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European Gaming Congress 2024


2020 NBA 2K League APAC Invitational: Recap




The NBA 2K League APAC Invitational has been run and won for another year, and a new MVP was crowned and subsequently established himself as a serious NBA 2K League draft candidate.

The tournament of course established in part to identify regional talent did just that, as 20 of the very best players from the region put on a show of extremely high level NBA 2K basketball befitting of the end-goal, a chance to impress team management and talent evaluators alike and be drafted onto a NBA2K League team.

Seoul, South Korea was the venue, a fitting backdrop for a rapidly growing esports venture in the NBA 2K League. The event was a double header in that the League made a special announcement by officially unveiling and welcoming the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai as the 23rd franchise.

Enough of the formalities however. It is time to look at how the tournament played out. I thought it would be interesting to provide some overarching thoughts on how the tournament played out including any outstanding individual efforts.


Michael ‘BearDaBeast’ Key from T-Wolves Gaming said it best in his pre-tournament interview with Jeff Eisenband – “The competition is great. I’m not gonna lie to you. I tell you the truth (sic). I didn’t think these guys could play on the level we play on, so that has shocked me the most”.

The standard of play at the APAC Invitational has been extremely high considering players are thrown together in a short space of time and expected to perform underneath the bright lights of the stage and broadcast cameras which is exactly the type of crucible which forges strong willed players who find a way to win.

The Chinese and South Korean playing contingent impressed me with their overall skill and knowledge of the game. Their task made all the more difficult with language barriers and limited experience on the retail version of NBA 2K. Zhang ‘Cherry_Zi’ Wenxuan on a lock build and Haoyu ‘Ironman’ Li particularly impressed, Cherry_Zi was everywhere on defence and set the tone, perhaps didn’t stuff the stats but snuffed out actions before they happened and Ironman blew game two wide open with some impressive sharp shooting. An honorable mention to Poon Shing Ki ‘TR-Gobert-AP’ George of whom has potential, perhaps didn’t have the best outing but was active, engaged and in the right spots to contribute.

As expected the tournament was a hard-fought battle between ball-handlers and lockdown builds as every game turned into a point guard dual to create space and scoring opportunities. Lockdown builds as expected had a huge say in each game in particular in trying to keep a lid of their matchup.

It was difficult to select a ‘first-team lockdown’ with a three-way battle between xMonaa-, iAmMarioXXIII and Cherry_zi. All three set the tone defensively for their teams by disrupting the point guard play as best they could, blowing up screen-and-roll-actions and jumping passing lanes. However, it was Eugene ‘iAmMarioXXIII’ Pillai who rose above and took first team honours, managing to give a much needed scoring boost to the team with transition buckets and flying around the court on defence picking up the opposing point guard full court.


The story of the tournament was the extreme proficiency, scoring and shot creation shown by Jordan ‘JaeDubb’ Walden at point guard on ‘Team L5’ leading them to a tournament victory and in the process – collecting a much deserved and unanimous Most Valuable Player Trophy and really announcing himself on the world NBA 2K stage. Jaedubb is well known to the NBA 2K community in Australasia for point guard play. Jaesubb’s performance across both games were complete all round ‘floor general’ performances – setting the table for teammates and scoring at will dropping 34 points and 11 assists in the final.

JaeDubb moves into the draft pool for the upcoming season three NBA 2K League and undoubtedly skyrockets up the draft boards as teams are still searching for franchise cornerstone ball handlers. Season two champions T-Wolves Gaming BearDaBeast showed just how important it is to build around dynamic point-guard-play.

It’s time to nominate this writer’s All-Tournament-First and Second teams. In the interest of fairness, players were selected by position only. There is no fluidity however I’m aware many players are skilled at many positions.

Please note the following is the opinion of the author and not that of the NBA 2K League.

First Team


PG Jordan ‘JaeDubb’ Walden – MVP.
SG Eugene ‘iAmMarioXXIII’ Pillai
SF Lynard Clark ‘PBE_Clark’ Banzon
PF Li ‘Ironman’ Haoyu
C Meason ‘Milo’ Camille

Second Team

PG Aiden ‘TheGoldenDunk-’ Fleming
SG Zhang ‘Cherry_zi’ Wenxuan
SF Aminolah Jr. ‘PBE_Rial’ Polog
PF Benjamin ‘iki-ll_illuminati’ Teitzel.
C Poon Shing Ki ‘TR-Gobert-AP’ George

Team ‘L5’ are your 2020 APAC Invitational champions. Their starting line-up included:

1. Jordan ‘JaeDubb’ Walden – MVP.
2. Zhang ‘Cherry_zi’ Wenxuan
3. Aminolah Jr ‘PBE_Rial’ Polog
4. Benjamin ‘iki-ll_illuminati’ Teitzel.
5. Hu ‘Lucky_yi_Wesely’ Yi


There are many extremely talented players in the region. What is undeniable is the appetite for NBA 2K basketball in the Asia-Pacific region. The local scene is growing year over year both in regard to localized tournaments and active participants on the five versus five Pro-Am game mode. The establishment of the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai is an incredibly important milestone in the league’s trajectory and for global expansion coupled with the APAC Invitational which is a fitting capstone event that brings all the Asia-Pacific countries together to compete for all the marbles – glory on the virtual hardwood and spots in the NBA 2K League draft pool.

