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Team Vitality Moves East with StarCraft II Roster as it Continues Global Expansion

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Leading esports organisation Team Vitality is excited to announce the arrival of a StarCraft II roster within its ranks, diving into the heart of Korean esports culture and the real-time strategy (RTS) scene.

Against a challenging economic backdrop, Team Vitality shines by demonstrating its dynamism. The organisation is thriving, confirming its role as a leader and pioneer at the heart of the global esports ecosystem, while writing a new page in its history, highlighting continued and inspiring growth.

TEAM VITALITY’S STARCRAFT II ROSTER WILL COMPETE AT IEM KATOWICE 2024

The French esports club is embracing one of the most iconic and foundational titles in the esports ecosystem. Formerly known as ONSYDE, Team Vitality’s new StarCraft II roster will make their debut, donned in Vitality’s iconic colours, at IEM Katowice 2024, taking place from February 8-11th in Poland, with the goal of securing multiple titles. Each player on the roster has accumulated several individual titles in the Global StarCraft II League (GSL), with the team itself having claimed victory in every season of the World Team League until 2023.

The roster is composed of:

Kang ‘Solar’ Min-Soo – Zerg – South Korea: Solar stands out as a formidable force in the competitive StarCraft II scene. Known for his innovative playstyle and consistent performance, he has captured the admiration of fans worldwide. With an illustrious career holding multiple GSL titles as well as the most recent season, Solar has cemented himself as one of the best in StarCraft II.
Cho ‘Maru’ Seong-Ju – Terran – South Korea: Maru has established himself as a true prodigy of StarCraft II esports, with the title of youngest player to compete in GSL and winning their first televised game at 13 years old. Since his debut, Maru has consistently proven himself as a dominant force in StarCraft II esports. With numerous championships and accolades under his belt, including multiple GSL titles, Maru’s impact on the esports landscape is nothing short of legendary.
Kim ‘Ryung’ Dong-Won – Terran – South Korea: Beloved by the community, Ryung has consistently performed at the top tournaments, such as GSL and World Team League, over many years which earned him the respect of both players and fans alike. Ryung brings a wealth of experience and a strategic mindset that complements the team’s pursuit of success.
Choi ‘CranK’ Jae-Won – Team Manager – South Korea: CranK is primarily known for his career spanning several years where he showcased the hallmarks of a StarCraft II expert, using highly strategic gameplay with quick and precise decision making. Now a streamer and a coach, CranK continues to be dedicated and passionate about the game. His charismatic personality and love for the community, makes him the perfect candidate to lead the team to dominate the esports scene.
“Entering StarCraft II means associating Team Vitality with the history of global esports. It’s an iconic game that the entire esport ecosystem has grown up with. And as well as rekindling our nostalgia, it’s a great opportunity to open up to a new market as part of our international expansion. We’re going to be partnering with professionals on the scene and players with legendary status. These criteria are essential to Team Vitality’s top performance model. Together, we will work towards the success of the game and become ambassadors to recreate the craze for RTS games.” explains Fabien ‘Neo’ Devide, Co-Founder and President of Team Vitality.

“We are so excited to be partnering with Team Vitality. This is the next step for us as a team, and by sharing insights, knowledge, and resources we can take our roster to the next level and expand our reach to a global audience. Despite ONSYDE being relatively young, we have established ourselves as a dominant force in the StarCraft II scene, and with the support of Team Vitality we hope to continue claiming titles and making our fans proud.” comments Choi ‘CranK’ Jae-Won, Team Manager.

TEAM VITALITY FORGES ITS DEVELOPMENT ON THE GLOBAL ESPORTS SCENE

The launch of this team marks Team Vitality’s ongoing growth in the Asian market following its presence in Mumbai, India, with the incorporation of its Call of Duty: Mobile team in 2021.

This new roster comes at the heels of Team Vitality’s most successful competitive year in history. In 2023, its Counter-Strike team won five major circuit trophies, including the IEM Rio in April, BLAST Major Paris in May, Gamers8 in August, BLAST Fall Finals in November, and rounding off the year claiming victory at the BLAST World Final in December. These outstanding performances earned the team the title of Team of the Year at the HLTV Awards. The Rocket League team made a significant impact by winning the RLCS Spring Europe, the Spring Split Major, and the World Championship, achieving the first perfect split in the game’s history. At the end of the year, Team Vitality was honoured with the coveted title of Esports Organisation of the Year at the Esports Awards.

