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Record Number of Formula 1 Drivers Confirmed For Virtual Monaco Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas have confirmed their participation in this weekend’s Virtual Monaco Grand Prix, lining up alongside six other F1 drivers; Alex Albon, Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc, all of whom have previous experience in the Virtual Grand Prix Series.

The elite line up will also be joined by Arsenal’s Premier League star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who will race alongside Lando Norris for McLaren. Belgian international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois also returns for Alfa Romeo following his 11th place finish in the Virtual Spanish GP. Elsewhere on the grid, Alex Albon – who was victorious at the Interlagos Circuit – will be partnered by big-wave surfer Kai Lenny for Red Bull Racing and Latin American singer Luis Fonsi will also make his Virtual Grand Prix debut for Racing Point.

Sunday’s race will fall on the weekend originally scheduled for the Monaco Grand Prix and will take place at the virtual version of the Circuit de Monaco. Drivers will join the race remotely, with a host broadcast live from the Gfinity Esports Arena from 6:00pm (BST) on Sunday May 24.

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The live broadcast, which is available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels as well as Weibo and Huya channels in China, is expected to run for 1 hour 30 minutes. A qualifying period where grid positions will be determined based on the drivers’ fastest lap time will be followed by a 39-lap race. The Virtual Grand Prix will also be shown live with international broadcast partners in over 100 countries including in the UK on Sky Sports, in the US on ESPN, and FOX Sports Asia across Southeast Asia. Across the five races to date the Virtual Grand Prix series has delivered over 20m views across linear TV and digital channels.

The F1 Esports Pro Exhibition race will precede the Virtual Grand Prix and is set to begin at 5:00pm (BST). The broadcast will be available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels as well as selected TV broadcasters and is expected to run for 1 hour. The Formula 2 Virtual Racing event, featuring F2 and F3 drivers, will also be live on the official Formula 1 YouTube and Twitch channels from 4:00pm (BST).

Julian Tan, Head of Digital Business Initiatives and Esports said:

“The Virtual Grand Prix series has proven to be a fantastic live spectacle with over 20m viewers to date, providing fans with some racing entertainment during these challenging times. We are delighted to announce our strongest line-up of current F1 drivers alongside a star-studded list of global talent from the worlds of sport and entertainment, as we all stand together to put on great racing entertainment around the historic streets of Monaco, virtually.”

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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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