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NODWIN Gaming and BLAST Triumphantly Conclude ‘The Draft’ with ‘shox’- Led Marcos Gaming Clinching Inaugural Title

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South Asia’s leading gaming and esports media company, NODWIN Gaming, in partnership with global esports entertainment company, BLAST celebrates the successful culmination of the region’s first legends-led  Counter-Strike tournament, ‘The Draft’. After an electrifying Super Six LAN final phase and a riveting BO5 grand final encounter against KennyS’ True Rippers Esports, Marcos Gaming, under the leadership of Counter-Strike icon Richard ‘shox’ Papillon, clinched a heart-stopping 3-2 victory, securing their place as the inaugural champions of ‘The Draft’.

Held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and powered by energy drink partners Red Bull, the Super Six LAN final phase of ‘The Draft’ featured 6 of the best Counter-Strike teams from India and Pakistan, with  India’s True Rippers Esports and Marcos Gaming emerging as the grand finalists. Richard ‘shox’ Papillon of team Liquid, G2, Team Vitality fame, boasting a remarkable career tally of over a dozen global CS tournaments including 1 Major led Marcos Gaming across the finish line. Shox was also named the tournament MVP with 302 kills, 187 deaths, and an impressive ADR of 103 across 5 Super Six LAN phase matches.

Speaking on the recently concluded tournament, Gautam Virk Co-Founder and CEO of NODWIN Gaming said, “We’re thrilled by the overwhelming success of ‘The Draft’ and the extraordinary display of Counter-Strike talent witnessed throughout the event. It’s been an exhilarating journey, witnessing the unwavering passion and dedication of gamers from the region. ‘The Draft’ embodies our unwavering commitment to not only elevate the esports ecosystem but also to nurture talent and cultivate a dynamic gaming community. The collaboration between NODWIN Gaming and BLAST has been a beacon of opportunity, providing emerging CS stars from the region with a platform to shine. Our heartiest congratulations to Marcos Gaming for their historic triumph as the inaugural champions of ‘The Draft’.

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We extend our deepest gratitude to our esteemed partners at BLAST, the participating teams, esteemed legends, and everyone who contributed to making this event a resounding success. Additionally, our heartfelt appreciation goes out to our passionate community whose steadfast support fuels our drive for excellence. As we conclude this remarkable chapter, we look forward to continuing our mission of pushing the boundaries of esports and creating more platforms for players to realize their full potential.”

Faye Marlborough, Director of Brand at BLAST, said: “The inaugural ‘The Draft’ has been a huge success and just goes to show the ever-growing passion and talent currently available in the South East Asia esports region. The event highlights the need for more opportunities for these underserved gaming regions and ‘The Draft’ provided exactly that with Counter-Strike legends joining them on a global platform where we saw the very best from each region – the skill, passion and dedication on display was incredible.”

Speaking on ‘The Draft’, Counter Strike legend and MVP of the tournament, Richard ‘shox’ Papillon said, “CS isn’t as well known in this region as it is in Europe or North America but being here to lend a hand feels really good. Sharing the passion for the game is key because, without that spotlight, it’s tough for players to progress. I’m just glad to be part of that journey. Every kid deserves a shot at making their dreams come true, no matter where they’re from. And I’m looking forward to meeting some fans, I hope there are some fans in the teams here that we can meet and interact with. It’s not often they get the chance to meet us, so being in this smaller intimate setting gives us a chance to connect – different people, different cultures, and different countries. It’s what makes this whole experience so special.”

The tournament started with 64 teams each from India and Pakistan vying for a spot in the group stages to join the 4 invited teams in the India group stage and 1 invited team in the Pakistan group stage. From the group stages  True Rippers Esports, Marcos Gaming, and Gods Reign represented India at the Super Six LAN phase while Pakistan was represented by Pak Boyz, Team Wah Wah, and Com Mid. Counter-Strike legends Adam ‘friberg’ Friberg, Ladislav ‘GuardiaN’ Kovacs, Richard ‘shox’ Papillon, Olof ‘olofmeister’ Gustafsson, Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund, and Kenny ‘kennyS’ Schrub were drafted in to lead and mentor the teams, further elevating the tournament’s intensity and prestige.

