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Ballantine’s, the world’s second largest Scotch whisky has teamed up with defending champions Tundra Esports as their Official Spirit Partner for The Dota 2 International 2023, which will be the first ever esports team sponsorship for Ballantine’s. The partnership will see Ballantine’s make its debut on Tundra’s new The International official jersey, which goes on sale on 6th October 2023, which will celebrate those that live the ‘Stay True’ lifestyle, subvert expectations, and do things their own way.

Tundra’s Esports Dota 2 team are the reigning World champions, winning The International in 2022, beating the opposing team in a clean 3-0 sweep. The team has gone on to keep their crown as the DPC WEU Tour 3 top team, and they are one of the clear favourites going into the next Dota 2 The International 2023, which kick offs on 12th October and ends October 29th.

Ballantine’s is a long time champion of self-expression and has a storied history of celebrating people who live life with an independent spirit and have the self-confidence to stay true to themselves, even when faced with challenge, expectation & judgement. It was Tundra’s unwavering commitment to this ‘Stay True’ vision within their unique playstyle that led them, against all expectations, to be the crowning champions of Dota 2 The International 2022 and a perfect partner for Ballantine’s.

The partnership is the latest move by Ballantine’s in the esport space following their partnership earlier this year with BLAST.tv for the 10 year anniversary of CS:GO Majors in Paris. Together, Tundra Esports and Ballantine’s will be launching a series of bespoke behind the scenes content that gets up close and personal with the players.

Afterwork Drinks sees Head Coach Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling speak on his work day and share his experiences with Ballantine’s. TI Dream Team where the Tundra Team, composed of Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu, Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen, Oliver “Skiter” Lepko, Neta “33” Shapira and Leon “nine” Kirlin will put together a roster of their favourites players giving insight into their picks, plus some words of wisdom Sip of Knowledge for any gamers hoping to go pro in turning their passion into their profession. Alongside this, as part of the partnership, Ballantine’s logo will also be featured on Tundra’s new The International jersey, as well as across Tundra’s social channels, and will also be featured within the Dota 2 in-game team’s flag and banners.

Carleton Curtis, Chief Executive Officer of Tundra Esports, said: “We are honoured to be the first esports team in history sponsored by Ballantine’s the Official Spirit Partner of our Dota 2 roster for the International 2023. This is a brilliant opportunity for us to work together in creating exciting new content and bring fans together around the world.”


LEC Introduces Sporting Financial Regulations

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To support the long-term financial stability and competitive balance of the LEC, the league is going to introduce new financial regulations – known as Sporting Financial Regulations (SFR) – for the start of the 2024 LoL Esports Season.

The LEC SFR will encourage teams to maintain the total sum of its five highest-paid player salaries below a certain threshold, with teams exceeding the threshold having to pay an excess fee (SFR Fee).

In doing so, the LEC seeks to create a financially sustainable environment for its pro players, partnered teams, and the league itself, allowing all parties to grow at a healthy and scalable pace, and protect the ecosystem from unsustainable spending practices. In addition, the framework will support the league by creating a better competitive balance and more engaging competition, further enhancing the experience for players and fans.

“In the current economic climate, we are dedicated more than ever to creating a sustainable future for our players, teams, and the LoL Esports ecosystem in EMEA as a whole. The LEC SFR, which will come into effect from the beginning of the 2024 Season, is one way in which we’re continuing to work towards our goal of long-term financial sustainability. By doing this, we aim to encourage teams to operate more sustainable businesses to provide job security for players and ensure we serve our fans for decades to come,” said Maximilian Peter Schmidt, Director of League of Legends Esports EMEA.

SFR will encourage each team to maintain the total sum of salaries (known as SFR Spend) paid to the top five highest-paid players in a team within a certain range. The range includes both an upper spending threshold (SFR Threshold) and a lower spending threshold (SFR Floor), with the lower spending threshold amounting to 50% of the SFR Threshold. Meanwhile, the SFR Threshold is calculated based on a number of considerations, including LEC player salaries, League Revenue Pool of the current and forecasted years, team financial data – such as revenue and expenses – and other market indicators. Teams that exceed the SFR Threshold will be imposed with an SFR Fee.

An exception will be made to teams if a player enters into a contract with the team either during or before the end of the 2023 LEC Season Finals. In this instance, the SFR Spend will be reduced by one-fifth of the SFR Threshold or the actual salary amount; whichever is lower.

