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PandaScore Boosts Betfred’s esports Ambitions

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Esports data supplier forms UK partnership with global operator

French esports data and odds supplier PandaScore has partnered with global betting brand Betfred to  supercharge its esports betting offering across the United Kingdom.

The partnership will see the tier-one betting operator incorporate PandaScore’s full product offering, which delivers 308 unique markets, over 32,000 events a year and an average year-on-year turnover increase of 33% for operators.

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PandaScore’s  entire focus is on delivering innovation and growth in the esports betting industry, powered by a world-class trading team, extensive player props markets, widgets for an improved player experience as well as the esports-specific BetBuilder, the richest of its kind on the market.

This new partnership, expected to launch later this year, will allow Betfred  to offer improved and expanded esports markets to its customers across its online sportsbook in the UK.

PandaScore Senior Sales Manager Dasha Kirilishina, said: “We’re incredibly pleased to partner with Betfred to help grow their esports product. They’re a leading operator, with an incredibly strong brand and legacy both online and offline.

“We can’t wait to launch our product, delivering richer experiences for players and strong, sustainable growth for Betfred’s esports vertical. At PandaScore, the real work begins after the client has signed, as we focus on the success of our partners and our customer success team works tirelessly to guarantee that.”

Craig Reid, trading director at Betfred echoed the sentiment “We’re looking forward to what this partnership will yield for our online product, particularly as we look to engage a wider audience.

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“There’s a strong appetite for esports betting in the UK, so it made sense to partner with a data and odds supplier like PandaScore to give our customers more of what they love.”

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Profiles of Animesh Agarwal, Naman Mathur, Payal Dhare and Tirth Mehta

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  1. Animesh Agarwal aka 8Bit Thug, Founder & CEO of 8Bit Creatives and Co-Founder of S8UL

Mr Animesh Agarwal is the Founder, and CEO of 8Bit Creatives, India’s leading Esports consulting and talent management agency.  He is also the founder of S8UL, a hub of gaming content and Esports. S8UL is the parent org of IQOO SOUL, the leading Esports organization in India.

S8UL is the only Indian Esports organization to win at the global Esports Awards and has done so multiple times by securing the prestigious ‘Esports Content Creator of the Year’ recently. Having also won the inaugural ‘Global Impact on Mobile Gaming’ award at the MOBIES earlier this year, the organization has elevated the stature of Indian Esports worldwide. Moreover, team SOUL has also roped in iQOO as its exclusive title sponsor, marking the first time that an Esports organization in the country secured a high-profile title sponsorship with a mobile manufacturer that extends beyond individual tournaments.

Animesh dons several hats as an entrepreneur, an ex-pro gamer, a monster energy Esports athlete, a gaming & luxury lifestyle content creator, and a pioneer in the Indian Gaming Industry. He has a deep understanding of the industry and is dedicated to shaping the Esports and gaming industry in India. He has partnered with other industry front runners like Nodwin Gaming & LOCO to make substantial strides in advancing gaming & Esports in India.

His Company, 8Bit Creatives is equally making remarkable milestones in the business of content creation and brand collaborations around gaming and esports. With some of India’s top gaming talents in their line-up and backed with experience and exposure of collaborating and curating campaigns with 100+ top-notch brands like Netflix, Coca-cola, Reliance Digital, Mx Players, OnePlus, Realme Narzo, Flipkart, Airtel, and many others; 8Bit Creatives boasts of managing popular and renowned gaming content creators and influencers- Mortal, Scout, Mavi, Snax, Thug, Payal, Kaashvi, 8bit Goldy, 8bit Sid to name a few.

 

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  1. Naman Mathur aka Mortal, Co-Founder of S8UL

Naman Mathur, popularly known as Mortal, is a prominent figure in the Indian Esports community and the Co-Founder and CMO of S8UL Esports. Known for his exceptional gaming skills and influential presence, Naman has been instrumental in shaping the landscape of Indian Esports. His achievements both as an Esports athlete and a gaming creator have earned him global recognition, cementing him as the face of Indian Esports.

Naman holds the distinction of being the only Indian Esports athlete nominated four times in the prestigious global Esports Awards. The 26-year-old clinched the runner-up in the ‘Esports Personality of the Year’ category in consecutive years in 2022 and 2023, following his previous nomination for the ‘Streamer of the Year’ category in 2020 and 2021 where he secured the second position on both occasions.

As an Esports athlete, the Mumbai-born gamer has won notable tournaments including the BMPS Season 1 (2022), PUBG: Mobile Club Open, and PUBG Mobile India Series (2019) while also representing India on the international stage. Acknowledged for his exceptional gaming content, Naman was honored with the ‘Best Gaming Influencer’ at the Impact Digital Influencer Awards last year.

With an impressive following of 7 million subscribers on YouTube and over 5.3 million followers on Instagram, Naman’s influence transcends his gaming prowess, as he has played a pivotal role in elevating the status of Indian Esports on a global scale.

