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Esports Premier League 2021 Gets 1 Million Registrations

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The inaugural edition of the nation-wide Esports league, Esports Premier League (ESPL) 2021 has seen an unprecedented response among the gaming community with massive 1 million registrations and has just concluded the last user registration phase. The registrations for the event went live on June 16, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Season 1 of the league is being hosted virtually for two and a half months. ESPL 2021, which has Infinix smartphone as the presenting sponsor, is being played under the aegis of a gamer-centric campaign #ESPLGameSeFame that encourages players to showcase their top game and get recognized in the industry.

India’s first-ever franchise-based Esports league for Free Fire, ESPL, is preparing for the Second Level of the tournament. Out of the more than 1 million registered users, about the top 400 players from 88 teams will move to Level 2, where the top 8 invited teams of India join the mix. This will take the total number of teams to 96 teams in the level. These teams will be divided into 8 groups of 12 each to compete for the top 8 spots. The top 8 teams will represent the 8 regions of ESPL.

At the end of Level 2, ESPL will have the best Free Fire teams from India. The scale of the tournament highlights ESPL 2021 as the platform for all the Free Fire players to showcase their skills. The tournament crossing 1 million registrations serves as a testament to outline the importance of the platform. This number also points to the gradually increasing interest in Esports in India. Most of the gamers signed up to take part in the tournament in the last few days of the registration phase and this number is a testament to the far-reaching impact and popularity of the league in the gaming space. Prize money for ESPL 2021 is a whopping INR 25 lakh. In the initial phase itself, the league has managed to create a strong buzz and catch the attention of gamers with its high-octane and nail-biting matches in the game Free Fire.

“The astounding figures we have for the registration numbers of ESPL 2021 itself validate our position in the Esports sector. We are extremely happy by this overwhelming response to the inaugural edition of India’s first-ever franchise-based Esports league. What these amazing numbers tell us is that Esports is set to create history in India — both in terms of its growth as well as the interest, it is rapidly garnering among India’s youth. Competitive Esports events like the ESPL are setting the bar very high and propelling the industry to greater heights. The second phase of the league has all the action and current scenario working as a catalyst for our league, so be assured of a rocking & entertaining season,” said Mr. Vishwalok Nath, Director, ESPL.

This phase has a lot more in store, as exciting live action will be available on OTT giant Disney+ Hotstar, Free Fire official streaming platform Booyah and Malayalam OTT platform Koode alongside official YouTube and Facebook channels of India Today and Aaj Tak and its websites.

Gaming

Battlegrounds Mobile India Gets New Update

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KRAFTON is all set to pump in more adrenalin for the millions of BATTLEGROUNDS enthusiasts in India, with the introduction of Flora Menace, special features and realistic game dynamics in version 1.6 rolling out on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store. The update will be rolling out sequentially starting today, so fans are requested to be patient for it to show up on your app store.

A new mode “Flora Menace” has been added to BATTLEGROUNDS, bringing in interesting possibilities. In Flora Menace Mode, a life barrier is created in some part of the map that is encroached by alien creatures. In the wall, players’ HP gradually recovers. Players can loot “Nacore” in the mode and use the item to buy battle items.  The mode is available in Classic Theme Modes and starting from Erangel, it will be added to Sanhok and Livik.

Exclusively in Erangel “Flora Menace,” players can enjoy Cell Matrix content. The Cell Matrix is an airship floating in the air and players can ride it using Cells that can be found in the map. In Cell Matrix, players have three chances to revive themselves and get to fight with randomly provided weapons. They can acquire Nacore by eliminating enemies or robots infected by an alien creature in the airship.

The latest update will pack a lot of surprises later in the month as EvoGround will feature the popular Zombie mode “Survive Till Dawn” where the last surviving player in the zombie attack gets the final victory. Many more popular game modes such as the Payload Mode will be appearing in EvoGround so players are requested to keep a close eye on our social channels for launch dates or directly dive into EvoGround in matchmaking. As many as 8 different game modes will appear over a period of time.

The new version also includes the recording option, allowing players to record their gameplay and showcase their clips on social media platforms. In fact, a slew of community contests on our social channels will be rolled out around recorded clips in-game. Fans can participate and win amazing rewards.

