Upcoming Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL Challenger, DreamLeague, and ESL One competitions will be covered under the renewed partnership which expands to include ESL Pro League
|PRESS RELEASE SUMMARY
Cologne/New York/Taipei, January 31, 2024 – ESL FACEIT Group (EFG), the leading esports and video game entertainment company, and Intel®, have today announced the extension and expansion of their partnership with Acer. As the exclusive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partner, Acer’s gaming brand Predator will empower EFG Counter-Strike 2 and Dota 2 competitions across 2024.
Intel® and EFG have been partners in the esports space for over 20 years, fostering and supporting a passionate global community through world-leading esports events, activations and opportunities. Their vision is shared by Acer, and the mutual desire for progress, innovation, and delivering exceptional experiences has been the catalyst in the success, and now renewal, of their partnership.
The partnership sees Acer Predator become the exclusive OEM Partner for more EFG competitions across Counter-Strike 2 and Dota 2 than ever before, including:
- The Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) 2024 events in Chengdu, China; Dallas, United States; and Cologne, Germany; as well as IEM Fall.
- ESL Pro League Season 19 and Season 20.
- The ESL Challenger competitions taking place in Jönköping, Sweden; Atlanta, United States; Katowice, Poland; and one of which the location is yet to be announced.
- The online DreamLeague Season 21, Season 22 and Season 23.
- The ESL One competitions in 2024, including ESL One Birmingham and ESL One Asia.
Acer and EFG will continue showcasing the latest Intel® powered gaming technology across online and offline events, including the Predator Helios 16, Predator Helios 18, Predator Helios Neo series laptops, and Predator Orion series desktops.
Through the alliance, Acer Predator will continue to be integrated across broadcasts, with brand exposure on livestreams and onsite at events, and will offer fans exclusive opportunities such as its distinct booth where they can get hands-on with the next generation of gaming.
The next event in the partnership cycle is IEM Katowice 2024, taking place from February 8th-11th.
“Acer has consistently shown their commitment towards elevating the esports scene and delivering outstanding experiences for fans all over the world, and we’re excited to be renewing and expanding our partnership for another year,” said Bastian Veiser, Director Partner Management at EFG. “The partnership has already brought immense value to EFG products and their respective communities, and we look forward to continuing to innovate with Intel and Acer in 2024.”
“Acer’s Predator desktop and laptop systems continue to showcase the incredible gaming performance that’s possible with Intel Core processors, and we’re thrilled to continue partnering with Acer and EFG for 2024,” said Roger Chandler, Vice President and General Manager, Enthusiast PC and Workstation Segment at Intel®. “No matter who emerges on top of this year’s competitions, when you combine the power of Intel Core 14th Gen processors with Acer’s Predator systems and EFG’s esports events, gamers and creators around the world win.”
“Acer’s partnership with Intel and EFG is driven by our shared commitment of supporting the esports community, bringing gameplay to new heights,” said Vincent Lin, Associate Vice President, Global Product Marketing and Planning, Acer Inc. “Our latest Predator gaming laptops powered by Intel Core 14th Gen processors provide powerful performance and combine AI-powered features that enhance the overall gaming experience.”
For more information about upcoming Counter-Strike 2 competitions, check out the IEM, ESL Pro League and ESL Challenger websites, and follow ESL CS on X, Instagram, and Facebook.
For additional information about upcoming Dota 2 competitions, head over to the DreamLeague and ESL One websites, and follow ESL Dota 2 on X, Instagram, and Facebook.
Esports to Beat Football? SOFTSWISS Shares Sports Betting Trends for 2024
Esports is raising its position among top sports by bets in 2023. The product team of the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, a top sports betting software provider, reflects on the past year.
Esports Unstoppable Rise
Over the past three years, the top three sports by bets remain unchanged, with football, tennis and basketball maintaining their leadership. In contrast, esports has demonstrated a consistent upward trend, progressing from the seventh position in 2021 to the fourth in 2023. Notably, Counter-Strike stands out, claiming the sixth position among the top ten disciplines by the number of bets.
Alexander Kamenetskyi, Head of SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, comments: “Considering the rise of esports, we guide our partners to focus on cyber disciplines, engaging audiences beyond traditional betting demographics. Highlighting the cybersports potential for operators, Newzoo’s report projects 640 million viewers by 2025.”
Mobiles Drive 92% of Operator GGR
Another notable trend in sports betting, which has remained unchanged for several years, is the consistent growth in bets made from mobile devices. According to the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, 80% of bets in 2023 were placed via mobile versus 70% in 2022 and 68% in 2021. This trend solidifies as players increasingly opt for mobile convenience, especially in live betting scenarios. More importantly, it was mobile devices that contributed 92% to the operators’ GGR.
Kamenetskyi adds: “Mobile betting is one of our main focuses in product development. We put much effort into improving our mobile application and mobile website. It is specifically important for locations facing challenges with internet connectivity and regions like LatAm and Africa where internet coverage is still growing.”
Casino Turnover Drops During Major Sports Events
The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team has repeatedly emphasised shifts in player behaviour around major sports events. Specifically, there was a 10–20% drop in online casino turnover, coinciding with the World Cup 2022. This highlights a dynamic wherein a significant portion of casino players redirect their focus towards sports betting based on seasonal patterns. Considering audience preferences, reinforcing casinos with sportsbooks is a logical step.