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First-ever Olympic Esports Games to take place in 2025; massive opportunity for Indian esports



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Following the IOC’s partnership with the NOC of Saudi Arabia to host the inaugural Olympic Esports Games, India’s growing esports sector has an opportunity to prove its mettle on the international stage and flourish

In a historic move, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that the inaugural Olympic Esports Games will take place in Saudi Arabia in 2025. This decision follows the recent proposal by the IOC’s Executive Board and will be presented at the IOC Session ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The IOC has entered a 12-year partnership with the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Saudi Arabia to host the Olympic Esports Games. As per the official announcement, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Minister of Sport and President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic and Paralympic Committee remarked, “The world is invited to join us in 2025 and celebrate this moment together.”


Indian esports, already on the rise, stands to gain significantly from this development. Following a bronze medal win in DOTA 2 at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and competing in five titles at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, India’s esports scene is on track for further growth.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the groundbreaking development, Akshat Rathee, Co-founder and MD of NODWIN Gaming, said, “NODWIN Gaming is thrilled that esports has earned its place in the Olympics with its own standalone event, akin to the Summer, Winter, and Paralympics. This recognition allows countries to develop independent esports programs. Together with our partners in the GEF and the EWC, NODWIN Gaming is eager to build esports in our core growth markets, seizing this opportunity for hope and glory.”

The IOC launched its first esports pilot, the Olympic Virtual Series, in 2021 followed by the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore in June 2023. This event brought together over 130 players from around the world, competing in 10 mixed-gender categories, attracting over 500,000 unique participants and six million views, with 75% of the audience aged 13 to 34.

“The IOC’s embrace of the Olympic Esports Games honors the dedication and skill of millions of gamers worldwide. It goes beyond just competition; it elevates esports to a global platform, encouraging international collaboration and potentially ushering in a new generation of athletes. This initiative truly is a landmark moment for esports, bringing it the global recognition it has long earned. The inclusion of esports in the Olympic movement demonstrates its growing influence and cements its place in the future of sports,” commented Roby John, CEO and Co-founder at SuperGaming.

The introduction of the Olympic Esports Games is set to further enhance the credibility of esports in India, establishing it as a viable sport and career option.


“This recognition will further legitimize esports as a career option, more parents will now support their children in pursuing careers in this field, elevating the professional landscape of competitive gaming. We are proud to support the growth of esports in India, giving our players the chance to shine on this prestigious international platform,” further.

With the official announcement of the Olympic Esports Games, work will now begin on selecting the host city and venue, determining the event’s timing, selecting titles, and establishing the qualification process for players. The IOC has emphasized collaboration with International Federations already engaged in e-sports and National Olympic Committees that include esports in their activities.

While the titles for the Olympic Esports Games have not been officially announced, the potential inclusion of games across diverse platforms is expected to stimulate growth in India’s gaming industry. This could lead to a rise in PC and console gaming, diversifying India’s predominantly mobile gaming market as players aim to represent their nation at the largest international multi-sport event.

“We are absolutely elated by the announcement of the Olympic Esports Games which is being hosted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This marks a monumental step for the industry and all its stakeholders. The Indian esports sector is on an upward trajectory and this will further empower it. Esports being integrated under the banner of the pinnacle of sports events in the world will bring further legitimacy to this form of sport and encourage a new generation of esports talent to rise from the country. We’re excited and look forward to extending our support to the esports community of India so they make a mark at the global event!” said Vishal Parekh, COO, CyberPowerPC India.

Additionally, the IOC will establish a dedicated structure for the Olympic Esports Games, distinct from the traditional Olympic Games model, to address the unique aspects of esports financing and organization.



The post First-ever Olympic Esports Games to take place in 2025; massive opportunity for Indian esports appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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AFK Gaming announces India’s first-ever premium insights dashboard for esports analytics



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In a bid to provide authentic data and unparalleled insights into the nation’s esports industry, AFK Gaming has announced the beta launch of ‘AFK Gaming Insights’, India’s first-ever premium analytics dashboard.