“Last year was incredibly successful for us, and we’re aiming to maintain the momentum this year by focusing on tier 1 games and seizing exciting opportunities. Our entry into the Asian market puts us in the cradle of esports, offering new opportunities for growth and visibility. We hope to connect with passionate new fans worldwide!” explains Nicolas Maurer, Co-Founder and CEO of Team Vitality.

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eSports

Everything you need to know ahead of ESL Pro League Season 19

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The ESL Pro League (EPL) returns to St. Julian’s, Malta, for Season 19 on April 23 – May 12, 2024. The world’s biggest Counter-Strike league will see teams from around the world arrive on-site for three weeks of non-stop action, and only one team will emerge victorious as Champions.

Here is all you need to know about ESL Pro League Season 19

The 19th Season of the ESL Pro League will see the 32 best Counter-Strike teams compete for a total prize pool of $750,000, a win in the race to secure Intel® Grand Slam V, and a spot at IEM Cologne 2024. Commencing on April 23, contenders from around the globe will face off in Malta for a spot in the Playoffs. There, the six best teams will compete live in front of an intimate live audience at the InterContinental Malta on May 10 – 12, 2024.

Starting with the upcoming season, EPL will see some improvements to its schedule. While the number of teams and the tournament structure remain the same compared to recent seasons, the duration of the tournament has been adjusted to three weeks instead of five. To accommodate this change, two groups will be played simultaneously during the Group Stage, resulting in a more intense story for fans to follow.

Schedule and Format

Group Stage (April 23 – May 5):

  • Four groups of eight teams will compete in separate triple-elimination brackets
    • All matches are best-of-three
  • The top four teams from each group will advance to the Playoffs
    • Group Stage winners advance to the Quarterfinals
    • The Group Stage runner-ups advance to the Round of 12
    • The Group Stage third and fourth-place teams advance to the Round of 16

Playoffs (May 7 – 12):

  • The top sixteen teams will compete in a single-elimination bracket
    • All matches will be best-of-three, excluding the Grand Final which will be best-of-five
    • The third and fourth Quarterfinals, as well as both Semifinals and the Grand Final will be played out live on stage in front of an audience

Teams Attending

  • Astralis (Partner Team)
  • BIG (Partner Team)
  • Complexity (Partner Team)
  • ENCE (Partner Team)
  • FaZe Clan (Partner Team)
  • Fnatic (Partner Team)
  • FURIA (Partner Team)
  • G2 Esports (Partner Team)
  • HEROIC (Partner Team)
  • MOUZ (Partner Team)
  • Natus Vincere (Partner Team)
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (Partner Team)
  • Team Liquid (Partner Team)
  • Team Vitality (Partner Team)
  • Monte (ESL Challenger Jönköping winner)
  • Virtus.pro (ESL Challenger Atlanta winner)
  • SAW (ESL World Ranking)
  • Team Falcons (ESL World Ranking)
  • GamerLegion (ESL World Ranking)
  • BetBoom Team (ESL World Ranking)
  • Eternal Fire (ESL World Ranking)
  • 3DMAX (ECL S46 Europe winner)
  • FORZE (ECL S46 Europe runner-up)
  • M80 (ECL S46 North America winner)
  • BOSS (ECL S46 North America runner-up)
  • The MongolZ (ECL S46 Asia-Pacific winner)
  • TYLOO (ECL S46 Asia-Pacific runner-up)
  • Imperial Esports (South American Qualifier winners)
  • Sharks Esports (South American Qualifier winners)
  • Pera Esports (European Conference winner)
  • Bad News Kangaroos (Oceanic Qualifier winner)
  • FlyQuest (ANZ Champs winner)

Prize Money (USD)

TOTAL $750,000
1st $170,000
2nd $80,000
3rd-4th $45,000
5th-8th $32,000
9th-12th $23,500
13th-16th $17,500
17th-20th $12,000
21st-28th $7,000
29th-32nd $3,500

Broadcast Talent

  • Hosts
    • “Tres “stunna” Saranthus
    • Freya “Freya” Spiers
  • A Stream
    • Jason “moses” O’Toole
    • Janko “YNk” Paunović
    • Mathieu “Maniac” Quiquerez
    • Harry “Harry” Russell
    • Hugo “Hugo” Byron
    • Henry “Henry” Greer
    • Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill
    • Alex “Machine” Richardson
  • B Stream
    • Neo “Ne0kai” Caine
    • Harvey “Skriv” Rodgers
    • Lucy “LucyLuce” Eastwood
    • Brandon “BDog” Rawlings
    • Travis “Trav” Landaw Mott

Where to Watch

The live broadcast will be available on FACEIT Watch, ESL FACEIT Group’s premier esports viewing platform created by esports fans for esports fans and open for all.

