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.
Indian CS:GO team to Fight Tajikistan in Opener Match at 14th World eSports Championship
The Indian CS:GO team will be leading the country’s charge at the IESF’s 14th World Esports Championship as they take on Tajikistan in their opener on December 2.
A team, comprising of skipper Ritesh Sarda (Defaulter), Shuvajyoti Chakraborty (Mcg1LLzZz), Anshul Adarkar (KiiLSwitCh), Hrishikesh Shenoy (Crazy_Gamer) and Harsh Jain (lynX) has been placed in the Group C along with Tajikistan, Team IESF and Chile. After their eighth-place finish in the last edition of the tournament held in Eilat, Israel, the team will be determined to clinch a podium finish this time around.
Team India CS:GO captain Ritesh Sarda said “It’s been a great honour to represent India back-to-back in the WEC. We as a team are excited and prepared to play in the upcoming WEC starting next week in Bali. The world finals is going to be a huge spectacle. With the right mentality and proper grind, we have high hopes for the tournament and will try to bring the laurels to the country.”
Organised by International Esports Federation (IESF), the upcoming 14th World Esports Championship will witness the participation of top athletes from over 120 countries, competing in six different Esports titles—CS:GO, Dota 2, Tekken 7, eFootball as well as debutants PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Bang. With a massive prize pool of USD 500K (INR 4 crores approximately) up for grabs, the tournament will be conducted in Bali from December 1 to 12. Team India consists of the same athletes which represented India at the last World Esports Championship in Eilat and had won the National Qualifiers (NESC2022).
Besides CS:GO, India will also participate in the Tekken 7 and eFootball titles.
“This is another great opportunity post the Commonwealth Esports Championship for India’s esports athletes to prove their metal. With Olympics also announcing “Olympic Esports Week”, esports is inching towards its Woodstock moment; and medals in events like CEC, WEC will help in establishing India as a dominant-esports powerhouse’ globally. This set of our athletes have great potential and we are confident that they will give a tough challenge to the world’s best and emerge victorious and make our glorious nation proud. I wish them all the very best and look forward to see them triumph in their respective titles” said Yugal Kishore Sharma, Director of Esports Federation of India.
Hitesh Khorwal (Rcool) and Hemanth Kommu (Peshemak7) will represent India in the Tekken 7 and eFootball titles respectively.
Khorwal will battle it out against athletes from Pakistan, Bahamas, Venezuela and Palestine in the Group E and will be beginning his challenge against Lucius Antoine of the Bahamas on December 3.
The Indian’s clash against Arslan Siddique of Pakistan on the same day following his opening game will be one to watch out for. Arslan has won the VSFighting X, Dreamhack 2022 and Combo Breaker 2022 titles earlier this year.
“I am really glad that I will be representing India in WEC this year, this feeling is adorable and I can’t explain my emotions. WEC is always an arduous task for Tekken participants since our scene has progressed tremendously well and reached a new zenith. So it’s a moment to cherish for me. It creates a perfect scenery of success for me after putting my blood and sweat into this game. This time I am more devised for the WEC. As a mountain to climb it already is, I feel confident as well as prepared for this. It’s a great opportunity to prove my mettle against the literal virtuosos of the title and my body, soul and mind, is ready for it. Bring it on, Bali!” Hitesh expressed his excitement ahead of the World Championship Finals.
Kommu, on the other hand, will be competing against athletes from Kazakhstan, Armenia and Guinea in Group P. He will play his first match against Cheick Conde of Guinea on December 3.
“It’s an amazing feeling and honour to represent our country at the 14th WEC. It’s a huge opportunity for me to play at such a big event with the top players from different countries competing. I’m confident with my grind and will try my best to get the best results in the tournament and want to bring some glory from it back home.” Hemanth said while expressing his thoughts on getting the opportunity to represent India in the world finals.
The group stage games for Tekken 7 will be contested in the best-of-three format and for CS:GO it will be in the best-of-one.
Following the conclusion of the group stage, the Top-2 teams from each group will progress into the next round in the CS:GO and Tekken 7 titles while for eFootball only the top team of the group will qualify for the next stage.
MPL Poker Achieves The Milestone of 25 Poker Players
The poker arm of mobile esports and skill gaming platform Mobile Premier League has surpassed 25 lakh poker players in India, making it the biggest poker platform in the country.
The app has a diverse set of users from varied socio-economic backgrounds, hailing from major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and others. Over the years, it has also seen rapid adoption from tier 2 and 3 markets. Places like Thane, Nagpur, Jodhpur, Kanpur etc have registered the fastest growth. Presently, over 60% of users are from tier 2 and 3 cities where the company has built a strong presence. The mobile gaming app is already available in 5,200 towns and cities and is steadily expanding to more places, thanks to the proliferation of affordable smartphones and increased internet access. Notably, about a third of the poker players are women, and MPL said the share is rapidly growing as women make their mark in this typically male-dominated sport. The platform also has celebrity players like Sharkshe S (Shakshi Shetty) on its roster of women players.
