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India’s Mohammed Ibrahim Storms Into Sim Racing World Cup Final

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India’s Mohammed Ibrahim secured his place in the final of the first-ever Sim Racing World Cup by finishing second in the Asian Continental Qualifiers.

Ibrahim ended the race impressively with a lap time of 1:33.575 behind Thailand’s Thanathip Tanalapanan, who grabbed the top position after completing the race in 1:33.561.

India’s other participating driver, Davlish Singh, on the other hand, secured the sixth position with a lap time of 1:34.026 at the Qualifiers which saw the participation of 14 top drivers from across Asia, competing for two available spots in the final. Both Ibrahim and Davlish had won the NESC22 (Simracing), the Indian National Qualifiers which were held in a hybrid mode at ESFI’s multiplex partner INOX’s Megaplex, Malad, Mumbai.

“Since my childhood, I’ve been fascinated with racing cars, which developed into a passion for motorsports. It is a surreal feeling to qualify for the grand final of the SRWC. I feel glad to have carried the momentum in the qualifiers after winning the NESC and hope to do so in Monaco as well. It is going to be a challenging experience to compete with the best sim racing drivers from all over the world.

I will be working on a few minor things to improve my gameplay and perform at the highest level to make my country proud in the finals. Racing is my goal and vision, wish to excel in both Sim as well as on Real Motorsports, and always look for opportunities and support.” said the jubilant Ibrahim, who already has titles of the Isolation E Championship, McLaren Logitech G Challenge, US F4 Kcr Championship and Ultimate E Championship to his name.

Interestingly, Ibrahim’s finish was also the fifth fastest, globally. Apart from Tanalapanan, only David Toth of Hungary (1:33.197), Slovenia’s Jernej Simonic (1:33.329) and Spain’s Pedro Sanchez (1:33.336), who qualified from the European continent, recorded less time than Ibrahim.

The Continental Qualifiers saw drivers from 39 countries, divided into 5 continents. The final will take place in Monaco from October 23 to 24 as Ibrahim among 12 top drivers will fight for the title.

“Ibrahim has made the entire country proud by making sure India is one of the countries that contests in the inaugural Sim Racing World Cup final. Both Ibrahim and Davlish performed brilliantly against the top drivers from the Asia region. This is a huge achievement for the sim racing community and another step towards further growth of Esports in India. Everyone at ESFI wishes him the best of luck to win the championship.” said Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation.

One of the country’s top sports and Esports specialised communication firms, Artsmith – Concepts & Visions and India’s Leading Multiplex chain INOX continue their support for this prestigious tournament as the communication and venue partners of ESFI respectively.

The first-ever Sim Racing World Cup is organised by the International Esports Federation in association with Monaco Esports Federation. The tournament features one of the world’s most popular sim racing titles, Assetto Corsa. 

Gaming

Tata Play Binge Collaborates with Gamezop to Launch New Games

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Tata Play (formerly known as Tata Sky) is introducing another entertainment vertical on Tata Play Binge. The OTT aggregation platform announced its partnership with Gamezop,the world’s largest publisher of HTML5 games, to provide its users access to 100 games on the platform.

This development follows Tata Play’s endeavour to provide extraordinary entertainment experiences to its subscribers. Tata Play Binge users can enjoy these games on the platform: ad-free with subscription (which starts at INR 59) and ad-supported without subscription.

On the Tata Play Binge app, users will be able to play popular games, such as Boulder BlastBowling StarsBottle ShootTower TwistBubble WipeoutCarrom HeroLudo With FriendsColour Chase, and City Cricket.This means that the games will work within the Tata Play Binge app with a single tap, just like videos, and will not need to be installed separately.

Gamezop’s games will be accessible through a dedicated tab – featured alongside Movies, Shows, and Sports – on the Tata Play Binge app. The companies will continue to work closely and identify opportunities to make gaming more rewarding for the users, along with replenishing the catalogue with new titles every quarter.  

Commenting on the development Pallavi Puri, Chief Commercial and Content Officer, Tata Play Ltd., said, “Tata Play Binge is an innovative offering with 17 OTT apps under one roof, and now we are adding another dimension to it with our partnership with Gamezop. We are on a constant endeavour to create experiences that is a cut above the rest. With this new development we want our users to enjoy the entertaining world of gaming under a unified platform with the click of a button. We want Tata Play Binge to be synonymous to all things entertainment and this step is a logical progression in the same direction.”

Ankit Saxena, Chief Revenue Officer, Gamezop added, “Tata Play is one of India’s most loved brands and we are glad to work with them in their maiden foray into gaming. This partnership will let us take Gamezop to households across the country. Our company has always pushed the envelope to bring quality casual games (through Gamezop) and quizzes (through Quizzop) for users, right within their favourite apps. With this strategic alliance, Gamezop will serve as the exclusive gaming center within the Tata Play Binge app and sit right next to major OTT platforms. We are big fans of Tata Play’s single-subscription-unified-platform vision and are excited to for users to discover the joys of casual gaming – without the need to install additional apps.” 

