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Sergey Portnov: Perspectives & predictions

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Speaking at PM:GO: In Touch with the Future, Parimatch CEO Sergey Portnov opened the floor to questions on topics ranging from why Parimatch and Conor McGregor are a great match, how to survive in a crisis, to predictions for the betting industry and sport in the wake of COVID-19. In typical fashion, Sergey spoke candidly to give the audience insights into some of the most pressing industry issues as well as his plans for Parimatch…

The esports boom

Parimatch is one of the few betting companies to have already shifted its focus to esports – and we are now looking to consolidate our position in the sector. Parimatch has a dedicated team with influential leaders responsible for our development strategy for esports. We will continue to seek out sponsorship deals in the esports sector and innovate our esports offering. The reality is that esports is here to stay and this is not just a temporary attempt to participate and jump on the hype bandwagon. Esports is in our DNA, it is our top priority.

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With sports fixtures cancelled across the world, many sports fans have turned to esports, and the popularity of esports will continue perhaps even with the return of sports matches. Looking to the near future, it might be that traditional sports matches are held without crowds of people. For the betting industry, it actually doesn’t matter. We just need the match to take place and to be broadcast. Looking further ahead, there will likely be plans drawn up to avoid having to stop all sport like this again, and there will be conditions agreed for how the sport industry can continue to operate if faced with another situation like the one we’re in now.

At Parimatch, we are also considering creating our own sports, to increase the opportunities for betting and entertainment for our players. For example, we could broadcast penalties, involving just a player and a goalkeeper. During normal times, you don’t have these kinds of ideas – which is why a crisis can be an opportunity to innovate.

Emerging from a crisis stronger and faster

With sports fixtures cancelled around the world, betting companies are seeing the majority of their players fall away. The challenge is how to engage wider audiences with simulated sports – and this is a challenge shared by all bookmakers who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Some operators will withstand this crisis better than others, because they have adapted their business model, by pivoting to online casinos or adding alternative sports – such as FIFA and table tennis.

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Although Parimatch has been affected, we are poised to be one of the structural winners to emerge from the crisis, as we are adapting and finding new solutions so that we remain one step ahead. In every sector, this is great time to optimize your business, identify weak spots in the company and fulfil goals that have been put off.

For me personally, I feel comfortable during a crisis, maybe because I love fighting and it has given me the fighting spirit that you need to prosper during difficult conditions. My advice to those who struggle is to always stay calm to avoid being guided by emotions and making rash decisions under pressure. A person who can distinguish between truth and artificial pressure will be right in their decisions.

Parimatch & The Notorious: A meeting of minds

Our contract with UFC was a prerequisite for Conor as our brand ambassador – and Conor is picky, he doesn’t just collaborate with any brand for money. It was our connection to UFC that initially attracted him. But why did Parimatch choose Conor? Firstly, because there a few examples of celebrities who have really changed their industry. Conor is one of those few people – he has made the UFC popular globally, bringing MMA into the mainstream. In fact, Conor is the face of MMA, and has attracted millions of fans to UFC not just because of his fighting skills, but for what he does

outside the ring. He can gather a crowd of people at a click of a finger – you could say he is a great magician! That kind of power and energy is what we wanted for our brand.

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In the ring: Beating the competition

At Parimatch, we of course keep an eye on our competitors, but we mostly compete with ourselves – not on a personal level, but on a company wide scale. We are focused on meeting our own goals, and not trying to copy competitor products, no matter how great they are. We know our weaknesses as a business and we know how to fight them.

For Parimatch, the main priority is solidifying our position as a technology company. Already 99.9% of our business operates online and 70% of it is mobile based. However, we want to become a leading technology business, and not just within the betting sector. We want to be a role model for related industries. We know this may take a few years, but we are confident that we will do it – and will become one of the very few betting companies to have made a major technology breakthrough.

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Thunderpick and HEROIC Launch Path to the Pros Counter-Strike 2 Tournament

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Thunderpick, the premier online crypto betting platform, and leading esports organization HEROIC, announced the launch of the Thunderpick Path to the Pros tournament. This tournament gives the opportunity for avid Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) players and fans to experience competitive gaming like the professionals, whether they’re gathering friends for fun or aiming to make a name for themselves in the world of competitive CS2.

Path to the Pros will be divided into two leagues – one for amateurs (noobs) and one for experienced players. Kicking off on July 6 and running until October, the schedule includes bi-weekly matches on Saturdays, with 16 qualifiers divided into FACEIT levels 1-7 and 8-10. Players can secure their spot in the main event by showcasing their skills and winning their league. Some of Thunderpick’s influencer roster – including Jake Lucky and FlickFlops – are joining up to create a team. Various stages of the tournament will be streamed live.

Participants will compete for a prize pool of $17,500 and the unique opportunity to compete in a showmatch against HEROIC. Throughout the tournament, Thunderpick and HEROIC will be announcing additional giveaways, including a $500 skin. The main event, taking place at the end of the year, will be a professionally produced online tournament featuring 16 teams.