The policy will be introduced starting from the 2024 LEC Global Contract Start Date (21 November 2023), with the first cycle running until the 2024 LEC Global Contract End Date (18 November 2024).


eFIBA Season 2 Announced with Record 61 Participating Nations and First-Ever In-Person World Finals at DreamHack Winter

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ESL FACEIT Group (EFG), the leading eSports and video game entertainment company, and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) today announced the 61 nations participating in the second season of eFIBA, FIBA’s official NBA 2K24 tournament. Beginning October 3, national federations across seven regional areas will battle it out in the pro-am game mode to secure a spot in the first-ever in-person eFIBA World Finals at DreamHack Winter and a share of the €50,000 prize pool.

“After a successful inaugural season and eFIBA’s successful participation in The Olympic Esports Series, we are prepared to make the upcoming eFIBA Season 2 a landmark international event,” the Media and Marketing Services Director General for FIBA, Frank Leenders, said. “eFIBA allows us to reach new basketball enthusiasts and build a global community of players and fans who share a passion for the game.”

eFIBA Season 2 is more than doubling its participating federations and expanding its competition schedule. The event includes online regional qualifiers from October 3 to November 2 and regional finals from November 7 to 9 across South East Asia, Oceania, Middle East, Africa, North America, South America and Europe. The winning nation from each regional final and the top two from Europe will secure a spot in the eFIBA Season 2 World Finals 2023, taking place live at the immersive gaming lifestyle festival, DreamHack Winter, from November 25 to 26 in Elmia, Jonkoping, Sweden.

“The significant growth of participating national federations and the incredible feedback we have received from players and the community shows that eFIBA is on the right track to become a great offering to the NBA2K community,” the Sports Games President for EFG, Roger Lodewick, said. “Together with FIBA, we have crafted a bold and innovative sporting concept that serves the eSports community and connects with basketball fans. We are thrilled to tip off the second season.”

  • EFG and FIBA announce the 61 national federations participating in Season 2 of eFIBA, the international NBA 2K24 competition.
  • Tipping off on October 3, Season 2 of eFIBA includes six weeks of online regional qualifiers and regional finals for a spot in the first-ever, in-person eFIBA World Finals, taking place at DreamHack Winter in Elmia, Jonkoping, Sweden.
  • Nations across South East Asia, Oceania, Middle East, Africa, North America, South America and Europe will battle it out for a share of the €50,000 prize pool and Regional Champion title.
  • New to Season 2, eFIBA’s co-streaming program, will feature content creators, streamers and casters collaborating to grow the eFIBA community.


Tuesday, Oct. 3 Europe Qualifiers Stage 1
Thursday, Oct. 5 South America Qualifiers

North America Qualifiers

Stage 1

Stage 1

Tuesday, Oct 10 Middle East Qualifiers

Africa Qualifiers

Stage 1

Stage 1

Thursday, Oct 12 Oceania Qualifiers

South East Asia Qualifiers

Stage 1

Stage 1

Tuesday, Oct. 17 Europe Qualifiers Stage 2
Thursday, Oct. 19 South America Qualifiers

North America Qualifiers

Stage 2

Stage 2

Tuesday, Oct 24 Oceania Finals

Europe Qualifiers


Stage 3

Thursday, Oct 26 Africa Qualifiers Stage 2
Tuesday, Oct. 31 Europe Qualifiers Stage 4
Thursday, Nov. 2 South East Asia Qualifiers

Middle East Qualifiers

Stage 2

Stage 2

Tuesday, Nov. 7 South East Asia Finals

Middle East Finals

Africa Finals




Thursday, Nov. 8 Europe Finals

South America Finals

North America Finals




Below is a breakdown of the national representatives in each regional area.

Europe (26): Albania, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey and Ukraine

Africa (14): Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria
North America (6): Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and the United States of America

Southeast Asia (5): India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines and Singapore

South America (4): Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela

Oceania (2): Guam and New Zealand

Middle East (4): Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Lebanon

eFIBA Co-Streaming

This season, eFIBA actively works with the NBA2K community through collaborations with creators around the globe as well as co-streamers of eFIBA events with a suite of customizable resources including unprecedented access to gameplay feeds, overlays, opportunities to interview players and more. The suite of streaming tools is open to community streamers, who can apply for exclusive access.

