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JAMIE REDKNAPP INVESTIGATES WIDELY-DETESTED KEYBOARD WARRIORS – European Gaming Industry News

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PayPal, one of the largest and most popular online payments services, has recently adopted new software to help give customers better control over their gambling habits. The software, developed by Gamban, allows users to set up a block to prevent their accounts from being used for gambling transactions. This move comes not long after the UK banned gambling sites from accepting credit card payments.

PayPal is widely used around the world, processing over 3 billion transactions a year, with a value of $311 billion US dollars. While the majority of these are for online shopping and other online purchases, the service is also used on gambling platforms. PayPal has become a popular way of making deposits and withdrawals at online gambling sites, as it’s fast, safe and easy to use. Users can create an account, add funds from their bank or card and then make simple online payments.

Because of how popular it is all over the world, most online gambling services accept payments made using PayPal. It’s used international, so a wide range of the best online casinos and sports betting sites offer support for PayPal payments. Most iGaming platforms advertise this fact to their users, letting them know they can sign up and easily make a deposit to start playing.

Why Does PayPal Allow Users to Block Gambling Transactions?

Although gambling is fun for most people, it can become a habit and even an addiction. There has been a strong push lately for iGaming sites to encourage responsible gaming, as well as offering support for those with a problem. Most iGaming licence providers will only offer licences to sites that protect players and encourage them to gamble responsibly.

One of the most effective ways of encouraging responsible gambling is giving users the ability to block transactions. Most sites will offer deposit limits that allow players to set how much they’re allowed to deposit each week or month. In addition, the UK recently banned all gambling sites from accepting payments from credit cards.

In 2019, PayPal reviewed its services and found that a significant percentage of transactions were used for online gambling. While this wouldn’t normally be an issue, the review also found that a lot of these transactions were linked to problem gambling. As such, it partnered with Gamban, a software provider, to introduce an automatic blocking system.

PayPal users can now go into their settings and set the service to automatically block all payments made to an iGaming site. This allows anyone with a gambling problem to easily refrain from adding funds to a gambling site if they’re trying to recover. In a statement, Gamban announced that the move was a welcome one that, along with self-exclusion and support, would give players a better chance of recovery.

What Does This Mean for the Future of iGaming Payments?

With gambling authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission now paying close attention to responsible gambling, iGaming sites need to be more mindful of what payments they offer and how they treat players. Additionally, payment services themselves need to consider the impact of allowing unrestricted gambling payments.

As software solutions improve, payment providers have more options that allow them to give players control over their spending habits. This software can automatically detect if a payment is made at any kind of gambling site, including those that are gambling-related. Users can set it to block transactions at gambling tip sites or other sites involved in iGaming.

Other payment services may also follow suit over the coming months and years, with most payment providers also wary about being associated with problem gambling. The more payment services that get on board, the better, as problem gamblers will be able to control their habits more easily and avoid falling into debt. 

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How one CS:GO map has hurt Team Liquid over and over again

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Every team in professional Counter-Strike has had its ups and downs with certain maps in the competitive pool. Even the greatest teams of all time, such as 2019 Astralis and 2015 Fnatic, have had to adjust their map bans during cold streaks.

What is rarely seen at such a high level of CS:GO, though, is a team firmly in the HLTV top 10 for months have such a disastrous losing streak on one map in the pool.

As November comes to a close, Team Liquid, the consensus fifth-best team in the world, has lost six of their last seven matches on Vertigo.

For some added perspective, two months have passed between Liquid’s victories on Vertigo. On Sept. 21, Liquid took down MovieStar Riders 16-13, and on Nov. 23, Liquid beat G2 16-10. In between that, there were disastrous losses and questionable decisions on the pick for TL.

Two months of losses all coming on Vertigo, with a couple coming at pivotal points in the season for North America’s top squad. Take, for example, map five of the ESL Pro League finals against Vitality on Oct. 2, a grand final with two teams who were known for perenially coming up short. This was a chance for Liquid to finally put North America back on top during one of the region’s darkest periods. In the end, Liquid went down 8-0 in the match out the gate. This was a deficit the North American side would never recover from, losing the match 16-11 against Vitality.

To play devil’s advocate, the ESL Pro League is one of the few S-tier tournaments with a best-of-five format. Neither Liquid nor Vitality actively chose to play Vertigo for game five, it was just the final map left after an extensive ban stage. 

That excuse wasn’t available for TL and their fan base the next time Vertigo popped up. Just a couple weeks ago, Liquid were riding a wave of momentum in the Legends Stage at the IEM Rio Major. A 2-1 start with a big win over NAVI put the last hope for North America one best-of-three away from making the knockout stage of the Major. Going into map picks and bans, Liquid decided to select Vertigo to start the series. This was the first time Liquid had played on Vertigo in the Major, and to push things from bad to worse, their opponent Heroic currently sport a 70-percent win rate on the map, according to HLTV.

This was a confusing choice from Liquid that only got worse once the teams went live. Liquid were put onto the rough T-side of Vertigo due to selecting the map, but this time around, they put up a solid first half and were only down 9-6.

It wouldn’t matter, though, since any comeback hopes were immediately shut down.

