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Formula 1 drivers joined by cricket and football stars for Virtual Grand Prix at Brazil’s Interlagos

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Formula 1 drivers joined by cricket and football stars for Virtual Grand Prix at Brazil's Interlagos
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Formula 1 drivers Alex Albon, Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi and Charles Leclerc will be joined by stars from cricket and football for this weekend’s virtual race at the Interlagos Circuit.

England cricketers Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes will take to the grid for this weekend’s Virtual Grand Prix alongside A.C. Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli, where they will battle it out alongside Formula 1 stars in the fourth virtual race of the season, with more names to be announced in the coming days.

Broad, who will be racing for Scuderia AlphaTauri, will be looking to beat his England teammate Stokes, who is racing in his second virtual Grand Prix for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing alongside Alex Albon.

Sunday’s race will fall on the weekend originally scheduled for the 2020 return of the Dutch Grand Prix, however as Circuit Zandvoort is not available on the F1 2019 videogame, the choice of circuit was left to a fan vote on social media. Brazil’s Autódromo José Carlos Pace, also known as Interlagos, emerged as the clear winner, securing more 50% of the 40,000 votes cast. Drivers will join the race remotely, with a host broadcast live from the Gfinity Esports Arena from 6:00pm (BST) on Sunday May 3.

The Virtual Grand Prix Series has proven immensely popular with fans around the world with the Bahraini, Vietnamese and Chinese virtual GPs cumulating over 12.9m views across F1’s digital platforms. When combined with television estimates, more than 16m people have tuned in for the three races to date.

The broadcast which will be available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch, Weibo and Facebook channels, is expected to run for 1 hour 30 minutes, with a qualifying period where grid positions will be determined based on the drivers’ fastest lap time, followed by a 28-lap race. The Virtual Grand Prix will

also be broadcast live with international broadcast partners in over 100 countries including in the UK on Sky Sports, in the US on ESPN, and FOX Sports Asia across Southeast Asia.

The F1 Esports Pro Exhibition race will precede the Virtual Grand Prix – and is set to begin at 5:00pm (BST). The broadcast will be available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels as well as selected TV broadcasters and is expected to run for 1 hour.

Julian Tan, Head of Digital Business Initiatives and Esports said:

“We are delighted that so many fans are watching and engaging with the F1 Esports Virtual Grands Prix. The viewership continues to go from strength to strength, outlining the growing success of the races and the wider potential of Formula 1 in esports. Furthermore, we are thrilled to welcome more stars from outside the world of F1, to complement our strong F1 and motorsport driver grid, and use this opportunity to link up with other sports as we all stand together to give fans something to cheer about during these difficult times.”

Asia

Aurora Gaming Crowned Champions of $350,000 Skyesports Masters 2024, Earns Spot in Skyesports Championship

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Aurora Gaming has been crowned the champions of the Skyesports Masters 2024, defeating OG 3-1 in an intense Grand Finals. With this victory, the team will take home $105,000 of the $350,000 prize pool and secure a slot in the next tournament of the 2024 Skyesports Counter-Strike 2 roadmap, the Skyesports Championship 2024.

The Skyesports Masters 2024 took place from April 8 to 14, featuring eight teams from India and Europe competing for the lion’s share of the substantial prize pool.

Coming in after a first-place finish at the Skyesports Grand Slam 2024 in Pune, India, last month, Aurora Gaming were on a hot streak and favored to win it all. The Siberian team had a dominant run throughout the upper bracket, achieving first place.

Facing Aurora in the Grand Finals was OG. The team had already lost to Aurora in their opening game of the Skyesports Masters and had to navigate through a high-stakes lower bracket, eliminating ENCE, Ninjas in Pyjamas, BIG, and BetBoom to reach the Grand Finals.

Aurora proved to be the stronger team this time as well, with a decisive 3-1 finish. The map-wise results were as follows:

● Anubis: 13-6 (Aurora Gaming)

● Mirage: 11-13 (OG)

● Ancient: 13-10 (Aurora Gaming)

● Overpass: 13-3 (Aurora Gaming)

In a post-match interview, Aurora’s Evgeniy “Norwi” Ermolin expressed gratitude to the team’s fans, stating, “I am feeling really good; we played really well today. Thank you for watching, for the support, and for everything. We will continue trying our best and look forward to playing some LAN.”

The Skyesports Masters 2024 reached a peak viewership of 41,833, a significant increase from the previous year, according to Esports Charts. Counter-Strike esports in India was given a revival through the 2023 and inaugural edition of the Skyesports Masters, the Playoffs for which happened in Bangalore, India. Skyesports has also announced that the Skyesports Masters will return for its third edition in the summer of 2025 with a six digit prize pool.

With this victory, Aurora Gaming has secured a slot in the Skyesports Championship 2024, the details of which will be announced later. It’s the next tournament in Skyesports’ 2024 Counter-Strike 2 esports roadmap, which has paved the way for international teams to look at the tournaments as viable IPs for them to participate in.

Commenting on the Skyesports Masters 2024, Shiva Nandy, Founder and CEO of Skyesports, said, “Congratulations to Aurora Gaming for winning the Skyesports Masters 2024. With more than 40,000 concurrent viewers, the tournament has made a significant impact in the global Counter-Strike 2 esports ecosystem, and I couldn’t be more excited for the future. Up next, we will bring another elite tournament, the Skyesports Championship 2024, which will be the sixth edition of this IP and the first time that Counter-Strike 2 will be a part.”