Commencing October 3, the regional qualifiers and regional finals of eFIBA Season 2 as well as the eFIBA World Finals will be streamed on Tuesdays and Thursdays on eFIBA’s Twitch and YouTube channels and on FIBA’s Twitch and YouTube channels. Those looking to experience the action live can look forward to attending DreamHack Winter as tickets to the festival also grant access to the international NBA 2K24 competition. More information about the ticket types and prices can be found on the official DreamHack Winter website.

For more information around eFIBA, visit the official channels on X (Twitter), Instagram and TikTok. For more general information, visit eslfaceitgroup .com or follow ESL FACEIT Group on LinkedIn.


The Power Play: GamingTech CEE Panel Explores Esports and Gambling’s Thriving Synergy

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GamingTech CEE is around the corner, taking place on September 26-27, 2023, at the prestigious Ritz Carlton Budapest. The leading event for exploring the latest tech innovations in the gaming industry within the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region promises to be a game-changer, featuring panel discussions on a wide range of topics.

The ultimate destination for industry professionals, innovators and enthusiasts, GamingTech CEE – brought to you by the #hipthers – offers a unique opportunity to gain a deeper insight into how the gaming industry is evolving within the region. With a focus on compliance, innovation, and networking, this event offers a platform for industry professionals and enthusiasts to stay ahead in the dynamic world of gaming technology.

The “Esports and Gambling: The Next Frontier” panel discussion will be moderated by Anne-Marie Furtschegger, Public Affairs Consultant & Advisor at Hipther. It will bring together industry experts, esports professionals, gambling operators, and regulatory specialists to explore the exhilarating realm of esports and gambling.

Esports has witnessed a meteoric rise in popularity, accompanied by a surge in interest in esports betting. Understanding the opportunities and challenges in this dynamic landscape is essential for all stakeholders. The panelists will examine the current state of esports betting, emerging trends, and the regulatory landscape surrounding this rapidly evolving industry.

A central theme of the discussion will be the symbiotic relationship between esports and gambling, with a focus on how the two industries can mutually benefit from collaboration while ensuring responsible gambling practices. The panel will delve into topics such as the integration of esports betting platforms, the popularity of in-play betting during esports events, and the potential for innovative wagering options tailored to esports enthusiasts.

Regulatory considerations will also be in the spotlight, including age verification, player protection, and integrity measures to maintain fair competition in esports gambling. The panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities in establishing responsible gambling frameworks specific to the esports ecosystem.

The discussion will extend to the broader implications of the esports and gambling convergence, such as the potential for increased viewership, engagement, and monetization opportunities within the esports industry. The panelists will explore the impact on sponsorships, advertising, and the overall growth of the esports ecosystem.


  • Vladan Blagojevic – Oddin.gg’s Marketing Project Manager
  • Gal Ehrlich – CEO at BETER
  • Péter Rippel-Szabó – Commercial and Sports Lawyer at Bird & Bird
  • Urim Bajrami – Attorney at Law & Partner at STADLER VÖLKEL Attorneys at Law

Register to the event

GamingTech CEE is more than just a conference; it’s a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and fostering collaborations in the gaming technology sector. Attendees will have the chance to connect with industry leaders, explore cutting-edge innovations, and gain a competitive edge in this rapidly evolving industry.

Registration is still open for those interested in joining this and other enlightening discussions and being part of the GamingTech CEE experience. Register for the conference now or find out more about GamingTech CEE on the official website.


Gamers 8: The Land of Heroes concludes a record-breaking esports season as champions are crowned in eight weeks of action-packed tournaments

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Gamers8, the world’s largest gaming and esports festival, wrapped up its second edition on Sunday with the final awards ceremony seeing Team Twisted Minds secure first place in Gamers8 Club Awards, bringing the curtain down on a thrilling season that began in July and went through August. Featuring a record-breaking prize pool of $45 million, thousands of visitors attended the festival in person and tuned in online to watch 16 elite esports tournaments from 13 top titles.

The festival transformed Boulevard Riyadh City into a gaming and entertainment paradise with epic venues, concerts, and activities and welcomed the best of the best across titles such as Dota 2, Rocket League, and FIFAe to do battle in front of fans lucky enough to be in attendance and streamed live across the globe. In the Dota 2 Riyadh Masters, Team Spirit defeated Team Liquid in the grand final to win first place and $5 million from the total $15 million prize pool. And in the Rocket League finals, Version 1 defeated Rule One in the grand final to take home $500k in prize money.

