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EMEA VCT Champions Tour 2022

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There will be closed qualifiers from Europe, CIS and Turkey to determine 8 qualifying teams for the EMEA Stage 1 Challengers. Each region will have two closed qualifiers. The two teams in Europe’s closed qualifiers 1 will advance to the main EMEA Stage 1 Challengers 1 event, while only the top team in CIS’s and Turkey’s qualifier will advance.

Riot has implemented such a system to maximize representation across the EMEA region.

VCT Challengers EMEA 2022 Qualifier 1

Team Vitality vs Guild Esports

Team Vitalty look extraordinarily strong. Despite being close games, Vitality had knocked down G2 Esports 2-0, an impressive feat considering G2’s stance as a top European team. Similarly, Guild Esports had also taken down their first opponents 2-0 in the opening match.

Their duel is hard to place on a dominance scale, as players on each lineup stack up differently in power levels. Agent selection and player performance on the day will be crucial. What we do know is that both teams either win heavily or lose heavily in most of their series. Expect a clean series going either way.

One Breath Gaming vs. Natus Vincere

One Breath Gaming had revamped their roster, signing 3 new members at end of the 2021 season. The new roster started off strong, taking out the top spot in the Razer Invitational Europe. Natus Vincere on the other hand have only made a single roster change despite historically weak performances. Despite NV’s 2-0 win against SMARACIS Esports in the opening match, OBG is favored to win.

5MOKES vs KPI Gaming

Previously GMT Esports, 5MOKES had rebranded, carrying 4 of their 5 members from the previous roster. 5MOKE roster’s experience in the 2021 VCT gives them a slight advantage over KPI Gaming, a team who have yet to compete at any level of VCT. However, KPI Gaming cannot be counted out considering their first-place finish in GameGune 24, a €10,000 tournament.

Similar to the first match on our list, this series can go either way, but will be a clean sweep (2-0) in either direction.

Futbolist vs Fire Flux Esports

Fulbolist made major roster changes since the end of the 2021 VCT season, taking on 3 new members. This change was certainly welcome considering while Fulbolist had placed first in the VCT 2021 Turkey Stage 1 Masters, their performance had slowly slipped, ultimately placing 6th in the VCT Turkey Stage 3 Challengers 2 event. Despite being founded in mid 2021, Fire Flux Esports have already proved themselves, placing first in the Turkey Stage 3 Challengers 2 event. Both teams had a strong start this event, finishing 2-0 in their first match of the closed qualifiers.

My money is on Futbolist to take the series, and the Valorant odds seem to be in their favor as well.

BBL Esports vs SuperMassive Blaze

Both teams are well established and have proved themselves at some point as one of Turkey’s top teams. BBL Esports finished first in 2 VCT Challenger events, and second in the Turkey Stage 1 Masters. SuperMassive Blaze also recently placed first in the VCT 2021: Turkey Stage 3 Challengers 1, and later as runners up in the VCT 2021 EMEA Stage 3 Challenger Playoffs.

This series could definitely go the whole way. Expect three maps to be played.


This is only the beginning of the season in Valorant in 2022. We will cover more matches as other regions kick off their regional play. Check back with our Esports News section next week for more Valorant picks and predictions.

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Jankos lists 3 LEC teams who will almost certainly reign supreme next season

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In the eyes of Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski, three teams will be strongest in the coming 2022 LEC season.

In a recent stream, the jungler listed three teams he considers the most formidable contenders for the European throne next year. This was excluding Heretics, for whom Jankos will reportedly play in 2023. G2 Esports, KOI, and Team Vitality will be the teams to watch next season according to the Polish jungler.

“No particular order… G2, technically should be KOI, and maybe Vitality,” Jankos said.

When it comes to the last of the three teams, the Pole explained that it depends on “how they match as a team,” considering they have multiple nationalities in their squad, which could shake up communication.