This first-of-its-kind powerful tool offers real-time data and analytics to help users, brands and other stakeholders make informed decisions and stay ahead in the esports landscape of the country.

AFK Gaming Insights features three core analytics modules:
Tournaments Analytics: Access detailed information on prize pools, sponsors, players, teams, and more. This module provides a comprehensive view of the financial and competitive aspects of esports tournaments, enabling users to strategize effectively.

User Analytics: Discover valuable insights into demographics, occupations, interests, income ranges, spending habits, and more. This data helps users understand the diverse backgrounds and behaviours of the Indian gaming community, facilitating targeted marketing and engagement efforts.
Social Analytics: Track key metrics such as Instagram followers, YouTube subscribers, and the country’s top live streamers.


Expressing his enthusiasm on the beta launch of AFK Gaming Insights, Nishant Patel, Co-founder and CEO of AFK Gaming stated, “AFK Gaming Insights is a product built to address a critical market need. In the absence of reliable data to aid their decision making, key stakeholders in the Indian gaming, esports and youth culture industries have been struggling to make informed decisions. With this launch, we hope to empower tournament organizers, brand managers, team owners and industry observers with a single source of truth that they can turn to for industry knowledge and information that will drive the sector’s growth as a whole.”

According to a report by Niko Partners, India is the fastest-growing gaming market, with over 450 million gamers and more than USD 830 million revenue generated in 2023. This expansive market requires a platform that enables stakeholders and brands to access insights on the go and use these metrics for their engagement and campaigns.

To address this, AFK Gaming Insights, which will be available exclusively to annual subscribers, has been devised to cater to a diverse spectrum of users. For newcomers, the dashboard serves as an entry point, providing information that helps them understand trends, player performances and tournament dynamics.

Gamers can optimise their strategies and refine their performances while hardcore audiences will benefit from the deeper insights on their favourite gamers and teams’ social media engagements, viewerships and tournament statistics. For example, the tool reveals that Total Gaming is currently the most viewed Indian gaming YouTuber, with an average of 4.25 million views per video over the last month.

On the other hand, industry stakeholders can leverage detailed analytics into market trends, audience behaviours and sponsorship opportunities to make strategic decisions. For instance, the dashboard uncovers significant trends, such as the fact that more Indian gamers spend money on a daily basis rather than not spending at all.


This pioneering platform promises to redefine the analysis of competitive gaming and change the way esports is perceived in the country.

The post AFK Gaming announces India’s first-ever premium insights dashboard for esports analytics appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Gen.G Launches Official 2024 Summer Jersey with LIBILLY



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Global esports organisation Gen.G announced their newest apparel collaboration with LIBILLY, a Seoul streetwear culture-based brand led by rapper Changmo. The “2024 Gen.G x LIBILLY Collection” represents icons of youth and passion in cross-cultural scenes; the two brands are teaming up to promote K-culture worldwide, beyond Korea’s domestic stage.

“Every year, we are proud that we get to be a part of some of the biggest esports moments in the world. This year, we are excited to partner with Changmo and the team at LIBILLY to introduce a new kit during such a historic season,” Arnold Hur, CEO of Gen.G Esports, said.

The new collection with LIBILLY consists of six pieces, including the official jersey and jacket as well as short-sleeved t-shirts, sweatshirts and ball caps featuring both organisations’ logos. The official jersey, accented in Gen.G’s signature gold colour, is designed to be breathable and comfortable for both players and fans to wear. Gen.G’s iconic slogan “Change the Game” is printed on it to encourage fans to collect. LIBILLY is the latest in a series of successful lifestyle collaborations for Gen.G, with brands like The Hundreds, PUMA and Heron Preston in past years.


The lifestyle apparel features a mashup of Gen.G adorable mascot “Genrang” wearing clothes with LIBILLY’s symbol “031” logo, among other cobranded apparel items. Images of the Gen.G League of Legends team, currently competing in Riyadh for the 2024 Esports World Cup, have captured the hearts and minds of fans since they first leaked.

“I’m excited to wear new uniforms this season through our collaboration with the hip and young brand LIBILLY. It was fun to try out and shoot content in a different look than we did before, so I hope the fans enjoy it as much as we enjoyed this process,” said Gen.G’s Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Gen.G, a representative of the esports scene. We hope that this collection, which reinterprets the passionate brand image of Gen.G from our perspective and expresses it in a new dimension, will be a meaningful gift to Gen.G fans around the world. We also look forward to the various collaborative activities that Gen.G and LIBILLY will continue to launch,” said rapper Changmo, head of LIBILLY.

The post Gen.G Launches Official 2024 Summer Jersey with LIBILLY appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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