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Inter Miami keeper Luis Robles invests in promising esports business

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Inter Miami keeper Luis Robles invests in promising esports business
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MLS goalkeeper Luis Robles has joined the growing band of sports stars to make an investment in esports.

The Inter Miami stopper has followed in the footsteps of Michael Jordan, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Odell Beckham Jr, who have all backed projects in pro gaming in recent years.

Robles, who is part of the Inter Miami squad owned by David Beckham, is among the investors in Luckbox – a fully licensing betting company that allows esports fans to make wagers on their favourite professional games.

And Robles’s timing appears to be perfect. Luckbox has reported record figures in the first half of 2020 and is now preparing to go public on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Robles, 36, has a degree in finance from the University of Portland and is a keen investor. He has seen first-hand the boom in popularity of esports among his team mates.

Robles said: “On the road, I’ll be watching Netflix, while my room-mate is watching Twitch.

“My team-mates, they’re watching in the same way they watch an opponent for a football match. They like to see tactics and strategies, what people are using and what works so that they can use those things in their own game.

“That to me was mind-blowing. And yet, it’s what people are doing and it shows the importance of esports in our culture right now.”

With the MLS among the many traditional sports on hold during the COVID-19 lockdown, pro players have taken to online FIFA matches as a way of keeping alive competition between teams and rivalry between fans.

Robles said: “With what’s going on in the world right now, a lot of the way we’ve been able to maintain a connection with our fanbase, is through FIFA – using FIFA as an avenue through which players can still compete, while entertaining and engaging fans. To some degree, it’s been successful.

“I think everyone wants us to be back on the field and playing, because that’s how they know us but it’s still a creative way of staying engaged with fans.

 “From what I’ve seen, not only is a great way to continue to engage our fanbase but it’s great for the players – to keep the camaraderie and the banter going, the spirit in the locker room.

“It is different but times are very different right now and you have to find other avenues in which to do things.”

The big question, of course, is who is Inter Miami’s best FIFA player?

Robles said: “It depends on who you ask. If you ask Rodolfo Pizzaro, he’s going to say it’s him. Same if you ask Julian Carranza or Lee Nguyen.

“These are all guys who are heavily into it. They have their stations in their house. They’re very competitive, they put a lot of pride into their game.

“You have Lewis Morgan, from Scotland, who also seems to be really good. I think if you ask those four different players, you’d get four different answers but I can confidently say that I am not the best FIFA player and I would probably be competing for the worst FIFA player.

“But I love investing, I love diversifying my portfolio and looking at different decks and wishing I could get involved and Luckbox has given me a great opportunity to do that.”

Luckbox’s CEO Quentin Martin said: “It’s well documented that esports is super-hot right now and many famous names from the world of sports and entertainment have recognised this by backing a host of projects.

“We’ve been live in 100 countries for just over a year now, so we’re still a very young company. To have the support of someone as highly respected as Luis is clearly a massive boost for our company.

“For sports fans, betting on outcomes is often an extra way to enjoy the match experience. Safe, legal and legitimate betting is increasingly important to esports and, over the coming years, it will be the dominant driver of revenue for the industry.”

Asia

Penta Esports launches “Penta Challenge” Valorant tournament on its new platform

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Penta Esports launches "Penta Challenge" Valorant tournament on its new platform
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Penta Esports, the esports division of Newgen Gaming has announced its upcoming tournament titled, ‘Penta Challenge – Valorant’, supported by Facebook Gaming and Trinity Gaming. This tournament will be a part of Penta Esports’ newly launched IP, ‘Penta Challenge’. Taking place from 5th to 24th October, the tournament has a prize pool of ₹5,00,000 and will have two open qualifiers between 5th to 10th October and 12th to 17th October, followed by a Grand Finale where 2 teams from each qualifier and 4 invited teams will battle it out for the winner’s title.

The registrations for the tournament started on 24th September and will go on till 8th October on Penta Esports’ newly launched platform. Matches will be broadcast quarter finals onwards for qualifier 1 and 2, while all matches from the Grand Finale will be broadcast. The matches will be available for streaming exclusively on Penta’s Facebook Page. Says Penta Esports CMO Akshay Paul “We’ve always had the vision to bring opportunities to the player and amazing viewing experience to the spectators and our newest IP, Penta Challenge, is a step in that direction. While we’ll start with Valorant, going forward, we will have the Penta Challenge for multiple game titles.” Trinity Gaming founder and CEO Abhishek Agarwal says, “We’re always on the lookout for good partners to be able to bring tournaments like these for the Indian esports community. Our vision is absolutely in line with the team at Penta Esports and we’re sure this is going to be an amazing event!” This event will also mark the launch of Penta Esports’ platform, pentaesports .com. The platform will be a one stop destination for all things esports, including match schedules, match results, VODs of tournaments and leagues, content, news, announcements and much more.

The platform will allow users to discover and register for tournaments. It will also allow teams to create recruitment posts and players to find teams. This will enable a lot more players to participate in tournaments for team-based game titles.

Penta Esports head of esports, Kiran Noojibail said, “We’ve been working on this platform for a while and it feels rewarding to launch it for everyone. We wanted to create a platform for Indian esports players and enthusiasts, which encompasses all major aspects of esports. Penta Challenge – Valorant will be the first tournament for our platform and we look forward to building a strong community through the platform!”

Founded by industry veterans Anurag Khurana, Kiran Noojibail and Akshay Paul, Penta Esports aims to disrupt the ecosystem in India with a holistic approach towards the sector, including leagues, tournaments, content and much more.