The Club Awards were presented as part of the Next World Forum’s second edition, a forum gathering top minds in the gaming, entertainment, and esports industry, including Team Falcons founder Msdossary, Hollywood director Michael Bay, football legend Gareth Bale, ESL FACEIT Group Chairman Ralf Reichert, VSPO co-founder Danni Tang, and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin. Team Vitality, Gaimin Gladiators, Team BDS, and overall winners Twisted Minds completed the top teams who earned the most points over several titles at Gamers8 and, therefore, took home a share of the $5 million prize pool. Rocket League caster Stax presented Twisted Minds with the trophy following an epic introduction featuring a performer on a robotic arm and a highlight package recapping each team’s journey to the Gamers8 Club Awards.

Highlighting that its appeal didn’t just extend to gaming, the festival also featured several musical performances, including concerts by Imagine Dragons, Alan Walker, and Metro Boomin, with the series of musical performances being concluded by an all-female lineup that included Iggy Azalea and DJ Soda, who entertained attendees throughout the event.

For more information on Gamers8, visit the official website and follow on Twitter.


Red Bull Campus Clutch UK Qualifiers: Registration Now Open for Top UK Student Valorant Squads

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  • Registrations for the UK qualifiers for Red Bull Campus Clutch 2023 are open now and set to take place across two days on October 14 and 21
  • Red Bull Campus Clutch offers the chance to UK students to play competitively at the international level and play against the best student eSports teams in the world
  • UK National Finals will take place across two days on November 4 to 5 at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in London
  • The winning team of the UK Final will be invited on an all-expenses covered trip to Istanbul, where they will compete against top international teams to be crowned the best student Valorant team in the world
  • Taking place at the Volkswagen Arena in Istanbul, Turkey, the World Final will be held from November 19 to 24
  • The UK Finals will be streamed live on Twitch via The Goose House channel
  • Jack Link’s is the Official Protein Provider for Red Bull Campus Clutch UK
  • Qualifiers for UK teams looking to compete in Red Bull Campus Clutch are open for registration via the Red Bull website

Red Bull Campus Clutch, the global student Valorant tournament, has returned to the United Kingdom (UK) for its third season. Registrations are now open for UK student squads seeking the chance to represent their campus and fight for the opportunity to compete on the world stage. The tournament gives a chance to UK students dreaming of playing eSports competitively an opportunity to showcase their abilities on the global stage, potentially getting scouted to play for professional eSports teams.

UK qualifiers will take place online over two days on Saturday, October 14, and Saturday, October 21. The best four teams from each qualifier will then compete offline in the UK Final at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in London across two days on November 4 to 5. The UK Finals will be live-streamed via Twitch on The Goose House.

UK student teams will be fighting it out to follow in the footsteps of Casa Noturna, who last year beat other student teams and were invited to play in the World Finals in Sao Paolo, Brazil. This season, the winning team of the UK final will receive an all-expenses covered invitation to the Red Bull Campus Clutch World Final, a LAN tournament held in Istanbul, Turkey, where they will represent their country and fight to be crowned Red Bull Campus Clutch World Champions. This season, from November 19 to 24, the final event will take place offline at the Volkswagen Arena in Istanbul, which hosted Valorant Champions 2022 where LOUD clinched the title of VCT World Champion.

Entering its third season, Red Bull Campus Clutch along with Red Bull Home Ground, the premier pro Red Bull event for Valorant, encapsulates the brand´s continued commitment to support the Valorant community and uplift its competitive ecosystem, from a grassroots level with an array of local initiatives to the very highest echelons of eSports. Since 2021, Red Bull Campus Clutch has hosted over 800 tournaments, with 25,000 participants in the first season and 30,000 in the second.

Three outstanding partners are supporting Red Bull Campus Clutch this season to bring improved performance to competitors with Intel NUC and AGON by AOC returning to the tournament and Jack Link’s joining as the Official Protein Provider for Red Bull Campus Clutch UK 2023. As PC Partner, Intel NUC, renowned for packing high-powered gaming rigs in small form factors, will support with its top-notch gaming PCs. The official Monitor Partner, AGON by AOC, will once again provide high-performance gaming monitors for the event.