 

  1. Payal Dhare aka PayalGaming, India’s leading female gamer who is part of 8Bit Creatives

Payal Dhare, hailing from the small city of Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, defied societal stereotypes from an early age and embarked on a journey as a gamer. It all began when her cousin brothers introduced her to the world of video games.

While Payal’s father provided unwavering support, her mother initially shared the concerns for her future. However, Payal’s determination and passion gradually changed her mother’s perspective. As a result, her mother now stands as a proud supporter of Payal’s achievements.

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Payal commenced her career as a hardcore content creator. Although her first video on YouTube did not feature gameplay, it served as a significant starting point for her. Unlike aspiring lifestyle influencers, Payal’s primary focus was to connect with her audience through gaming. She aimed to have fun while playing games and involve more people in the process. Payal believed that competitiveness was not always necessary when engaging in video games.

By breaking stereotypes and pursuing her passion, Payal Dhare has become an inspiration for aspiring gamers, content creators, and individuals seeking to challenge societal norms. With over 3.1 million followers on Instagram and 3.69 million subscribers on YouTube, her journey exemplifies the importance of following one’s dreams, even in the face of adversity.

 

  1. Tirth Mehta, Bronze medal winner in Hearthstone at Asian Games 2018

Tirth Mehta, a 28-year-old lad from the sleepy town of Bhuj in Gujarat’s Kutch district won the bronze medal in Hearthstone — a popular online digital collectible card game — at the Esports demonstration event at the 2018 Asian Games. Hearthstone, developed and published by American video game company, Blizzard Entertainment, has garnered huge interest among online gamers from across Asia, including Japan, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, besides India. The game is a combination of chess and poker, requiring players to have core skills in maths and probability.

The post Profiles of Animesh Agarwal, Naman Mathur, Payal Dhare and Tirth Mehta appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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EA SPORTS NHL 24 World Championship Winner Announced

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A new champion was crowned yesterday in New York during the EA SPORTS NHL 24 World Championship, the National Hockey League announced. Ethan ‘Polgz’ Kerr-Polgar, who represented the Toronto Maple Leafs, earned his first EA SPORTS NHL 24 title, the $30,000 USD grand prize and a custom hockey stick trophy. The 21-year-old, Newmarket, Ont., resident won the back-and-forth, best-of-three series, including winning Game 1 in overtime against fellow Canadian Justin ‘Regs’ Reguly. With the win, Polgz cements his status as the top NHL 24 player in the World.

Polgz (@PolgzNHLon X) is an avid hockey fan and gamer who chose to represent his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs in the EA SPORTS NHL 24 World Championship. His superior offensive skills allowed him to score eight goals in the Final series to earn the World title. Polgz dedicated the win to his mother, who is his biggest supporter and has beat cancer three times.

Fellow Maple Leafs representative Regs finished the day as runner-up. Regs was previously the North American Champion of EA SPORTS NHL 22.

The virtual qualifying events for the live competition were hosted in partnership with Rival on its fan engagement platform that connects gamers from all over the world. The NHL 24 World Championship qualifying spanned two continents and showcased the global reach of virtual hockey.

EA SPORTS NHL 24 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

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Round Robin

Polgz (Toronto Maple Leafs) 3 vs. Regs (Toronto Maple Leafs) 2 (OT)

Deeks (Montreal Canadiens) 7 vs Tempannen (Anaheim Ducks) 3

Regs (Toronto Maple Leafs) 2 vs. Tempannen (Anaheim Ducks) 1 (OT)

Polgz (Toronto Maple Leafs) 4 vs. Deeks (Montreal Canadiens) 3

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Regs (Toronto Maple Leafs) 5 vs. Deeks (Montreal Canadiens) 1

Polgz (Toronto Maple Leafs) 4 vs. Temppanen (Anaheim Ducks) 1

Standings after Round Robin

1. Eki (*automatically advanced to Semifinal) *defeated Gren for 1st seed

2. Gren (*automatically advanced to Semifinal)

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3. Polgz, TOR (3-0-0), 6 pts

4. Regs, TOR (2-0-1), 5 pts

5. Deeks, MTL (1-2-0), 2 pts

6. Temppanen, ANA (0-2-1), 1 pts

Semifinal (best-of-three)

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EKI (NYI) vs. Regs (TOR)

Regs wins series 2-0

Gren (BUF) vs. Polgz (TOR)

Polgz wins series 2-0

Final (best-of-three)

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Game 1: Polgz, 3 vs. Regs, 2 (OT)

*Polgz took an early lead over Regs by scoring the first goal of the series. Polgz secured a two-goal lead in the second period, which was quickly answered by Regs bringing the score to 2-1. Regs made an epic comeback in the third period, tying up the game with 17 seconds left and forcing the first game into overtime. Despite strong gameplay from both sides, Polgz pulled through to earn the overtime win.

Game 2: Polgz, 0 vs. Regs, 5

*Regs dominated in Game 2 of the Final. He scored two goals in quick succession in the first period, then took a three-goal lead in the second period. Polgz had some good chances in the second period, but ultimately was unable to overcome Regs. Regs sealed the deal with another two goals towards the end of the third period, securing a 5-0 win over Polgz and tying the series at 2-2.