‘The Draft’ stands as a testament to the joint commitment of NODWIN Gaming and BLAST to enable the Counter-Strike ecosystem in the region and provide a platform for emerging CS talents to showcase their esports prowess on the world stage while playing alongside some of the brightest and legendary names to have ever played the game.

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The collaboration between South Asia’s leading esports and gaming media company NODWIN Gaming and global esports giant BLAST underscores a collective initiative to enhance and elevate the overall esports landscape within South Asia.

 

About BLAST

We’re on a mission to take esports to the next level of global entertainment. We excite and invite billions of fans to join the esports revolution. We create live and digital experiences – from tournaments that pack out major arenas around the world to great content that’s guaranteed to blow your socks off.

We work with some of the world’s best game publishers and brands to elevate their properties into amazing esports experiences – having delivered tournaments, content and shows in a variety of games, including: Counter-Strike, Rainbow Six Siege, DOTA 2, VALORANT, Apex Legends, FIFA 2022 and Fortnite.

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BLAST Premier is a worldwide Counter-Strike tournament series where the best teams and biggest superstars fight it out for glory and a multi-million dollar prize pool. Famous for its unparalleled production quality and game changing fan-first moments. Attracting tens-of-thousands of fans to our crazy-big-adrenaline-pumped live events in big arenas from London and Copenhagen to Miami and Sao Paulo, with millions more watching at home on our broadcast tuning in from more than 154 territories and in 25 different languages.

 

About NODWIN Gaming

NODWIN Gaming, a material and independent subsidiary of Nazara Technologies Ltd. (BSE: NAZARA), holds a significant position in the global gaming and esports industry as a leader in emerging markets. NODWIN Gaming is valued at $349 million as of 2023. Since its inception in 2014 by Akshat Rathee and Gautam Virk, NODWIN has established a global presence in regions such as South Asia, Singapore, the Middle East, and Turkey. The company’s business centers around building and monetising gaming and esports IPs such as Leagues, Tournaments, Reality shows. It engages with professional esports athletes, teams and content creators. Notable investors include Nazara, KRAFTON Inc, Sony Group Corporation and JetSynthesys

A key focus for NODWIN Gaming is the expertise in the mobile gaming and esports sector, where it has established a dominant position worldwide. By catering to the youth demographic, NODWIN is expanding its Total Addressable Market (TAM) by becoming increasingly relevant in the rapidly evolving digital entertainment landscape. Their diverse range of intellectual properties that engages the youth spans esports, gaming, pop culture, music, and comedy. This strategic expansion and cultivation of new intellectual properties are crucial to NODWIN’s aim of maintaining a significant role in the global gaming esports arena.

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China’s CBA League Extends Global Broadcast and Integrity Partnership with Sportradar

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The Chinese Men’s Professional Basketball League (CBA League) and Sportradar announced a strategic extension of their partnership aimed at growing the league’s global presence and ensuring integrity within Chinese basketball.

This extension will leverage Sportradar’s expansive network to distribute more than 550 games, including highlights and short form video, through the regular and post-season. Through international broadcast and audio-visual distribution channels, including leading broadcasters, streaming services and over-the-top (OTT) platforms, the collaboration seeks to enhance fan engagement and broaden the league’s viewership in international markets.

CBA League will also continue to receive Sportradar’s market-leading integrity services, with its suite of technological solutions and products deployed to safeguard CBA League competitions against a range of integrity threats.

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Shirley Lv, who led the broadcast rights negotiation at CBA League, said: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with Sportradar and believe it will provide enriched possibilities and further awareness for CBA League, given the company’s extensive experience and recent track record. By building up opportunities globally in this long-term partnership, we look forward to developing the continued growth of the CBA League and reaching out to new audiences around the world.”