IESF: The Philippines Won the Grand Champion Trophy, Saudi Arabia Announced as the Next Host Country

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Over 10,000 eSports fans showed up to watch the action live and 750,000 unique viewers tuned in to watch the finals online

The International Esports Federation (IESF) proudly concludes the 15th World Esports Championship where the Philippines emerged as the Grand Champion after ten days of thrilling competition and an unforgettable closing ceremony.

WEC23 Gold Medalists:

  • Mobile Legends: Bang Bang – Philippines
  • PUBG Mobile – Kyrgyzstan
  • eFootball 2023 – Iran
  • Tekken7 – Pakistan
  • CS:GO – Sweden
  • CS:GO Female – Netherlands
  • Dota 2 – Mongolia

For ten days, the global eSports community remained engaged throughout the tournament, breaking last year’s viewership record with a peak of 700,796 viewers during the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Grand Final. The Philippines and Indonesia once again showcased their power in eSports, reaffirming their status as global leaders in both national success and eSports popularity.

Philippines: Grand Champions

A historic 601 eSports players from 111 countries competed across six game titles: CS:GO, Dota 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, eFootball 2023, Tekken 7 and PUBG Mobile with all the action live-streamed on IESF’s YouTube and Twitch channels. This year’s championship also featured the women’s CS:GO tournament, doubling the number of teams from last year with the Netherlands emerging as the champions.

Beyond the eSports excitement, the 15th WE Championship included insightful panel discussions with thought leaders, activations with IESF partner FitGMR and a ComicCon event, creating an interactive and engaging experience for attendees.

IESF hosted a three-day music festival during the finals in partnership with Digital Throne, Romania’s biggest pop culture festival, featuring performances by international artists like Armin van Buuren and Lost Frequencies. The extravagant closing ceremony at the Palace of Culture featured speeches by IESF President Vlad Marinescu and Iasi mayor Mihai Cirica with HRH Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Bin Sultan Al Saud presenting the Philippines with the Grand Champion Trophy to celebrate the athletes’ hard work and performances.

“We are proud to crown the Philippines as the Grand Champion and congratulate all our finalists for their outstanding performances throughout the tournament,” the General Secretary for the IESF, Boban Totovski, said. “This event further cemented IESF as the home of international eSports. We would like to thank our athletes, the city of Iasi, our partners and everyone who made it possible to unite the world eSports family and make history in Romania.”

“Being a Grand Champion is a long-time dream and testament of what Filipinos can achieve when working in unity in the most beautiful sport of the future,” the President of the Philippine Esports Federation, Brian Lim, said. “eSports Mabuhay Pilipinas.”

The city of Iasi’s culturally rich and youthful atmosphere exceeded expectations as 100,000 fans came together to celebrate eSports and support their countries, solidifying Romania’s position as a leading eSports destination.

Saudi Arabia to Host 16th World Esports Championship

At the closing ceremony, the President for the IESF, Vlad Marinescu, officially handed over the IESF flag to Saudi Arabia, which will host the 16th World Esports Championship in 2024. This marks the first time Saudi Arabia will host IESF’s flagship event, where athletes compete under their national flags.

“We are thrilled to host the IESF’s 16th World Esports Championship in Saudi Arabia in 2024 to demonstrate our strong support for the IESF,” the Chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation, HRH Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Bin Sultan Al Saud, said. “A warm welcome is extended to eSports enthusiasts from around the globe. Our unwavering commitment lies in delivering a world-class event that not only reflects our passion for eSports but also underscores our dedication to its expansion. Together, we look forward to creating an unforgettable championship experience in the heart of Riyadh.”

“As we wrap up a truly historic edition of the World Esports Championship, it is an honor to announce Saudi Arabia as the next host country that will welcome the world eSports family,” Marinescu said. “We look forward to working with Saudi Arabia, the local organizing committee, the Saudi Esports Federation and our incredible partners to keep the momentum going and continue to grow and promote eSports on the global stage.”

The final announcement regarding the dates of the 2024 WE Championship National and Regional Qualifiers and Finals are to be published in the upcoming period.