Game 3: Polgz, 5 vs. Regs, 3

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*An unstoppable Polgz took the early lead, scoring four unanswered goals in the first period. After a mostly quiet second period, Regs got on the board with two unanswered goals of his own, suddenly cutting Polgz’s lead in half. Entering the third period at 4-2 with Polgz in the lead, Regs made up ground with another goal early in the third period, making for an exciting battle for the win. In the end, Polgz locked in the win with a fifth goal in the third period, winning Game 3 with a final score of 5-3 and ending the series 2-1.

World Championship History

YEAR WINNER RUNNER UP
2024 Polgz (Ethan Kerr-Polgar) Regs (Justin Reguly)
2023 Jos x 10 (Joseph Olmstead) EKI (Erik Tammenpää)
2022* NA: Regs (Justin Reguly)

EUR: EKI (Erik Tammenpää)

NA: Gren-35- (Matthew Grenier)
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EUR: J-_-JamalTheMan (Jimi Rönkkönen)

2021* NA: Gren-35- (Matthew Grenier)

EUR: EKI (Erik Tammenpää)

NA: Regs (Justin Reguly)

EUR: NikkeDangles (Niklas Tukiainen)

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2020* CAN: Regs (Justin Reguly)

USA: OF’s HF (Josh Fuss)

EUR: Artuzio (Arttu Mustila)

CAN: YungGren (Matthew Grenier)

USA: Top Shelf Cookie (Matthew Gutkoski)

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EUR: MrNipsuli (Roni Kajan)

2019 Top Shelf Cookie (Matthew Gutkoski) JohnWayne90 (John Casagranda)
2018 EKI (Erik Tammenpää) Jr Pens (David Roebuck)

*World Championship canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions NA = North America / EUR = Europe

EA SPORTS NHL 23 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS

1. Polgz, Toronto Maple Leafs ($30,000 USD)

2. Regs, Toronto Maple Leafs ($10,000 USD)

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3. Gren, Buffalo Sabres ($5,000 USD)

4. Eki, New York Islanders ($5,000 USD)

5. Deeks, Montreal Canadiens ($1,000 USD)

6. Temppanen, Anaheim Ducks ($1,000 USD)

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eSports

BITKRAFT Ventures Launches New $275M Venture Fund, Continues to Invest in Early-Stage Gaming and Interactive Media Startups Globally

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Once closed, this fund will bring BITKRAFT Ventures’ total assets under management to over $1 billion

BITKRAFT Ventures, one of the leading global games investment platforms, has announced the filing of BITKRAFT Venture Fund 3, a $275 million fund dedicated to driving early-stage investments in gaming and interactive media companies. Serving as the successor to their two Early Stage Equity Venture Funds, BITKRAFT Venture Fund 3 will continue to invest in studios, platforms, and technology globally within the gaming and interactive media space at the Seed and Series A stages. Once closed, this milestone launch will bring BITKRAFT Ventures’ total assets under management to over $1 billion.

Grounded in its vision of synthetic reality, BITKRAFT believes in the transformative power of digital experiences, shaping the future of entertainment. With a core belief that humanity is increasingly immersing itself in digital realms, BITKRAFT recognizes game companies as central to this development, driving the evolution of digital entertainment. Founded by seasoned entrepreneurs and builders in the games ecosystem, BITKRAFT has grown from a small team to over 25 professionals distributed globally, with a presence in key markets in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America.

“At BITKRAFT Ventures, we are as committed to — and optimistic about — the future of the games industry as we were from the inception of BITKRAFT in 2016. We’ve seen continued growth across all major game platforms, in metrics including user engagement, activity levels, and monetization,” says Jens Hilgers, Founding General Partner at BITKRAFT Ventures. “Newly formed game studios have seen substantial break out successes over the last years, and the advent of AI in game production further benefits new upstarts in the space. Additionally, we have witnessed increased interest in game content beyond incumbents from media and tech giants, as well as private equity firms entering the landscape of potential buyers further expanding the exit landscape.”

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BITKRAFT Ventures has strategically invested in various stages in a global roster of well-known companies including Frost Giant, a studio dedicated to bringing back real-time strategy; Anzu, an in-game advertising platform revolutionizing the gaming industry; Carry1st, a mobile gaming platform focused on serving the African market; InWorld, a social platform merging the digital and physical worlds; Voicemod, a voice modulation software empowering content creators; Immutable, the creators of the popular blockchain game Gods Unchained; and Karate Combat, an innovative martial arts league bringing high-octane combat sports to global audiences.

BITKRAFT Ventures’ funds exhibited noteworthy performance, as documented by the Cambridge Associates Benchmarking Data Report 2023. BITKRAFT’s inaugural Web 3 fund achieved a top 5% ranking, while its second Venture Fund secured a position in the top 8% of all funds based on Internal Rate of Return (IRR).

 

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