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eSports

Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov is a New Virtus.pro Player

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Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov (pictured), one of the most decorated and famous players in CS2, a Major champion and winner of the Intel Grand Slam, is moving to Virtus.pro.

“The arrival of star players always generates excitement within the club and among its fans,” the Chief Executive Officer for Virtus.pro, Nikolai Petrossian, said. “Denis is a well-known figure in the world of eSports with an impressive list of major victories and exceptional skill. Few players won both at Major and Intel Grand Slam events.

“Our CS2 roster is strong thanks to teamwork, a clearly defined playstyle and the individual talents of our players. Transferring players with outstanding skills to improve specific areas is a common practice in sports. I am confident that Denis joining will give a powerful boost to the team in the upcoming challenges in Dallas, London and beyond.

“Denis will replace Nikolay ‘mir’ Bityukov in the VP lineup. Nikolay has been a loyal and valuable member of our team and we express our gratitude for his contributions. Nikolay ‘mir’ Bityukov is open to offers from other teams.”

“Virtus.pro is a top team,” Sharipov said. “The core of the roster has won a Major not a while ago and all the players are in their prime and ready for victories right now. We share the same ambitions and goals. Besides, I’m also excited about the idea of playing with Jame as he’s one of the most unique IGLs in the game. Can’t wait to adapt to my new team and start doing what I came here for, winning trophies.”

Sharipov has dozens of victories at elite tournaments, including:

  • PGL Major Stockholm 2021
  • Intel Grand Slam Season 3
  • BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020
  • IEM XVI – Cologne
  • EPL Season 14
  • BLAST Premier: World Final 2021

In addition, Sharipov was among the top-ten best players of the year by HLTV four times.

Updated Virtus.pro CS:GO roster:

  • Dzhami ‘Jame’ Ali (captain)
  • Evgeny ‘FL1T’ Lebedev
  • David ‘n0rb3r7’ Daniyelyan
  • Petr ‘fame’ Bolyshev
  • Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov
  • Dastan ‘dastan’ Akbayev (coach)
  • Pavel ‘PASHANOJ’ Legostaev (analyst)
  • Nikolay ‘mir’ Bityukov (substitute)
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NODWIN Gaming Partners with Global Esports Federation as Portfolio Management Company for Key Emerging Markets

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NODWIN Gaming, the leading South Asian gaming and eSports company, today announces the agreement with the Global Esports Federation (GEF) to become the portfolio management company (PMC) for key global emerging markets across South and Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East and parts of Southeast Asia. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in NODWIN Gaming’s ambition in driving the growth of gaming and eSports globally, by leveraging its expertise and leadership position in emerging markets worldwide.

The GEF convenes the dynamic, ever-evolving eSports ecosystem including the adjacent industries and diverse network of global impact partners. Established in 2019, the GEF has flourished to over 155 member federations engaging billions of ‘#worldconnected’ athletes, players and fans.

Firmly dedicated to its mission and universal values, the GEF has evolved to become an authentic voice of the eSports community, elevating the industry’s legitimacy and credibility at a global scale. Furthermore, the GEF plays a pivotal role in cultivating emerging technological development, user, fan and brand experiences that enable innovation in gaming while ensuring the sustainable growth for eSports and limitless opportunities that inspire the world’s hyper-connected youth.

With strategic partnerships with industry giants and a proven track record of organizing gaming events and lifestyle festivals, NODWIN Gaming has now acquired exclusive rights to create and market GEF-licensed eSports events in more than 20 countries such as India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Dubai, Bahrain, Jordan, Thailand and Vietnam in addition to the entire continent of Africa.

As a PMC, NODWIN Gaming also secures non-exclusive rights to host GEF-licensed events globally, which paves the way for synergistic collaborations amongst the company’s subsidiaries and strategic partners worldwide. NODWIN Gaming’s recent acquisition of the Turkey-based Ninja Gaming readies the company for endeavors in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa while its Singapore-based experiential marketing powerhouse branded focuses on the Asia Pacific region. With its equity investment earlier this year into Freaks 4U Gaming, a leading full-service gaming and eSports agency in Germany, NODWIN Gaming will tap into potential opportunities in developing GEF-licensed events in non-exclusive regions through the agency’s European as well as endemic and non-endemic network.

The co-founder and Managing Director for NODWIN Gaming, Akshat Rathee, shares his insight on the partnership with the GEF: “The world of eSports is evolving towards true global celebration of eSports titles across the world. The GEF truly epitomizes the hopes and aspirations of all the developing world markets that NODWIN Gaming seeks to develop. We believe our partnership with the GEF will bring the best of eSports opportunities to the youth of the emerging world.”

The Chief Operating Officer for the GEF, Mario Cilenti, commented on the partnership: “We are thrilled to have NODWIN Gaming on board as our PMC for the South Asia, Central Asia and Africa markets. Its capabilities and extensive experience makes it ideal partners to advance the GEF’s mission and further engage with eSports communities across key growth regions.”

For more information, please visit NODWIN Gaming on X or the official website.

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