Featuring a unique multi-perspective view selector where users can watch their favorite player’s perspective directly next to the main event stream, a live chat, a kill cam, live-generated replays of key moments, a sound mixer, a rewards program, and more, FACEIT Watch revolutionises esports streaming by putting fans in control of their viewing experience.

Fans can also watch the action on the ESL Counter-Strike Twitch and YouTube channels. For those unable to tune in live, all matches will also be available to watch on-demand for free via YouTube.

For more information about ESL Pro League Season 19, and the latest updates on the event, please visit the official website, and follow ESL Counter-Strike on X, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

 

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Team ATK Oshun excels at 2024 Online Championships held on 13 April 2024

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Mind Sports South Africa’s (MSSA) 2024 Online Championships held on 13 April 2024 showed sterling results.
The championship was yet another chance for many esports athletes to qualify for MSSA’s National Team Trials to be held on 25 May 2024 at which the team will be selected to officially represent South Africa at the African Qualifiers which lead up to IESF’s 16th World Esports Championships to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in October and November 2024..

All Registered Players who have finished in the top three places, or the top 20% – whichever is greater, are entitled to enter trials.

However, it must be remembered that all players must have a valid passport to participate in the National Team Trials.

It was indeed exciting to watch just how much all the female teams have improved.

Team ATK Oshun (ATK Club Sport) being a female team astounded all with their skill and sportsmanship. The team demolished all ATK Club Sport opposition to ultimately won the premier event overall and qualify for the National Team trials to be held on 25 May 2025.

IESF’s 15th World Championships will be played to the following titles:

  • Counter-Strike 2
  • Counter-Strike 2 – Female division
  • DotA 2
  • eFootball
  • Mobile Legends, Bang Bang
  • Mobile Legends, Bang Bang – Female division
  • PUBGM

The high standard of play saw 37 Registered Players from six provinces being awarded Provincial Colours. Only Limpopo, Free State, and Northern Cape did not have Registered Players who did not earn provincial colours.

Title Name of player/team Club Provincial Colours awarded
Clash Royale – Premier Johan Coetzee Middies Mpumalanga
Clash Royale – High School Aryan Maharaj PR0NHS
Counter Strike: 2 ATK Oshun
Kaylee Ludick ATK Club Sport Gauteng
Jessica Eleez Greeff ATK Club Sport Gauteng
Christin Brazier ATK Club Sport Gauteng
Megan van der Westhuizen ATK Club Sport Gauteng
Kayhla Rose Calder ATK Club Sport Gauteng
DotA – Premier ZAG DOTA 1
Suhail Khan ZAG Academy Gauteng
Travis John Waters ZAG Academy Western Cape
Mark Kilian Lehle ZAG Academy Gauteng
Mohammad Dhooma ZAG Academy Eastern Cape
Nicholas Dammert ZAG Academy Gauteng
eFootball – Premier Aslam Parker PES Society Gauteng
FIFA 24 – High School Daiyaan Hendricks PES Society Western Cape
Mobile Legends – Premier
Mavericks
Matthew Tatalias Mavericks Gauteng
Damian Bransby Mavericks Western Cape
Preshan Pillay Mavericks Gauteng
Mohammad Azhar Ansari Mavericks KwaZulu Natal
Taygan Gabriel Mavericks KwaZulu Natal
Luke Green Mavericks Western Cape
Mobile Legends – Premier – Female
AHG
Je’nielle Cavanagh PES Society Western Cape
Inez Pringle PES Society Western Cape
Salma Parker PES Society Western Cape
Ra’isha Prout PES Society Western Cape
Fatimah Prout PES Society Western Cape
Mia Anthony PES Society Western Cape
PUBGM
Team uEnvy
Richard Henry ZAG Academy Eastern Cape
La-eeq Arendse ZAG Academy Western Cape
Kyle Dudley ZAG Academy Western Cape
Clayton Leak ZAG Academy Western Cape
Rocket League – Premier – 1 v 1 – Premier Nathan Strange Hoërskool Klerksdorp
Rocket League – Premier – 1 v 1 – High School Luther Peens Hoërskool Klerksdorp
Street Fightter V – Premier Marnus van der Merwe Hoërskool Klerksdorp North West
Tekken 8 Stasch Cloeta Team PlayBell Western Cape
Valorant – Premier
TuksValorant
Tapiwanashe Keith Matema TuksEsports Gauteng
Kyle Halvorsen TuksEsports Gauteng
Jaden Connor Swarts TuksEsports Gauteng
Ronald James Tyler Wheeldon TuksEsports Gauteng
Alejandro Luca Sartini-Kruger TuksEsports Gauteng
Armand Pierre van der Colf TuksEsports Gauteng
Sportsmanship Award Je’nielle Cavanagh PES Society
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Maharashtra Government rewards state’s Asian Games 2022 Esports athletes with INR 10 lakhs; marks historic moment for Indian Esports

