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Two more F1 drivers join the grid for penultimate Virtual Grand Prix

George Miller

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Two more F1 drivers join the grid for penultimate Virtual Grand Prix
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Following this week’s announcement that Formula 1 will start the 2020 season on July 3-5 in Austria, the sport’s return to action will see the F1 Esports – Virtual Grand Prix series draw to a close with two final events.

This Sunday’s Virtual Azerbaijan Grand Prix (7 June) will see eight current F1 drivers take to the grid, before the series finale in the Virtual Canada Grand Prix the following weekend (14 June). The Virtual Grands Prix Series has seen over 22million fans tune in so far to watch their favourite F1 drivers battle it out, alongside a host of big names from the sporting and celebrity world, in a time where actual racing was not possible.

This weekend will see Sergio Perez and Pierre Gasly make their Esports debuts in the Virtual Azerbaijan Grand Prix as they join six other F1 drivers including Williams’ George Russell, who is attempting to make it a third consecutive win after his victory in Monaco. Fellow F1 drivers Alex Albon, Antonio Giovinazzi, Nicholas Latifi, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris also return to the grid after previous Virtual Grand Prix appearances.

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte will be taking to the track for the first time as the Premier League winner teams up with Formula 3 driver Oscar Piastri for Renault, whilst AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma joins Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri. Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois makes his fourth Virtual Grand Prix appearance, continuing his partnership with Antonio Giovinazzi for Alfa Romeo, with Former Dakar Rally World Champion, Matthias Walkner making his debut for Red Bull.

Sunday’s race will fall on the weekend originally scheduled for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with the participants competing on the Baku City Circuit on F1 2019, the official videogame developed by Codemasters. Drivers will join the race remotely, with a host broadcast live from the Gfinity Esports Arena from 6:00pm (BST) on Sunday 7 June.

The live broadcast, which is available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels as well as Weibo and Huya channels in China, is expected to run for 1 hour 30 minutes. A qualifying period where grid positions will be determined based on the drivers’ fastest lap time will be followed by a 26-lap race. The Virtual Grand Prix will also be shown 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.

The F1 Esports Pro Exhibition race featuring the official F1 teams’ professional esports gamers 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. The Formula 2 Virtual Racing event, featuring F2 and F3 drivers, will also be live on the official Formula 1 YouTube and Twitch channels and TV broadcasters from 4:00pm (BST).

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

“We are immensely proud of the Virtual Grand Prix series, which allowed us to bring Formula 1 to fans around the world, in a time when actual racing was not possible. We are very grateful to the teams and drivers that have taken part in the series to date and look forward to ending the series with a bang in the coming weeks as we all gear up to kick off the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship season in Austria. Great momentum has been gathered as part of our Virtual Grands Prix Series and we are excited to build on this momentum in our esports strategy going forward.”

Full line-up:

 

Team

 

 

Driver 1

 

 

Driver 2

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Antonio Giovinazzi Thibaut Courtois
Scuderia AlphaTauri Pierre Gasly Gianluigi Donnarumma
FDA Hublot Esports Team Charles Leclerc Enzo Fittipaldi
Haas F1 Team Pietro Fittipaldi Louis Deletraz
McLaren Racing Lando Norris Ben Daly (Tiametmarduk)
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esteban Gutierrez Anthony Davidson
BWT Racing Point Sergio Perez Jimmy Broadbent
Red Bull Racing Alex Albon Matthias Walkner
Renault Oscar Piastri Aymeric Laporte
Williams Racing George Russell Nicholas Latifi

 

eSports

WePlay! VALORANT Invitational Announcement

George Miller

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WePlay! VALORANT Invitational Announcement
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Eight teams will fight for competitive dominance and a hefty prize pool.

We at WePlay! Esports are proud to announce our first VALORANT tournament. In this event, six invited teams will be joined by two Open Qualifier winners to fight for a prize pool of $50,000. This event is another entry in the VALORANT IGNITION SERIES.

Invited teams

  • PartyParrots
  • fish123
  • Prodigy
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • G2 Esports
  • forZe

Event format & dates

The tournament kicks off with Open Qualifiers on July 13 and 14. The qualifiers are two separate single-elimination brackets. The final series in each qualifier is BO3, the rest are BO1. Teams are allowed to participate in both qualifiers.

Sign up for Open Qualifier #1
Sign up for Open Qualifier #2

The eight invited and qualified teams will participate in a Swiss Bracket group stage that takes place on July 15–17. Four teams will proceed to the next stage.

