise of Dafabet’s team combined with the massive community impact they have with their sponsorships. We feel honored to bring the most engaging esports betting experience to all Dafabet’s clients globally. Dafabet is also renowned for their commitment to responsible gaming and integrity which is in line with our long-term vision for the esports industry.”

 

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eSports

Play By The Rules: Esports Legal Forum Announced for ESI Lisbon 2024

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ESI Events is proud to announce the launch of “Play By The Rules,” a pioneering legal forum dedicated to the esports sector, taking place as part of ESI Lisbon from September 23rd to 25th, 2024.

In cooperation with international lawyers Leonid Shmatenko (Eversheds Sutherland) and Rodolphe Ruffié-Farrugia (Clifford Chance) as well as Esports Legal News, this inaugural event aims to set the standard for esports-focused legal conferences worldwide.

Event Overview

ESI Events and the co-organizers intend for “Play By The Rules” to provide an unparalleled platform for legal professionals (attorneys, inhouse-lawyers, academics, and students), industry stakeholders, and esports enthusiasts to delve into the complex legal landscape of the esports sector. With a focus on player contracts, intellectual property, governance and regulation, streaming rights, and more, the forum promises a rich agenda filled with topical, fresh, and insightful discussions.

Key Dates

  • September 24, 2024: Play By The Rules Conference (Concurrent with ESI Lisbon Day 1 and taking place at the same venue)
  • September 25, 2024: Exclusive access for PBTR speakers, sponsors, and VIP guests to ESI Lisbon Day 2 and the SBC Summit

Themes and Focus Areas

“Play By The Rules” will cover a broad spectrum of legal questions affecting the global esports industry, through stage talks, roundtable discussions and focussed group networking, with an emphasis on creating actionable takeaways for attendees. Key areas of discussion will include:

  • Player contracts and rights
  • Intellectual property challenges
  • Governance and regulatory frameworks
  • Streaming and broadcasting rights
  • Dispute resolution mechanisms

Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend our evening social event, the ESI Film Festival at the MEO Arena with top quality food and beverage, gaining detailed insights into esports, gaming and intersecting industries as we shine a light on stories behind the screens.

ESI Lisbon 2024 Highlights

Running alongside the SBC Summit, which anticipates over 25,000 attendees, ESI Lisbon will feature:

  • Esports Leaders Summit
  • ESI Film Festival
  • ESI Hall of Fame
  • Checkpoint
  • The Clutch

Already confirmed attendees at ESI Lisbon include;

  • Formula One
  • Savvy Games
  • UNICEF
  • Samsung Ads
  • OverActive Media
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • Radisson Hotel Group
  • Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One
  • Twitch
  • BLAST
  • ESL FACEIT Group
  • Chess.com
  • Electronic Arts
  • Ubisoft
  • City Football Group
  • Visit Raleigh
  • Team Liquid
  • Moonton
  • Visit Qatar
  • OG Esports
  • Wasserman
  • & many, many more

Sam Cooke, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Esports Insider said: “We are thrilled to launch ‘Play By The Rules’ in partnership with Leonid Shmatenko of Eversheds Sutherland and Rodolphe Ruffié-Farrugia of Clifford Chance as part of ESI Lisbon 2024. Our new esports legal forum represents a first and important step in addressing the complex legal challenges within the esports industry, providing a dedicated forum for discussion, innovation, and actionable solutions. By bringing together the brightest minds in esports law, we aim to set a new standard for legal excellence in this rapidly evolving sector.”

Leonid Shmatenko, Senior Associate at Eversheds Sutherland and Founder of Esports Legal News: “After an extensive search for a comparable event in the market, I found numerous conferences that addressed video games law but none that focused specifically on the unique legal challenges in esports. Esports is a rapidly growing field with its own set of legal considerations, and it is high time we had a dedicated platform to address these issues. I approached ESI with this concept and their enthusiasm and commitment to excellence made them the perfect partner. Together, we aim to set new standards in the esports law conference world, providing invaluable insights and fostering a deeper understanding of the legal landscape in esports.”

Rodolphe Ruffié-Farrugia, Counsel at Clifford Chance and co-founder of Esports Legal News: “For years now, esports has been a booming industry and we have witnessed the emergence of a wide variety of professional stakeholders, including the players themselves, their teams, the leagues, tournament organisers… Yet, the legal industry has not been as quick in adapting to the unique needs and high stakes at play in esports, no doubt because lawyers and gamers tend to evolve in different worlds. Knowing well these communities from within both personally and professionally, I have made it a mission years ago to build bridges between them. I feel very lucky to have found like-minded peers in Leonid and ESI to create this first-of-its-kind summit, a turning point in bringing esports and the law together.”

Do not miss the opportunity to be part of the unmissable B2B esports, games and creator economy event and industry festival at ESI Lisbon. Secure your spot now with early bird tickets (Secure 33% off until August 23rd!)

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eSports

OG Esports Partners with PARI

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OG Esports has partnered with esports betting brand PARI in a deal which aims to enhance the customer experience.

OG Esports, also known as OG, is a professional esports organisation based in Europe. The new collaboration has promised to bring exclusive content, exciting events, as well as unique opportunities.

Sujoy Roy, Head of Partnerships at OG Esports, said: “Partnering with PARI is an incredible opportunity. Their forward-thinking approach matches our vision of delivering unparalleled experiences to our fans. We’re excited to bring fresh and exciting opportunities to the esports scene.”

Sergey Glamazda, CEO of PARI Esports, said: “We are thrilled to partner with OG, the legendary international team and two-time winner of The International! OG consistently surprises and performs at a high level across all esports titles. It is a great honor to collaborate with an organization led by Ceb and N0tail!”

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