“We are excited to collaborate with our partners at HEROIC to bring the Thunderpick Path to the Pros tournament to the broader gaming community. This event offers an incredible opportunity for CS2 players of all skill levels to compete and have a chance to face off against top-tier teams,” Kelly Sanders, Head of Strategy at Thunderpick, said.

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BLAST and British Esports Team Up to Bolster UK’s Esports Industry During Landmark Year For the Industry

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BLAST, the global esports entertainment company, and British Esports, the national body for esports in the UK, have announced a strategic partnership during a landmark year for the UK industry.

This collaboration will focus BLAST and British Esports efforts on political lobbying, grassroots development, education, careers, and professional development. The partnership comes during a historic year for the UK esports industry, with a record number of tier one esports events taking place, helping to position the region as a global hub for esports and gaming.

With the UK holding an 6% share of the global esports market and the global sector expected to reach $1.6 billion by the end of this year, this partnership aims to capitalise on this momentum and foster further growth.
Robbie Douek, CEO of BLAST, said: “This partnership with British Esports is a pivotal step in our mission to support the esports ecosystem in the UK. By focusing on key pillars together, we aim to create a sustainable and inclusive environment that encourages growth and professional development at every level. This year alone, the world’s biggest game publishers are choosing the UK as a destination for their esports ecosystems and arena events, helping position the region as a global hub for esports and big-scale events.

This partnership with British Esports will allow us bridge the gap between tier one arena events and grassroots esports.”
Chester King, CEO of British Esports, said: “2024 is a landmark year for esports in the UK as we host some of the most iconic global esports events.

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This is an incredible opportunity to leave a legacy from grassroots to professional that promotes the UK as a leading global destination for esports. That is why we were thrilled when Robbie and the team at BLAST visited our National Esports Performance Campus in Sunderland earlier this month to finalise our partnership. This collaboration between two leading British esports organisations will not only help to solidify the UK as a leading hub for esports but also ensure that we are nurturing the next generation of talent and providing them with the tools and opportunities they need to succeed.”

The partnership comes in a month where London is set to host two tier one esports arena events in consecutive weeks, with the BLAST Premier Spring Final taking place in Wembley Arena this week and the RLCS London Major in Copper Box Arena next week. These combined events will see more than 25,000 fans watch live esports events in-person in the United Kingdom in June alone.
To mark the launch of the partnership, Robbie Douek, CEO for BLAST, recently met Dave Martin, SVP for British Esports, for a tour of the National Esports Performance Campus in Sunderland.

The post BLAST and British Esports Team Up to Bolster UK’s Esports Industry During Landmark Year For the Industry appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Intel® Extreme Masters Cologne 2024: All 16 teams set to compete in the 10 year anniversary event

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From August 10 – 18, 16 top Counter-Strike (CS) teams will battle it out during Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Cologne 2024 for a share of the $1,000,000 prize pool, a win in the race to secure the Intel® Grand Slam V, and the coveted trophy. Today, we are thrilled to share with you the full lineup of teams competing in the celebratory event.

IEM tournaments are the pinnacle of esports competition for players worldwide and are at the heart of excitement for fans from around the globe. This year, we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary at the LANXESS arena as the final three days of IEM Cologne 2024 will once again take place in the iconic and packed-out arena in Cologne, Germany.

Also dubbed the Cathedral of Counter-Strike, the event’s significance lies in its long-lasting traditions and ability to consistently deliver legendary moments. This year, everyone is invited to go on a trip down memory lane and to experience the world’s best CS teams to-date playing CS2 for the first time on stage in Cologne.

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The teams competing at IEM Cologne 2024 are:

  • Team Spirit (IEM Katowice 2024 winner)
  • FaZe Clan (IEM Chengdu 2024 winner)
  • MOUZ (ESL Pro League Season 19 winner)
  • G2 Esports (IEM Dallas 2024 winner)
  • Team Vitality (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • Natus Vincere (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • Astralis (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • Virtus.pro (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • ALTERNATE aTTaX (Online Qualifier Germany)
  • HEROIC (ESL World Ranking Europe)
  • Eternal Fire (ESL World Ranking Europe)
  • Team Falcons (ESL World Ranking Europe)
  • Complexity Gaming (ESL World Ranking North America)
  • 9z Globant (ESL World Ranking South America)
  • The MongolZ (ESL World Ranking Asia)
  • FlyQuest (ESL World Ranking Oceania)
  • Team Liquid (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • Imperial Esports (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • FURIA Esports (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • BIG (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • BetBoom Team (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • paiN Gaming (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • MIBR (ESL World Ranking Global)
  • SAW (ESL World Ranking Global)

The post Intel® Extreme Masters Cologne 2024: All 16 teams set to compete in the 10 year anniversary event appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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