The Rise of eSports

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In the ever-evolving landscape of entertainment, few industries have witnessed a meteoric rise quite like eSports. What once started as a niche in the gaming world has now grown into a global sensation, captivating both amateur and professional players with its competitive events, life-changing cash prizes, and viewership figures in the hundreds of millions. Domain and hosting experts Fasthosts has compiled a brief overview of the rise of eSports, and competitive gaming throughout the years, and where the future may take the industry.
The Start of Competitive Gaming
eSports, at its core, revolves around competitive video gaming, and has experienced exponential growth over the past five decades. The earliest known gaming competition stems back to 1972, when Stanford University hosted a contest featuring the science fiction rocket game ‘Spacewar’. The event – orchestrated by sports reporter Stewart Brand – showcased the potential of video games as an “exhilarating spectator sport”, setting the stage for what was to come.
The Slow but Steady Rise
For several decades, the popularity of eSports experienced a gradual rise. In the pre-internet era, arcade tournaments provided the battleground for players, with magazines and record books recognising top players’ achievements. The 1990s marked a turning point as gaming tournaments began to gain traction, offering increasingly substantial prize pools. The technological advancements in video game consoles, and internet and PC gaming paved the way for a prosperous decade for the industry. At the end of the 90s we saw the internet cafe boom where young players would meet and play together in PC cafes, which was the start of the strong youth social gaming culture you see today.
The New Millennium
It was the early 2000s that witnessed the true birth of eSports as leagues and tournaments started to take shape around iconic titles like CounterStrikeStarCraft, and Warcraft III. In 2001, the first World Cyber Games was held in Seoul. The tournament featured several popular games and attracted over 174,000 participants from 17 countries, making for an unexpected global success. In 2005, the CPL World Tour or Cyberathlete Professional League became the first event to have a prize pool offering over $1 million, demonstrating the start of life changing prizes that go hand in hand with competitive gaming.
Streaming Platforms: The Catalyst for Growth
From 2010 onwards, the world witnessed the revolutionary impact of online streaming platforms like Twitch.tv and Youtube Gaming, leading to skyrocketing eSports viewership figures. When Twitch launched, the ‘League of Legends’ world championship viewership figures went from 1.7 million in 2011 to 8.2 million in 2012, and to 32 million in 2013.
These streaming platforms connected fans worldwide, allowing them to tune into live events from home. The large viewing figures, advertising, and sponsorship opportunities led to investors starting their own teams, and household game developers creating leagues and tournaments. It became standard for eSports events to attract millions of viewers, and the landscape of competitive gaming had been transformed.
The Summit
In 2015, eSports reached a defining moment with The International 2015: Dota 2 Championships. The prize pool offered a staggering $18 million, breaking records and solidifying eSports’ place on the global stage. This marked a monumental shift, proving that tournaments could rival traditional sports events in terms of both prize money and profitability.
The New Decade: eSports Takes Centre Stage
As the calendar turned to the 2020s, eSports entered a new era. The decade began with some of the largest tournaments in history, attracting millions of spectators and providing the largest prize pools seen to date such as The 2021 International Dota 2 Championships which took place in Bucharest Romania, offering a $40,018,400.00 prize pool – the largest prize at the time.
By 2020, it had become increasingly common to see the term “professional eSports player” conceptualising the individuals dedicating their lives to competitive gaming, undergoing strict routines and training in the unique journey of becoming the world’s next best gaming athlete.
The Future
At present, the most-viewed tournaments are impressive spectacles in their own right, with titles like ‘Free Fire World Series’, ‘League of Legends’, and ‘Mobile Legends: Bang Bang’ drawing millions of viewers. Looking to the future, in August 2023, Saudi Arabian tournament organiser Gamers8 ran their ‘The Land of Heroes’ tournament with a colossal prize of $45 million dollars, a figure that we will see constantly being pushed higher in tournaments in following years. And according to BeyonGames.biz, the eSports market is estimated to grow at 21.81% between 2022 and 2027, with the size of the market expected to increase by $3,515.1 million.
The journey of competitive gaming from its humble beginnings to its current global standing is a testament to its enduring appeal and cultural impact. With its exhilarating competition and substantial rewards, eSports has become a true force in the entertainment world. As the industry continues to innovate and evolve, one thing remains clear: this isn’t just a passing trend. It’s a phenomenon that has permanently transformed the way we engage with and celebrate competitive gaming.