As of now, none of the mentioned teams have confirmed their rosters for the upcoming seasons, but there are plenty of rumors regarding them. G2 is reportedly bringing in Steven “Hans Sama” Liv and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle alongside Martin “Yike” Sundelin, who will fill in the jungle role.

KOI, on the other hand, will keep Rogue’s roster except for Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu, who is said to be joining Excel. When it comes to Vitality, however, the team reportedly acquired Matúš “Neon” Jakubčík and Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser, alongside Chinese jungler Zhou “Bo” Yang-Bo and T1 Challengers’ top laner Kyeong “Photon” Gyu-tae.

The 2023 LEC season will kick off sometime in January with the inauguration of the 2023 LEC Winter Season, which will be the first of the three splits in the revamped format.

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Introducing new verticals to the online casino space – European Gaming Industry News

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The World Cup is held every four years and this edition of the most famous football tournament on the planet is unique given the venue and the fact it sits right in the middle of the domestic season.

With that in mind, how does this affect user engagement and betting patterns over the course of this prestigious competition? We spoke to BETEGY CEO, Alex Kornilov who gives his insights into how successful engagement with players could be.

 

With football already Europe’s most popular sport, what new ways of user engagement have you put together for the World Cup?

This football season brought many ways to explore user engagement into the industry. The World Cup in Qatar is the real test to show the best approaches to customers’ experience. At BETEGY, we knew that online betting would thrive during the tournament, and we have managed to deliver creative visuals with live data from all the matches, which can be used in various formats and presented on different platforms.

 

The World Cup is being hosted right in the middle of the domestic football season across Europe. Does this make the World Cup more or less popular from a betting perspective?

The World Cup has always been one of the most significant events in the betting industry –  and I see no reason for this iteration to be less popular than before. In addition, the tournament duration has been decreased to 28 days, meaning more matches squeezed into a shorter space of time. This is definitely going to help keep the audience’s excitement and engagement at their highest.

The only competitor for the attention of sports punters will be the upcoming holiday hustle when people will be getting all set for the festive season. However, I don’t see that as a big risk. With football fans watching the biggest football event of the year from the comfort of their own homes, it’s an excellent opportunity to attract a new audience to the betting market.

 

A Middle Eastern country is hosting the World Cup for the first time. How is this unique environment playing to BETEGY’s strengths, given the majority of fans are watching from home?

With more fans watching football from home, keeping them entertained with the most high-quality offering and products is very important. Players in the industry will compete for the fans’ attention and will do their best to build a scalable relationship with them beyond the World Cup. Live scores, statistics, and betting prices in various markets must be delivered to the users’ screens with no delay and with the best look and feel. This is one of the aspects BETEGY is the best at – and we have thoroughly prepared to help our clients solve the pain points related to it.

 

With Europe not due to host another World Cup until 2030 at the earliest, is it a positive for technology and engagement that the tournament is being held in nations where football popularity is on the rise? 

The next World Cup will take place in 16 different cities across North America. This tournament is probably the most important in the context of how “soccer” has been promoted in the United States recently. On one side, the USSF and the MLS clubs have been working a lot to promote soccer locally by bringing top-class players into the league. On the other hand, the US has rarely stuck to the traditional European perception of sport and football in particular. Sport in the US serves its goal – to entertain the audience. Strategists at NBA or NFL would do almost anything to keep fans engaged and ensure all the remote viewers are enjoying the show.

Also, this new, next-gen audience is highly discerning  – which pushes the market to deliver innovative solutions and ideas to engage, excite and entertain. For sports tech and entertainment companies, it’s a huge opportunity and a challenge at the same time to find a key to the hearts and minds of potential new football fans. Some best practices for the US market are already known, so bringing football to new horizons is a certain path to making this game even more beautiful.

 

How can companies capture this new wave of interest?