The winners of the group stage will be seeded in a single-elimination bracket. The Semifinals will be played on July 18; the final series will be played on July 19.

All main event matches, including the Finals, are BO3.

“We have been following VALORANT since its announcement, and now welcome the opportunity to apply ourselves in the new title. As usual, we will try to make the event dramatic, unusual, and unforgettable. We’re hoping that VALORANT will enjoy WePlay! Esports’ style and our regular viewers will have fun with the new game.” – Eugene “Hitras” Shepelev, Lead Esports Manager at WePlay! Esports.

“The IGNITION SERIES is definitely setting up a standard of play for VALORANT, the likes of which we’ve never seen before, and will undoubtedly begin to influence competitive audiences in their decisions around play.” – Joe Ziegler, Game Director at Riot Games.

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eSports

BETBY ADDS NEW TITLE TO BETBY.GAMES PORTFOLIO

George Miller

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BETBY ADDS NEW TITLE TO BETBY.GAMES PORTFOLIO
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Sports betting supplier BETBY has further expanded its Betby.Games offering with an esports variant of Rocket League.

BETBY is set to offer unique markets and betting options on the popular arcade-style vehicular soccer game, which has garnered fans around the world.

The new title will join Football and Basketball in the supplier’s expanding selection of esports products, joining live games alongside the provider’s innovative sportsbook offering. Tennis and combat sports competitions are currently in development to be added to the growing titles.

BETBY’s portfolio is live with customers across the globe, excelling in high-growth markets and with customers desiring agile, customisable platforms to suit the needs of regulation within their jurisdiction.

The entire BETBY esports collection can be smoothly and swiftly integrated and active for an operator via an API integration.

Leonid Pertsovskiy, Chief Executive Officer at BETBY, said: “We are delighted to be adding another exciting title to our Betby.Games line of products with the addition of yet another esports event.

“Esports has seen an impressive surge in interest recently and it continues to be one of the fastest growing verticals in the industry. Our multi-product approach continues to bear fruit and we can’t wait to see how our new game is received, with plenty more in the pipeline too, so watch this space!”

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eSports

Haval and Virtus.pro announce partnership

George Miller

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Haval and Virtus.pro announce partnership
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Cutting-edge automotive brand enters the esports territory

Haval has become the exclusive automotive sponsor of the most decorated esports club of Russia and CIS – Virtus.pro. The first of its kind massive-scale partnership is aimed at the first esports club’s Dota 2 roster.

Automotive brand Haval and professional esports club Virtus.pro announce the beginning of the partnership starting on 1 July 2020. Haval will support Virtus.pro players in the official professional games in Dota 2, multiplayer online videogame. This marks the esports debut of the cutting-edge automotive brand Haval – an entry to one of the most rapidly developing contemporary sports.

Jerome Saigot, CEO of “Haval Motor Rus”: “Haval brand is founded on the state-of-the-art technologies. As devotion to innovation spans across all our ventures, we are excited to announce the beginning of our partnership with such a renowned esports collective like Virtus.pro. We share the same ideas when it comes to self-improvement and love of discovery. We hope to see memorable tournaments ahead – and, of course, well-deserved victories.”

Sergey Glamazda, Virtus.pro General Manager: “Esports fans are the youth who value cutting-edge tech and high emotions, and as such, there’s no doubt Haval will easily create a link with the gaming community. Our club, Virtus.pro, is beloved by the Russian community and respected in China, which makes this partnership a logical step towards mutual benefit. We are happy to see Virtus.pro be the first pick for the global automobile brand Haval’s esports debut!”

LLC “Haval Motor Rus” is the exclusive distributor of Haval cars and spare parts in the Russian Federation. The company has been operating since February 2014, the first official Haval dealership was opened in Moscow in June 2015. Currently, 83 dealerships Russia and 1 dealership is opened in Minsk, Belarus.

The Russian Haval plant is the first foreign full-cycle production enterprise. A 216-hectare plant is located on the territory of the “Uzlovaya” Industrial Park in the Tula Region and was opened on June 5, 2019. The production complex includes a stamping, welding, painting and assembly workshop, as well as a component manufacturing workshop. The plant was designed with modern engineering solutions in the field of environmental protection, energy conservation and safety. Currently, these models are produced at the plant – Haval F7 and Haval F7x smart crossovers, Haval H5 and the HAVAL H9 frame SUV.

ESforce Holding is one of the biggest esports organizations in the world and the leader of the Russian esports. The holding encapsulates all esports business sectors: from organizing international tournaments and creating professional content to publishing and advertising.

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