Abios fills the holes in the seasonal sports calendar with engaging esoccer, provided by BETER

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Esports solutions provider Abios launches a new esoccer experience for sportsbooks utilising official real-time data from BETER, a betting content and data company. The solution features live odds, real-time widgets, and streams, enabling sportsbooks to curate an engaging all-in-one betting experience with consistent and interactive content around the clock.

In sports, there is natural downtime between matches in the tournament calendar. Tournaments in soccer or tennis often span a few months, with significant stretches of time in between. Not to mention the breaks amidst periods of high-tier matches that inevitably occur due to travel times, injuries or scheduling. This volatility can leave periodic gaps in content among sportsbooks.

Esports can mitigate this issue by providing fast-paced, engaging year-round action. Esoccer, and BETER’s ESportsBattle in particular, have tournaments sprinkled throughout the year, allowing sportsbooks to reach a new audience with content in the convergence between esports and sports.

Esoccer is built on a soccer game where professional players control one team each, competing in 8-minute matches to score as many goals as possible. As such, it provides sportsbooks with engaging and consistent content in a manner that sports fans understand.

Oskar Fröberg, CEO and Founder of Abios: “With long experience creating highly technical data-driven products and data visualisations, we wanted to combine our different product arms to create something unique. As such, we are very happy to announce our new all-in-one product for esoccer, developed in collaboration with BETER.

“Our real-time odds are highly automated and produced through 3rd generation trading. This creates higher uptime, better accuracy and odds less prone to human errors, which can improve quality significantly.

Our streams and widgets add to that experience by allowing fans to watch and receive live statistics from the matches directly in the sportsbook.”

Evgeniy Bekker, General Manager at BETER Esports, said: “Esports contests can help operators fill gaps in the sports calendars, creating new opportunities for acquisition and retention. That said, having access to quality data is essential for creating an immersive esports betting experience. Therefore, it’s vital for providers to utilize official data and collaborate with trustworthy partners.

“BETER has emerged as the reliable provider of live data, live streaming, and odds for esports, and it’s great to see that such companies as Abios using our official data to build out engaging products and experiences for its operator partners to offer to their players. This will undoubtedly be a successful partnership for BETER and Abios.”


World Esports Championship Finals Underway with Thrilling Opening Ceremony

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The International Esports Federation (IESF) 2023 World Esports Championship Finals officially kicked off on August 25 with a grand Opening Ceremony at the Palace of Culture in Iași, Romania. A record number of 111 countries from six continents have qualified and will compete for national pride and the coveted WE Championship trophy. The competition will conclude on September 4.

The Opening Ceremony, hosted by prominent esports presenter James Banks and former professional player Jon Kefaloukos, featured electrifying performances from KISS FM radio Romania, fireworks, and a drone show that celebrated the historic and youthful energy of Iași, as well as IESF’s commitment to diversity and reaching international audiences. The Ceremony for the 15th edition of the WE Championships had 5,000 fans in attendance and also featured a parade of nations, highlighting IESF’s rich tradition of hosting the sole international esports competition where athletes compete representing their flags.

IESF President Vlad Marinescu said during the Ceremony:  “As we gather here in the vibrant city of Iasi for the opening of the 15th World Esports Championship, we celebrate not just a tournament, but a global family brought together by our shared love for competitive gaming. In the heart of this city, let us remember that Esports isn’t merely about victories and defeats—it’s about forging connections that span cultures and continents.”

Iași Mayor Mihai Cirica was present at the Ceremony and said:  “The spirit of Esports resonates deeply with our community. My gratitude goes to everyone who worked tirelessly to make this happen. Together, we embrace the values of competition and unity that IESF represents. Let’s make history for Iasi in this global Esports arena.”

Prior to the Opening Ceremony, IESF held a special pre-ceremony event where the CS:GO theme song was played by a philharmonic orchestra for the first time in honor of Romania’s rich and historic culture. This year’s WE Championship will be unlike any other, complete with concerts and performances from top artists such as Armin van Buuren, a ComicCon festival, and activations with IESF partner FitGMR to ensure mental and physical well-being throughout the competition.

The world’s best esports players will compete across six featured game titles: CS: GO, Tekken 7, PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Dota 2, and eFootball™ for a grand prize of USD 500,000. During the 2023 WE Championship, all participating countries competing with live results and schedules can be accessed through IESF’s World Esports Championship platform.