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In a groundbreaking move, the Directorate of Sports and Youth Services of the Government of Maharashtra has rewarded a significant amount of INR 10 lakhs to each Esports athlete of the state who represented India in the Asian Games 2022, held in Hangzhou. This marks a historic moment for Indian Esports, as it is the first time any state has included Esports alongside mainstream sports in prize money rewards for its state players in a major tournament. The recipients of this monetary reward include Darshan Bata, captain of the DOTA 2 team, along with his teammates Krish Gupta, Ketan Goyal, and Shubham Goli, as well as League of Legends athlete Samarth Trivedi.

Expressing his gratitude, Darshan Bata, the captain of the DOTA 2 team who hails from Mumbai, said, “I would like to express my sincere thanks to ESFI and the Maharashtra government for honoring us and recognizing and supporting Esports.”

Esports made its debut as a full-fledged medal event at the Asian Games 2022, where a total of 476 athletes from 30 different countries competed for gold medals across seven titles. India participated in four of these titles, including DOTA 2, EA Sports FC Online, League of Legends, and Street Fighter V: Champion Edition.

“It has been a great experience at Asian games, I am grateful for the support I received from the Maharashtra government and I really appreciate the efforts ESFI has contributed to our journey,” stated Ketan Goyal of Pune who was a part of the DOTA 2 team at the Asian Games 2022.

The talented Indian contingent for the Asian Games was sent by Esports Federation of India (ESFI), who had organized open for all nationwide online qualifiers to select the best and most deserving athletes to compete for the nation at the tournament.

“Really happy to see that Esports is getting recognized and we are being aided by the government. Thank you for the support to Maharashtra Government and a big shoutout to ESFI for giving us this opportunity to represent India in the Asian games,” highlighted Krish Gupta of Pune, a member of the Indian DOTA 2 team.

The League of Legends team, in particular, achieved a historic fifth-place finish at the 19th Asian Games after competing against top-tier teams from around the continent.

“I am really grateful to the Maharashtra government for providing us with the financial support. It is amazing to see Esports being recognized by the Government. A huge shoutout to ESFI for giving us the opportunity and platform to compete at the Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou,” commented Samarth Trivedi of Thane who played a pivotal part in the country’s performance in League of Legends at the tournament.

Prior to the 19th Asian Games, India had also secured a remarkable bronze medal at the Commonwealth Esports Championships in DOTA 2, showcasing the country’s prowess in video gaming on the international stage.

“Thank you ESFI and team for all you support throughout Asian games 2022. We are really blessed and honored by Maharashtra Government for supporting Esports players and considering Esports in events like Commonwealth and Asian Games,” noted Shubham Goli, a resident of Pune who represented India at both the Commonwealth Esports Championships as well as the Asian Games 2022 in DOTA 2. The latest FICCI-EY report titled ‘#Reinvent: India’s media & entertainment sector is innovating for the future, India is expected to have 20 international teams by 2024.

The Maharashtra government’s recognition and support of Esports signals a significant milestone in the journey towards mainstream acceptance of competitive gaming as a legitimate sport in the country.

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