Liquid only managed to grab two CT-side rounds and dropped the first map, 16-8. This series went the distance, too, with Heroic winning 2-1 to advance to the playoffs.

By this point, Liquid had now lost their last four matches on Vertigo. The final North American representative then had one more shot at the playoffs in Rio in a best-of-three against Spirit. Déjà vu struck again for Liquid’s fan base when Spirit forced them back onto Vertigo for the do-or-die series for both teams. Liquid, now forced onto Vertigo, continued to roll out questionable decisions, choosing to start on the T-side. Vertigo has one of the hardest T-sides of the current map pool. Liquid dropped the first half 10-5 and failed to climb back, losing the opening map 16-10 against Spirit.

For the second day in a row, Liquid lost on Vertigo and dropped the series in three games. This time, it was a much more devastating loss since Spirit sent Liquid out of the Rio Major in groups.

Liquid finally put a temporary end to their Vertigo skid against G2 in the Blast Premier Fall Final, but the heartbreaking story of Liquid and Vertigo wasn’t finished. Liquid would once again match up against Heroic, the European side that helped keep them out of playoffs at Rio, in the semifinals of the Fall Final. A trend that emerged for Liquid for the last couple of months has been banning two maps consistently in best-of-three formats: Nuke and Ancient. In doing so, this once again left the door open for Vertigo to decide the series.

For the second time in the last month, Liquid started on the T-side against Heroic on Vertigo and surrendered double-digit rounds in the first half, taking them out of the series. Heroic beat Liquid again late in the year on Vertigo, this time 16-9 to knock them out of Blast Premier’s final tournament of the calendar year.

Liquid have, at points, looked like they could compete with the best squads in the world. But in the biggest moments, Liquid have hurt themselves by sporting such a limited CS:GO map pool; one that has forced them into playing Vertigo in win-or-go-home situations at some of the year’s top tournaments.

By this point, fans have even noticed how bad Liquid’s Vertigo performances have gotten, adding fuel to the fire across social media. 

Liquid have blacklisted Nuke and Ancient at every turn, pigeon-holing themselves into Vertigo time and again. In the last three months, Liquid have played Vertigo 10 times and won only a quarter of those matches.

Something does not add up and Liquid needs to adjust.

TL need to head back to the drawing boards to feel more confident on Nuke/Ancient so they can ban Vertigo, or rethink their T-side approach to the cursed map.

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Red Bull ‘Stream of Dreams’ reveals the nation’s favourite up-and-coming streamers! – European Gaming Industry News

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IESF with FitGMR will Educate Athletes on Health and Wellbeing IESF and FITGMR to host daily workshops and activities at the 2022 WE Championships Finals Busan, South Korea – The International Esports Federation (IESF) has partnered with FitGMR to bring different activities and workshops on health and wellbeing to the World Esports Family at the 14th World Esports Championships Finals in Bali, Indonesia, taking place December 1 to 12, and beyond.

FITGMR is a program designed to improve gaming performance by building behaviors and habits within the Five Pillars of Health: physical maintenance, mental conditioning, nutrition, sleep, and lifestyle. IESF serves as an educator, mentor, and guide for the World Esports Family. Through this partnership with FITGMR, IESF will strengthen its abilities to educate esports athletes and provide the resources and tools needed to succeed in video games and in life.

IESF and FITGMR will kick off the partnership in Bali with daily workouts and workshops for athletes competing on esports’ biggest stage. FITGMR Workout is a physical training session that incorporates strength, endurance, and mobility and is designed to get the brain and the body working together. FITGMR will host several workshops covering topics like nutrition and mental conditioning, as well as yoga lessons and a beach workout.

The mental conditioning workshop will show esports athletes how to rest their minds through various mindfulness practices and how they can help with focus, decision-making, mental clarity, and concentration. Just ahead of the Closing Ceremony, IESF and FitGMR will wrap things up with a FitGMR All-in-One workshop, where they will teach the World Esports Family how they can “FIitGMR at home.” IESF President Vlad Marinescu said: “IESF is delighted to be working with FitGMR to make this the most successful and engaging World Esports Championships Finals yet. The well-being of athletes is a top priority for IESF, and we always strive to give esports athletes the ultimate environment to perform at their best. We look forward to collaborating on many more impactful activities with FitGMR, and we
can’t wait to kick off this partnership in Bali!”

FitGMR CEO Krsitin Anderson stated: “This is an incredible way to end 2022. Our research and work with professional esports organizations over the last few years are the foundation of the FitGMR app that we released at the beginning of the year. Since then, we’ve introduced the concept of what it means to be a fit gamer to colleges and K-12 programs around the country. To be a part of esports athletes’ well-being, and sharing the connection between mental and physical health on the world’s global esports stage is so exciting and rewarding. We’re grateful to the IESF for their commitment to the wellbeing of players around the world.“

The WE Championships Finals competition will officially get underway on Friday, December 1, after months of preparation and exciting qualifying rounds. This year is going to be the largest, most inclusive, and most geographically diverse edition yet. It will feature several new and exciting opportunities for athletes, such as the groundbreaking activities planned with FitGMR.

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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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