Taking feedback into consideration from valued BATTLEGROUNDS enthusiasts, certain refinements have also been incorporated to smooth out animations allowing more agility and flexibility to the players. The full patch notes together with the refinements can be found on our news section.

With the idea of keeping more strategic tools at players’ disposal, auto-bandage option has been added, distance information is included in the In-Game Mark, and the famous flight path can now be replayed after landing.  Additionally one can test out weapons like P90, MG3, ASM Abakan in the all important training ground before heading into a match.

With 1.6.0, KRAFTON aims at providing an overall improved battle-feel to the players with features like Improved camera vibration effect on grenade detonation, configurable headshot sound adjustments, dynamic scope adjustment options.

Finally, rolling out today, straight from the Chef’s kitchen, with his flavours, is the RPM3 – Royale Pass Month 3. Priced similarly like other months, starting at 360UC, there’s an array of outfits on offer.

Catering to the upcoming festive season, month long in-game events around Dusshera and Diwali will be flowing in from the second half of the month, lasting right into the Diwali week. All details will be announced at a later date.

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Gaming

Ultimate Battle VIP Membership Launched for Gamers

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Ultimate Battle (UB) has introduced VIP membership for esports players to take their gaming experience to the next level. 

Available at INR 99 for 3 months and INR 299 for a year, the VIP Membership allows players unlimited access to Free tournaments along with a redeem store to exchange in-game items using UB Coins earned from Free tournaments on Ultimate Battle. VIP Members also get an ad-free experience with the new intuitive user interface. Moreover, VIP members will also get free access to Leaderboard events with added rewards. VIP Membership enables Gamers to unlock exclusive features and explore the platform.

While talking about the latest development, Tarun Gupta, Founder of Ultimate Battle said, “The new subscription model will help us take the business to the next level. It will increase player’s participation and give them more opportunities to engage on the platform backed by awards and recognition. Our new subscription model is a step forward in a direction to give the esports community a platform to hone their gaming skills.”

“The excitement and the growing popularity of Esports have taken the gaming community to its new heights. The latest announcement of 8 esports titles in Asian Games 2022 is being welcomed in the Esports community, only making it more prominent and influential in every aspect,” he further added.

Subscription models are becoming mainstream in all major cloud-based apps. Ultimate Battle is one of the few platforms that has successfully introduced it for its users. UB, which has been a destination for playing many action-packed games with high-end graphics and has successfully integrated more than 12 esports title games to the platform, boasts to be a gamer’s paradise that also caters to the Esports community with Gaming News Content and an e-commerce gaming store.

Currently, the platform has 3,30,000+ players and 81,000+ monthly active users. The platform also provides gamers an active community to engage, interact and compete.

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Gaming

Niantic Celebrates 5th Anniversary of Pokemon GO

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Niantic announced the completion of five successful years for its pioneering game – Pokémon GO. To celebrate the occasion, the company launched a short video highlighting the impact of the game among the communities worldwide. Launched in 2016, Pokémon GO became a phenomenon owing to its novel gameplay, lovable characters and the facets of exploration, mobility and community built-in. The game has crossed one billion downloads and spans across 150+ countries.

Niantic also took this occasion to highlight its India focus. Commenting on the five-year journey, Omar Tellez, Vice President, Strategic Partnership, Niantic, said “We are elated to surpass the 5-year milestone and as the game embodies, the journey of exploring new possibilities has just begun! We have been present in India from the beginning and have built a thriving community of Pokémon GO trainers. Through 2020 and 2021, India has ranked among our key growth markets. We are now taking this relationship to the next level with dedicated conversations, events, celebrations and outreach in the coming months.”

In the past two months, Niantic has intensified its focus on the India market with the launch of dedicated country specific social media pages (@PokemonGOAppIN) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the game as well as key recruitments. Growth Scouts have also been hired in the region and are using local partnerships to bring Pokémon GO to more Indians. 

India has been at the forefront of mobile and data revolution in the past five years and has around 365 million mobile gamers (2020). Demographic dividend coupled with cheaper, faster data as well as better and affordable smartphones have accelerated the India’s rise to become 5th largest mobile gaming market in the world. It is estimated that by 2022 that 44% of the smartphone population will be playing games on their devices; at the same time, by 2023, the mobile gaming sector in the country is expected to reach $3 billion as compared to $1.2 billion in 2020.(Sources: InMobi and Mobile Marketing Association)

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