Prize Pool for the tournament:

Prize Pool

₹5,00,000

1st

₹2,25,000

2nd

₹1,25,000

3rd/4th

₹50,000

3rd/4th

₹50,000

5th-8th

₹10,000

5th-8th

₹10,000

5th-8th

₹10,000

5th-8th

₹10,000

Top Fragger of Grand Finale

₹10,000

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Axe Deodorant announces first gaming integration in India with World Cricket Championship 3

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Axe Deodorant announces first gaming integration in India with World Cricket Championship 3
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The in-game integration inside Next Wave multimedia’s WWC 3 is implemented by GroupM ESP

World Cricket Championship 3 (WCC 3) has announced the first ever in-game integration of Axe Deodorant which is implemented by GroupM ESP. This association brings alive dual benefits promised by the brand to gamers, who can upgrade two skills instead of one when they are faced with challenging situations on the field in-game. In line with the brand promise, WCC 3 players are being offered a dual benefit when they upgrade their skills in the game.

The association comes at the time of resumption of IPL 2021 and spilling over to ICC World T20.Axe Deodorant has been associated with gaming globally and this is the first-ever in-game partnership in the country.

Says Next Wave Multimedia, CEO and co-founder, P.R. Rajendran“We’re thrilled to have Axe Deodorant choose WCC 3 for its first gaming integration in the country. Given the cricket season is upon us, I think this will provide fans with more excitement while they play the game. WCC always looks forward to providing its community with the best experience and we’re sure Axe Deodorant will only enhance it!”

Says HULGeneral Manager, DeodorantsShailendra Singh “The 1st love for most young guys in India is cricket. The integration of Axe with WCC 3 brings together this 1st love with another major passion points – gaming. It is a great platform to bring alive AXE’s Dual action proposition with which it relaunched earlier this year. We are excited to get young consumers to level up their game – Digitally while gaming and in IRL with AXE can”

GroupM South Asia, Head – sports, esports and entertainment, Vinit Karnik said, “We’re thrilled to have collaborated with Axe on WWC3. In-game integration makes brand communication very focused, along with targeting the right consumers. With the newfound sense of consumer value in gaming, users will increasingly engage with content that delivers true value. Since gaming is a massive and readily engaging market with customers, it was a perfect synergy to bring together Axe and next wave multimedia for this initiative.”

WCC 3, the latest edition in the World Cricket Championship (WCC) franchise which has over 160 million downloads. The game has been infused with simulation of actual cricket, updated gameplay features like new controls, animations, real-time motions of athletes and professional cricketers, women’s cricket, a comprehensive career mode with over 400 tournaments, international leagues and much more. The game recently also added a standalone esports lobby.

The game also offers multiple vernacular language commentaries apart from English by professional commentators. It offers Telugu commentary voiced by former Indian cricketer and current IPL commentator, Venkatapathy Raju. English bowler, columnist and BBC cricket commentator Isa Guha and Matthew Hayden comprise the English Commentary roster, while the ingame Hindi and Tamil versions are voiced by Aakash Chopra and Abhinav Mukund respectively.

The World Cricket Championship series has been created by Chennai based Next Wave Multimedia Pvt. Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Nazara Technologies Ltd., a leading India based diversified gaming and sports media platform. Launched in November 2020, the third instalment is the latest in the series. The game has won the Indian Game Developers Conference’s “Studio Game of the Year” award and Google Play Store’s “Users Choice” Award 2020.

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VALORANT tournament Spike Nations returns with €60,000 to be donated to charity by Riot Games

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VALORANT tournament Spike Nations returns with €60,000 to be donated to charity by Riot Games
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BLAST has teamed up with Riot Games to bring back the Spike Nations VALORANT tournament for a second installment in October (7-9 October).

The three-day online tournament features 12 EMEA-based teams made up of professional esports players, popular gaming personalities and streamers, each representing their nation or region, with €60,000 donated to charitable causes.

The Spike Nations format will create opportunities for funds to be raised and added incentives for teams to beat each other, upping the stakes in the process. Each team will be competing for national glory as they tussle with each over three-days of VALORANT action next month.

The tournament consists of three groups of four. The top two teams in each group will progress to the final knockout stage. VALORANT’s latest map addition Fracture will also feature in the tournament.

Further information in the coming weeks will be announced on the format, teams, other tournament mechanics and how the €60,000 will be donated to charity by Riot Games.

The nations competing include:

Team United Kingdom

Team France

Team Spain

Team Portugal

Team Nordics

Team Poland

Team Turkey

Team CIS

Team Italy

Team DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)

Team Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg)

Team Eastern Europe

Leo Matlock, VP of Commercial at BLAST, said: “Welcoming back Spike Nations for a second year is testament to how well the inaugural event in 2020 was received by the VALORANT community. We’ve made some exciting additions to the tournament, added new teams made up of more nations than before. We can’t wait to rekindle old rivalries and create fun storylines for fans to enjoy.

“BLAST has proven itself as the leading esports tournament organisation and we are delighted to partner up again with Riot Games and create more incredible VALORANT experiences for fans who love the game or are experiencing it for the first time.”

Felix Morgan, VALORANT Product Lead, Europe said: “After hearing such positive feedback from both creators and fans during last year’s Spike Nations event, this year we’re partnering with BLAST to deliver something even bigger and better. We’ve got some great surprises in store and feel confident that this year will deliver an even better fan experience. We can’t wait to see our country teams battling it out for a good cause.”

Last year’s first ever Spike Nations took place in November with 10 teams competing against each other. The final saw Team Portugal beat Team United Kingdom 2-0

 

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