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EPOS and BLAST Premier announce two-year renewal

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CS:GO esports series BLAST Premier has announced a two-year extension with audio peripherals brand EPOS.

As a result of the renewal, both entities will continue the ‘Push to Talk’ podcast series. Moreover, EPOS will receive exposure across BLAST Premier’s seven events in 2022.

BLAST Premier
Image credit: BLAST Premier

RELATED: BLAST Premier reveals 2022 plans with $2.47m total prize pool

EPOS has become the third partner to re-sign with BLAST Premier in 2022, joining the likes of CS.MONEY and Coinbase

Oliver Clarke, Head of Brand Partnerships for BLAST, commented: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with EPOS as we go into the new season and beyond, establishing long-term relationships with our partners is a key part of our commercial growth plans. 

“Since last year, we have showcased the importance of audio in providing a competitive edge and look forward to bringing this to life in new ways during 2022.”

Some of the partnership’s previous activations include the implementation of EPOS’ H6PRO headset throughout BLAST Premier’s production and the launch of the ‘Mic’d Up’ broadcast segment. It has been announced that Mic’d Up will also continue as part of the renewal.

Exact details of other further activations between BLAST and EPOS have not been revealed.

RELATED: James Woollard departs FIFA to join BLAST as Head of Commercial Solutions

Maja Sand-Grimnitz, Director of Global Marketing, Gaming at EPOS, added: “We are really excited to extend our partnership with BLAST for the coming two years. As the past two years have already shown, the BLAST Premier and EPOS brand are a great fit, and we can’t wait to show the power of audio through a lot of exceptional events throughout 2022 and 2023. 

“The BLAST Premier in November really showed the value and great opportunities in physical events, and we especially enjoyed seeing our new H6PRO Series activated in the arena.”

Esports Insider says: It’s certainly been a busy month for BLAST with the CS:GO series securing its third renewal in just over a week. Since 2020, EPOS and BLAST have established a strong relationship so it’s no surprise to see both entities commit to a long-term deal.

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T1 to kick off VCT 2023 season training with NA boot camp

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The T1 VALORANT players are set to practice against North American teams prior to the start of the season next year, according to T1 player Ha “Sayaplayer” Jeong-woo

T1 will compete in the APAC international league in 2023 since the organization was selected to participate in its home region by Riot Games earlier this year. But T1 will face off against top North American teams now as practice since they are likely seen as better-quality opponents. 

T1 player Son “xeta” Seon-ho is in South Korea for personal reasons but he will likely join the team at a later date. He is practicing with the team from South Korea.

Some North American teams have started to practice, such as 100 Thieves, according to one player. A few partnered teams are still on a break, however. 

The season is still months away for partnered teams but Challengers teams will have to compete against each other in the next few weeks. Teams not directly invited to be a part of the Challengers circuit will have to qualify through the open brackets. 

The first event for partnered teams is set to begin next February. T1 are invited to the event alongside all 29 other partnered teams from across the world. All teams will face off against each other in a one-of-a-kind kick-off tournament, set to be held in São Paulo, Brazil

The kick-off tournament will run for three weeks until March 9. The first split for each of the international leagues will begin on March 26, with T1 set to face off against other APAC teams based out of Seoul, South Korea. 

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CS:GO caster Semmler makes transphobic comments while claiming to defend the women’s league he previously trashed

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Current CS:GO commentator and former Overwatch League talent Auguste “Semmler” Massonnat’s name has surfaced on the internet following anti-trans comments regarding ESL Impact season two, a CS:GO tournament for marginalized genders that was finalized yesterday.

“I’m afraid that you’ve been misled into believing that men can become women and vice versa,” Semmler said in a YouTube comment yesterday after the conclusion of ESL Impact season two. “Men should not be competing in a female league.”

It didn’t take long for Semmler’s comment to spark reactions in the CS:GO community—mainly backlash. But that didn’t prevent Semmler from expanding on his transphobic views on Twitter.

“Yes, I care about the integrity of the league for the female players,” Semmler said. “If the female players want to have a league to compete amongst themselves, they should get it. Allowing men to compete in that league defeats the purpose of the league.”

Aside from questioning Semmler’s anti-trans stance, the esports community also called out Semmler for being a hypocrite and for pretending to be on women’s side. After ESL unveiled the creation of the circuit, Semmler said in 2021 there would be no reason for women to compete with men if they could get a “guaranteed payday” in a “far less” competitive environment. Semmler also mocked the creation of the Impact circuit back then by asking when an “all-men” CS:GO tournament would be scheduled.

“He obviously has no clue what it’s like to be transgender human, and that’s exactly why he shouldn’t be making these comments,” a CS:GO fan wrote on the game’s subreddit. “Our nerdy gaming community should be at the forefront of diversity, inclusiveness, and acceptance.”

Semmler barely got to cast CS:GO games on official broadcasts this year. He stayed on the sidelines for the most part aside from casting at the BLAST Premier Fall Final over the past few days. His last gig as a commentator prior to that was at the PGL Stockholm Major in November 2021. Semmler has not apologized for any of his comments.

ESL Impact season two crowned the dominant year Nigma Galaxy had in the marginalized CS:GO circuit. ANa, Ksenia “vilga” Klyuenkova, Alexandra “twenty3” Timonina, Viktoria “tory” Kazieva, and Katarína “Kat” Vašková defeated FURIA in the grand finals just like they did at ESL Impact Valencia and ESL Impact season one earlier this year.



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Microsoft’s 10-year ‘CoD on PlayStation’ offer will reportedly get Activision deal approved

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Just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, the New York Times reported that Microsoft had offered a 10-year deal to Sony to keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation. It seems, however, that this offer isn’t just a show of good faith but rather a potential requirement for Microsoft’s $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard to be approved by international regulators.

This offer from Microsoft to Sony would be the main part of concessions that Microsoft will have to make to hold off objections to the purchase made by regulators in Europe and the U.K., according to a new report from Reuters. The other remedies that Microsoft would have to make to have the deal approved are currently unknown but will likely reduce the company’s ability to build a potential gaming monopoly, something opponents like Sony want to avoid.

The offering of concessions could reportedly shorten the regulatory process of the investigation by the European Commission and could also smooth out the processes with the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

“Sony, as the industry leader, says it is worried about Call of Duty, but we’ve said we are committed to making the same game available on the same day on both Xbox and PlayStation,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters. “We want people to have more access to games, not less.” This matches with Microsoft and Xbox’s public declarations over the past few months to keep CoD on PlayStation, as well as broaden access to gaming.

Sony has publicly opposed the acquisition since it was announced and has led the process of appealing to regulators around the world.

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