US sports fans are already used to high standards of the content delivered to them. Everyone who wants to surf this wave of delight should definitely focus on innovation and quality. I’ve noticed that people love to know what’s happening on the pitch and, at the same time, are always willing to guess what’s going to happen next. The rise of technology helps to understand the game better, it gives birth to new betting markets, but it also helps companies enhance the users’ involvement in the game.

With the US online betting market opening, many players from the industry are seeking an opportunity to test their best offering on new audiences. Since soccer is undoubtedly on the rise, a chance to attract American bettors became a significant pull factor for most industry members – and we’re very excited with what we’re doing at BETEGY.

 

It has been 20 years since a non-European country won the World Cup. Do you think a European nation will win this prestigious tournament this year given the first round of results?

The first round has shown that football has advanced at all levels, especially geographically. For example, some national teams from Asia have had tremendous results against supposedly much stronger rivals from South America and Europe. And it’s not only about the result – those teams’ performance and style of play are a delight to watch. At this stage, almost any underdog has the chance to proceed to the knockout stages and refute the odds.

In my opinion, some Latin American national teams have a high chance of winning the World Cup. Still, they’ll need to deliver their best performance against the highly-experienced European contenders. It will be fascinating to watch it all happening. And may the best team win!

 

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Warzone 2.0 Rebirth Map Allegedly Leaks Online

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Earlier today, an image began circulating online that allegedly represents an all-new map coming to Warzone 2.0. There’s data attached to the image that has led us to believe that this is in fact a ‘Rebirth Island’ experience, redesigned and updated for Warzone 2.0’s brand-new battle royale platform. There are suggestions that this map will welcome a resurgence mode, as well as Ground War and even DMZ, Warzone 2.0’s new extraction shooter mode.

It’s worth highlighting immediately that this information has yet to be confirmed, but DMCA takedowns are being issued. This is usually a clear indicator that the leak is somewhat credible, but as with any gaming-related rumour, we’d urge you to take this with a pinch of salt. If true, the Warzone 2.0 Rebirth map could launch in 2023, bringing about a return of a much-loved mode that fans are already mourning the loss of.

Is a Warzone 2.0 Rebirth Map Coming?

rebirth island warzone 2

OG Rebirth was massively popular on Warzone

Rebirth Island first made an appearance in Call of Duty Warzone in December 2020, coming in with the first season of content for Black Ops Cold War. It was a re-imagining of the Alcatraz map that was seen in Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode, and before that, in Call of Duty Zombies’ Mob of the Dead. It proved to be an instant hit with fans, with many millions of players appreciating the short-form, respawn-driven mode over the slower-paced battle royale platform.

It was mere weeks ago that Warzone 2.0 launched, and it’s still balancing out as we speak. There is a wide range of issues ongoing on the platform, from stability and connection issues to bugs and glitches, but apparently, Infinity Ward and Raven Software are hard at work polishing the platform. It’s a case of too little, too late for some, but for the most part, Warzone 2.0 is riddled with potential, new features, and admittedly, exciting gameplay.

At present, there’s absolutely no information available regarding this potential new map, aside from a suggested name: Return. Does that mean we’re returning to a landscape we’ve seen before in the Call of Duty franchise? There’s no doubt that Warzone 2.0 is already one of the most popular battle royale games out there, but the launch of a new Rebirth Island map could solidify that claim even further.

What Happened to Warzone 1?

Following the launch of Warzone 2.0, the first Warzone title, released in 2020, has been kept online – for now. It’s simply called ‘Call of Duty Warzone Caldera’, and it’s available on all major platforms, just as it was before the follow-up title was released. While it offers the same experience as ever before, it’s missing a lot of the newer features introduced in Warzone 2.0.

That includes the all-new map, the DMZ mode, brand-new contracts, weapons, AI opponents scattered across the map, and so much more. There’s no sense in staying with Caldera now that Warzone 2.0 has been released – unless you really like that Pacific-based map, of course.

Let’s wait and see what happens with ‘Rebirth’.

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