Ben Turner, Head of Sports Content and Partnerships, APAC and Head of Global Basketball, Sportradar said: “Sportradar is the unparalleled partner to propel CBA League towards previously untapped levels of global visibility. Basketball is one of only a few sports with significant global appeal, and Sportradar is committed to maximizing this potential for both the CBA League and our clients. Together, we will continue to unlock immense value through our content offering, fostering growth and engagements across diverse markets.”

The 2023/24 season is the CBA league’s 29th edition, with 20 teams vying for top honours.

The post China’s CBA League Extends Global Broadcast and Integrity Partnership with Sportradar appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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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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QTech Games bolsters its bingo offering with S4Gaming’s non-jackpot games

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Emerging-markets leader strengthens its premium platform with a new game family from the revered video-bingo supplier

QTech Games, the number-one games distributor across Asia and all emerging markets, has signed an upgrade to its existing S4Gaming partnership, enabling its platform customers to more premium content from the video-bingo supplier’s non-jackpot bingo offering.

Barcelona-based S4Gaming draws from a deep well of breakout games, including popular slots titles such as Multidragon, Golden Lion, and Binvaders. These games already form part of the progressive portfolio made available to QTech Games and its clients, but they have now been joined by a new portfolio of non-jackpot games around bingo, featuring hits like La Mina de la Suerte, Gran National Bingo, Pesero and more.

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This non-jackpot game family is proving more engaging to players who enjoy better RTP from their favourite underlying core games, and attractive to operators searching for no – or more limited – jackpot liabilities.

S4Gaming boasts a comprehensive catalogue, ably backed by an experienced team that offers decades of industry expertise in a developing digital landscape that demands varied content, above all in newly regulating jurisdictions like LatAm. Its cornerstone philosophy hinges strongly around innovation, providing creative ideas to improve every aspect of the UX.

This ongoing collaboration widens S4Gaming’s geographic footprint, targeting emerging markets from Asia to Latin America in particular. As the fastest-growing distributor in Asia over the past few years, QTech’s platform is proven in fragmented territories and delivers the most expansive gaming suite around, localised for each region, with native mobile apps, powerful reporting and marketing tools, and 24/7 local-language support.

Unlike many other verticals, bingo initially struggled to adapt products to mobile and its smaller screen interface, losing its lines for invention. However, now S4Gaming is capitalising on the enormous potential within bingo to deliver an engaging, socially-led product that can win back the market share conceded to other gaming sectors.

QTech Games CCO, Daniel Long, said: “It’s another resounding endorsement of our platform to have integrated more premium content from S4Gaming. Their expanding video-bingo library is an engaging vertical in and of itself, delivering another dimension to our gaming-vertical spread, courtesy of some high-quality graphics, responsible gameplay and unique features. Together, we will continue to raise the bar and shape a localised experience for global players.

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“There’s no reason for the social aspect of bingo to be impacted in the transition to mobile. In fact, its surging popularity among millennials, should propel this surge of interest in this timeless game across the generations. The key is to maintain and evolve a varied product portfolio that caters to all player preference and points on the volatility and return-to-player spectrum. Some players simply prefer a more reliable RTP and longer dwell-time from their go-to games, while this is also appealing to operators who might be looking to avoid towering jackpot liabilities.”

Carles Fernandez, CCO at S4Gaming, added: “QTech Games is a natural habitat for superior games and a rarefied air for the player experience. We are broadening our influence across developing regions and their market-leading platform provides an agile pathway to some previously overlooked territories.

“Needless to say, agreeing this new deal tracks our core strategy to fully leverage our reach, and we look forward to seeing how new audiences embrace our games.”

The post QTech Games bolsters its bingo offering with S4Gaming’s non-jackpot games appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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