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Esports Players League Aims for Accelerated Growth with Esports During the Lockdown, Enters into a Strategic Partnership with Paytm First Games

George Miller

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Esports Players League Aims for Accelerated Growth with Esports During the Lockdown, Enters into a Strategic Partnership with Paytm First Games
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Esports Players League (ESPL), the new global esports tournament network and platform has entered into a strategic partnership with Paytm First Games, India’s leading gaming destination.

Paytm First Games is India’s fastest growing gaming destination and sees more than half a million daily active gamers on the platform, spending anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes per session. It has witnessed 200 percent growth in the last month, with over 75,000 new users joining the platform every day. Paytm First Games is the digital gaming platform of Gamepind Entertainment Private Limited, which is a joint venture between AGTech Holdings Limited and One97 Communications Limited, which is the parent company of India’s largest digital payments & financial services platform Paytm (valued at $17 billion).

With its strong position, Paytm First Games will introduce ESPL’s unique, mobile and online focussed tournaments to gaming enthusiasts in India. It will oversee the rollout of ESPL’s amateur esports platform in India and execute tournaments, acquire users, secure local sponsorship and partnership deals, and create local media content. ESPL will support Paytm First Games’ efforts by delivering the complete tech solution, global sponsorships, media deals, and winning esports strategy. The first ESPL season is scheduled from May to November 2020.

ESPL’s tournaments platform is largely online focussed and is expected to gain traction in the current global COVID-19 pandemic situation that has forced more than 1 billion people to stay at home due to the various movement restrictions imposed by governments.

“India has over 300 million gamers and will roll out 5G connectivity in 2020, making the country a key market for ESPL’s rapidly expanding network of amateur esports tournaments that create a bedroom-to-champion pathway for online gamers,” said ESPL CEO Michael Broda. “We can’t think of a better-positioned partner than Paytm for our expansion into the highly-desirable Indian mobile gaming market.”

Sudhanshu Gupta, COO – Paytm First Games said, “As malls, movie theatres and popular hangout options shut down temporarily in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, online gaming is picking up as a popular option for stay at home entertainment. E-sporting is fast expanding its gamer base in India. Our partnership with ESPL focuses on grass-root amateur leagues and the mobile esports space. This partnership will help us to launch the unique esports tournaments in India that will further expand the online gaming landscape in India.”

ESPL is a global esports tournament platform provider focused on creating mobile and online ecosystems for amateur esports leagues globally. Through ESPL’s national franchise model, up-and-coming esports talents can easily participate in global competitions. By facilitating grassroots participation in what is a rapidly expanding market, ESPL has direct access and exposure to a large, valuable and often overlooked segment of the esports industry.

Phase one of ESPL’s global roll-out has yielded franchise partnership agreements in Southeast Asia and Latin America. ESPL also entered its first media partnership with eGG Network, the largest esports TV network in Southeast Asia and Australia that reaches approximately 100 million TV viewers. ESPL will announce additional key international partnerships soon.

ESPL is co-founded by former eSports.com CEO Michael Broda, Kin Wai Lau, founder of iCandy Interactive Limited (ASX: ICI), and Datuk Azrin Bin Mohd Noor of behavioral data and technology firm Sedania Innovator Berhad. eSports.com is a leading global esports media company, and iCandy Interactive is a mobile game developer that serves a community of 350 million gamers.

Asia

AESF Partners with Coventry University UK

Niji Narayan

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AESF Partners with Coventry University UK
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The Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) has signed an official memorandum which sees them officially collaborating and working together with Coventry University.

Following a meeting with representatives from Coventry University, both parties have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU focuses on four vital aspects, which include a series of planned Webinars, as well as industry research collaboration on topics of interests and Esports governance.

“I would like to celebrate this close relationship we are forming with Coventry University, one of the UK’s most esteemed educational institutions. Not only does it benefit the AESF and our member associations, but it also opens the doors to many more potential partnerships from academia going forward,” Kenneth Fok, president of AESF, said.

“This will not only be beneficial to our athletes but also various stakeholders in this industry. We look forward to supporting our Esports community as well as future talents for their growth and further development in collaboration with Coventry University,” He added.

The AESF and Coventry University will also be looking to create more student experiences, including potential internship programmes and the production of case studies on Esports. The meeting between both parties discussed more opportunities for course development, which includes introductory sessions on Esports and support in the development of course topics for the curriculum.

“Coventry University’s expertise in sports management and business studies will help further support our Member Associations, players, and officials in developing content around the education of Esports. This collaboration not only signifies AESF’s continuous effort in supporting this industry, but it also reflects Coventry University’s dedication and commitment to adapting and keeping up with the times,” Sebastian Lau, Director General of AESF, said.

“We are delighted to have reached this key milestone in developing this crucial partnership for the university. We understand the importance of esports globally and in Asia particularly and are delighted at the opportunity to work with the AESF to support the athletes, players, officials and associations who make up this vibrant community as it continues its rapid growth and innovation,” David Pilsbury, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, said.

“We are proud to lay down the foundation of a long-lasting partnership with the AESF, that offers tremendous opportunities in terms of students’ experience. This agreement will also foster the development of impactful, multi-disciplinary research on this fast-changing and growing sector,” Simon Gérard, Course Director, MSc Sport Management, said.

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Asia

Vietnam Police Bust $859 Million Online Gambling Ring

Niji Narayan

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Vietnam Police Bust $859 Million Online Gambling Ring
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Vietnam Police have busted an online gambling ring worth$859 million in northern Hung Yen Province, leading to 20 arrests.

Police seized several mobile phones, computers, SIM cards and around VND2 billion ($85,963) in cash as evidence. Authorities also froze over 100 bank accounts involved in the case.

The ring, operating millions of accounts since 2018, is the largest in Hung Yen yet uncovered, provincial police said.

Among the arrests, Le Tuan Vinh, 32, Tran Thi Ngan, 30, Hoang Van Tan, 32 and Hoang Van Nham, 28, are considered the masterminds.

The four masterminds managed five level-one agencies via five different gambling websites, with its server located outside Vietnam.

Each website would have around 20 level-one agencies assigned to it and each level-one agency would have dozens of level-two agencies below, all spread across the country.

These agencies display gamblers’ personal info like phone numbers or social media accounts publicly, so that players can get in touch with each other and perform transactions. The investigation is ongoing.

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Asia

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi Keen to Publish IR Implementation Policy in August

Niji Narayan

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Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi Keen to Publish IR Implementation Policy in August
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Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has issued a statement urging the central government to push ahead with releasing its basic policy on IRs so the candidate city can stick to its own IR schedule.

Commenting at a city council meeting on the fact that Yokohama is yet to publish its own implementation policy, Hayashi said, “I believe the central government knows that Yokohama would like to make its announcement in August.

“In principle, if the government publishes [the basic policy], we can make the August schedule. But if the country cannot issue its basic policy, we will have to rethink this.”

Currently, the application period for candidate locations and operators to submit their bids to the central government is set for January to July 2021.

The mayor described this as a “really tough schedule,” suggesting there could be further delay to the city’s implementation policy draft.

In April, Yokohama postponed its implementation policy publication from June to August to prioritise measures against the spread of COVID-19. Mayor Hayashi commented that changing the schedule was not ideal considering the implications for the operators, but did not go as far as requesting a schedule change from the central government.

Kazuyoshi Akaba, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, said in a press conference that, “[confirmation from each local government has been obtained] and currently none of the local administrations are saying that it poses an obstacle.

“The basic policy draft will be decided in consultation with the relevant ministries and agencies. Currently discussions with the Casino Administration Committee have yet to reach a conclusion.”

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