Kamenetskyi adds: “This pattern underscores the strategic imperative for iGaming stakeholders to recognise the synergistic relationship between casino ventures and sportsbooks. Combining these options not only enhances casino appeal but also maintains player engagement, especially during sports events. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook is compatible with any casino platform on the market.”
Additionally, the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team notes the strengthening of other trends like regulation and responsible gambling that have recently been highlighted in the iGaming Trends 2024 report by SOFTSWISS. The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team will be glad to discuss all learnings during the first SBC Summit Rio at the stand D360.
SOFTSWISS is an international tech company supplying software solutions for managing iGaming projects. The expert team, which counts over 2,000 employees, is based in Malta, Poland and Georgia. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.
Abios scales up esoccer offering through new data deal with Betinvest
Through a new data partnership with Betinvest, Kambi subsidiary Abios gets access to an additional 4,650 matches of esoccer from the tournaments CyberLive!Arena (CLA) and Esport Pro Club (EPC). This allows Abios to power its partners with fast and engaging betting experiences, perfect for sportsbooks looking to capitalise on the combination of digital esports and analogue sports.
Last year, Abios released its esoccer offering featuring an odds feed, widgets and accompanying streams, creating an all-in-one betting experience. It proved to be a popular product for sportsbooks looking to increase live content after big events or during season downtime.
To increase coverage, create a more consistent offering and enable larger customer differentiation, Abios has partnered with sportsbook solutions provider Betinvest. Through the deal, Abios gets access to over 4,650 monthly events across CyberLive!Arena (CLA) and Esport Pro Club (EPC) tournaments.
This allows Abios to price and provide data and streams for an increased number of events, making sure there is live content available in the sportsbook, even during breaks in the seasonal football season.
The events are played in EA Sports’ FC game, formerly known as FIFA, which allows two players to control teams of players on a high-tech, simulated football field. In its simplicity and likeness to football, the game and its esports segment cater to fans of both football and esports, making it a bridge connecting both worlds.
Dariia Petrus, Business Development Team Lead at Betinvest, says: “Looking forward, our partnership is poised for significant growth and innovation. We’ve established a solid base for collaboration, opening up a range of exciting opportunities for us to explore together. The synergy of our shared expertise and efforts sets this venture apart, making it a noteworthy endeavor. This collaboration goes beyond achieving shared goals; it’s about the enriching experiences and mutual growth we’ll achieve along the way. We’re genuinely excited about what lies ahead and eagerly anticipate the start of our joint efforts.”
Oskar Bonnevier Fröberg, Managing Director and Founder of Abios, comments: Abios has recently taken significant strides to facilitate our esoccer product reaching new heights. With proprietary modelling, access to best-in-class data sources and a team of esports experts, we’ve been able to build a reliable odds feed coupled with exciting bet offers.
To help us provide 24/7 content to partners across the globe, we’re thrilled to have Betinvest onboard. With the content they provide, we can ensure even higher flexibility and availability for our partners, ultimately leading to more differentiated and optimised sports betting offerings.”
Gen.G and University of Kentucky Bring Back Award Winning Conference “Campus Takeover” Designed to Drive the Future of Collegiate Esports
Global esports and gaming organization Gen.G and the University of Kentucky (UK) are bringing back their award winning collegiate esports industry conference, Campus Takeover, on March 30 and April 6. This two-day event will bring together esports professionals with students and administrators from different universities. UK continues to pave the way as an esports ecosystem leader in the SEC and Midwest region.
Campus Takeover Day 1 is a student-focused event leading up to the professional conference, and will be live-streamed at twitch.tv/universityofky on March 30 starting at 4:30 PM EST. Campus Takeover Day 2, the flagship professional conference, will be hosted at the Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building on the University of Kentucky campus on April 6, starting at 10:00 AM EST.
“Since we started this event, we had a responsibility to uphold what future students expect of the University of Kentucky when it comes to their budding esports careers. There’s a lot expected about the future of gaming and esports, and we want to make sure our students are well equipped to be that expected change for years to come,” Heath Price, Associate Chief Information Officer at University of Kentucky, said.
Additionally, many esports professionals hailing from different segments of esports business will participate in various panels during Campus Takeover. The panels and discussions will cover a bevy of topics, including how to maximize your time when looking for new jobs, a conversation around esports, influencers, business, and video games, a look at intersectionality in games, and much more. Other clubs and programs will also be welcome to have tables within the Atrium during Campus Takeover, so even newer students get to see everything UK has to offer.
“University of Kentucky has been our long term collegiate partner; their investment in this community allows us to have a small hand in making sure the future of gaming and esports is secure. We all want to see this industry thrive, and we hope Campus Takeover is a stepping stone for other schools to form their own ways to develop the collegiate esports ecosystem,” Martin Kim, Chief Revenue Officer at Gen.G, said.
Campus Takeover was recognized at the 2023 Esports & Gaming Business Summit Tempest Awards, where it won the award for the Collegiate Esports Program of the Year.
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