Globally, there are over 10 crore poker players and it has taken off in a big way in India over the last few years, attracting a lot of new players as well as big-ticket tournaments by brands. Some reports put the number of active poker players in the country at 30 lakh.
“The growth we have seen on our platform attests to the fact that poker is gaining prominence among users in India not just as a hobby, but as a mind sport,” said Namratha Swamy, Country Head – India, MPL. As recognised by the International Mind Sports Association, Poker, together with Bridge, Chess and Scrabble, is part of the Mind Sports Olympiad, the global event for games of mental skill. And for good reason: Poker encourages players to use their mental skills and logical thinking while crafting every move; and just like traditional sports, it takes strategy and practice to become a better player.
But more importantly, it has evolved into a serious profession for many in the country. Swamy said, “Poker, as we know it today, is not just another card game played in a social setting. There are numerous Indian players who are engaging with the sport and making a living from playing poker.”
Poker owes its meteoric rise to advancements in tech and security too. Safety, transparency and fair play are important considerations for users, especially when taking part in games with a monetary component. Swamy concurs, “In the current day and age, it is paramount to focus on the processes that make platforms safe and secure for the users. Which is why at MPL, we have implemented industry-best security protocols that can protect our users from fraud and preserve the top-notch gameplay that we want to offer them.”
Poker, part of the burgeoning gaming industry, is growing at a rate of 35-40% a year. The gaming industry on the whole is set to cross the $5B+ mark by 2025 with a CAGR of 25%.
To promote poker further, MPL had earlier launched its Poker Academy working in concert with professional players to help users at all levels to get familiar with the various nuances of poker, and hone their skills and strategies. So far, over 85% of poker players on the platform have benefited from this.
Acer Asia Pacific Predator League 2022 Finals Concluded, Know Winners Here
The Asia-Pacific Predator League 2022 Grand Finals took place in Tokyo, Japan from November 11-13, where 30 teams from across the Asia-Pacific region gathered to showcase their skills in intense team battles. The first physical competition in three years was successfully concluded and was broadcasted through multiple channels, resulting in massive viewership.
The winning teams of the Dota 2 and PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS tournaments shared a total prize pool of USD 260,000, with each receiving the coveted Predator shields.
“Unite As One – was the theme of the 2022 Tokyo grand finals event. It was an exciting moment to see players finally meet each other and compete head-to-head during this year’s Predator League,” said Andrew Hou, President of Acer’s Pan Asia Pacific Operations. “Rest assured that we will always show our support to the gaming community and esports ecosystem in the spirit of healthy competition.”
Dota 2 Highlights
The Predator League 2022 Grand Finals’ Dota 2 champion was Polaris Esports, with the team dropping just one game throughout the entire tournament. The audience was in absolute awe of their dominant performance during the Grand Finals, as they bested Execration who fought valiantly and ended the tournament with a second place finish.
Third place was awarded to the up-and-coming GrindSky Esports, whose performance caught a lot of people by surprise after the new team valiantly performed throughout the competition.
PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS Highlights
As for the PUBG tournament, Champions Genius Esports dominated the battlegrounds, posting a 70-point margin above other teams.
DWG KIA, who showcased strong gameplay and set the tone of the tournament since day one, finished in 2nd place. ArkAngel Predator finished with a well-deserved 3rd place win, with their patient and consistent playing style throughout their matches.
Aside from the group awards, individual merits were also bestowed to outstanding players, namely Ezqelusia from Attack All Around and ATee from Yangon Galacticos as they were declared Intel MVPs during their respective tournaments.
Winners of Predator League 2022
|Placement||Team Name||Prize (USD)||Placement||Team Name||Prize (USD)|
|1||Genius Esports||75,000 Predator Shield and 10,000 Selected products||1||Polaris Esports||75,000 Predator Shield and 10,000 Selected products|
|3||ArkAngel Predator||15,000||3||GrindSky Esports||15,000|
|Intel MVP-PUBG||Ezqelusia from Attack All Around||Helios 300 with 12th gen Intel core processor||Intel MVP-Dota 2||ATee from Yangon Galacticos||Helios 300 with 12th gen Intel core processor|
*The total prize pool for the qualifiers and winners is US$400,000.
Next Predator League
The next Predator League grand final will be hosted in the Philippines and return to its original tournament format beginning with the qualifier during the latter half of 2023, followed by the grand finals in early 2024.
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