Pioneering accessibility, availability, and affordability of digital entertainment, Tata Play Binge allows consumers to watch content from 17 OTT apps in 12+ languages for free or ad-free with a single subscription.

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India Qualify for 14th World Esports Championships in CS:GO

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India’s CS:GO team produced vigorous performances in the South Asian Regional Qualifiers of the 14th World Esports Championships after hammering Pakistan and Bangladesh in the South Asian regional qualifiers.

The team, comprising of skipper Ritesh Sarda (Defaulter), Shuvajyoti Chakraborty (Mcg1LLzZz), Anshul Adardkar (KiiLSwitCh), Hrishikesh Shenoy (Crazy_Gamer) and Harsh Jain (lynX), recorded identical 2-0 victories over Pakistan and Bangladesh in the semi-finals and final respectively. 

Besides CS:GO team, prominent Tekken 7 athlete Hitesh Khorwal (rcool) and well renowned eFootball professional Hemanth Kommu (peshemak7) will also represent India at the World Esports Championships, scheduled to take place in Bali from Nov 29 – December 12, 2022. Hitesh and Hemanth secured their berths by winning the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2022, conducted by Esports Federation of India (ESFI) earlier this year.

Organised by International Esports Federation, the prestigious event will witness participation of top athletes from over 120 countries, competing in six different Esports titles—CS:GO, Dota 2, Tekken 7, eFootball, as well as PUBG mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang which will be making its debut at the championships. The 14th WEC has a prize pool of USD 500K (~INR 4 Crores).

“The team was simply too good for the opposition in terms of their skills, strategies and coordination. They won comfortably against Pakistan and Bangladesh shows the confidence they have in their gameplay. We are extremely proud of their performances and are now looking forward to seeing them compete with the best teams from all over the world in Bali. Everyone at ESFI wishes them the best of luck for the grand tournament,” said Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation.

Led by Sarda, the dominant Indian team hardly had to break a sweat in their matches as they comprehensively defeated Pakistan in two different maps by 16-6 and 16-4 and then displayed a similar aggressive performance to outperform Bangladesh in both maps of the final by 16-7 and 16-5.

“It feels amazing to represent India again at the World Esports Championships in back-to-back years. We definitely want to improve on our performances from last year and have been working very hard to do so. The team has done very well in showcasing its qualities in game while prevailing in all these qualifiers but the WEC final will be a stern test on a much higher level and we want to match that. I have high hopes from the tournament and we want to bring some glory from it back home,” said Sarda, captain of the Indian CS:GO team.

The same CS:GO team had participated in the last edition of World Esports Championships, held in Eilat, and finished eighth in the final.

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PokerBaazi Reveals India’s Biggest Poker Tournament ‘GOAT’

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PokerBaazi has announced the launch of country’s biggest poker tournament which will notably be called The Greatest of All Tournaments (GOAT).Known for its unique ways of announcing its events, PokerBaazi revealed the GOAT with a bang-up music video. The tournament comes with a massive prize money of 7 Crore and is going to be India’s largest ever single Poker Tournament. The satellite tournaments (daily qualifiers) are scheduled to commence from October 1, 2022, with the main tournament starting from 30Th October.

PokerBaazi started its operations on 23rd Oct 2014. In the last eight years, the company has come a long way in contributing to the growth of the Poker ecosystem in India. Its market-best product and many industry-first gameplay features have helped PokerBaazi in establishing its tech prowess and industry leading position.  

Speaking about the milestone, Mr. Navkiran Singh, Founder and CEO, Baazi Games said, “With India marching ahead in building its technology arsenal and fast progressing in its infrastructure, especially with the rollout of 5G, we foresee an immense growth in product-led startups in our country. Poker for sure is a sunrise segment within the larger gaming ecosystem.” 

He also added, “It gives me immense pride that we as a team have built this solid product in these eight years and now, as Poker is taking shape as a sports category in India, we need events that people will look forward to playing. I am sure that India will see many Poker GOATs in the time to come and hence our new tournament is aptly coined. I am certain that the Poker industry will grow exponentially in the next 5 years. This celebration stands for the milestones we have achieved as an industry and the users who made this possible.” 

As of FY’21, Real money gaming is the largest contributor to the online gaming revenue occupying nearly 54% of the market share. PokerBaazi has also grown to become the primary driver of Baazi Games’ unprecedented growth contributing to over 75% of Baazi Games’ revenue. Earlier this year, PokerBaazi had marked the one billionth hand being played on the platform. The festive season is surely looking even more rewarding for Indian poker players as the company has announced massive giveaways across game formats, scheduled to run for over a month. This began with a 7 Crore game leaderboard that started on 26th September.

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