Dignitas enters a three-year partnership deal with Vie.gg

Dignitas enters a three-year partnership deal with Vie.gg

A deal with Dignitas marks a first big partnership with a top-tier organization since January for the esports betting platform when Vie.gg joined forces with the European powerhouse Epsilon.

In a three-year arrangement, Vie.gg will provide safe and transparent P2P esports betting to numerous Dignitas fans. Unlike the traditional betting platforms, Vie offers a more player-friendly exchange model, where bettors are competing against each other. In bet exchange, the player always wins.

“Vie.gg offer a premier destination for our fans to engage with the games they love in ways that play upon a competitive spirit that is decidedly Dignitas in nature,” Dignitas CEO Michael Prindiville said in a statement. “The partnership with Esports Entertainment Group and Vie.gg is extremely natural; we are connected in our shared dedication to developing and amplifying the gaming space in this period of rapid and inspiring growth, and as it blends naturally with entertainment, music, lifestyle, and more.”

Dignitas is an international esports team with one of the most iconic and recognizable brands in the professional gaming industry that fields teams in seven of esports’ largest and most popular games. Dignitas was originally formed in September 2003 with the merger of two Battlefield 1942 teams. In September 2016, Dignitas was acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association.

Dignitas Rocket League team

Dignitas is a part of the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment family of innovative and competitive holdings owned by an investor group led by Managing Partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, which also includes the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League.

Most recently Dignitas made news after a merger with the Houston Rockets’ owned and operated Clutch Gaming, to form a new, gaming-centric, media and entertainment company. The deal marks Dignitas’ return to the LCS starting the 2020 season.

“I am very proud of this new partnership with HBSE and their Dignitas esports brand, which is founded in our shared common beliefs of player safety above all else,” Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group told the press. “I look forward to sharing our incredible product with Dignitas’ highly engaged fan base over the next three years and beyond. A partnership of this caliber is a significant milestone for our shareholders and tremendous validation of both our P2P esports wagering model and future plans within the esports world.”

Vie.gg offers bet exchange style wagering on esports events in a licensed, regulated and secured platform to the global esports audience, excluding jurisdictions that prohibit online gambling. The platform features wagering on most of the top esports titles.

Earlier this month Esports Entertainment Group, the company behind the Vie.gg platform, announced its successful application to list on NASDAQ. “A NASDAQ listing, if successful, would broaden our access to a larger and international group of investors as we seek to become a truly global company,” Grant Johnson said in a statement.

Currently, Dignitas flaunts top teams in several major esports scenes, including Rocket League, SMITE, Clash Royale, Apex Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and others. The representatives of the latter remain one of the best female teams in the entirety of esports as well as the reigning champions of Intel Challenge Katowice 2019 — a de facto World Championship in female Counter-Strike.

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COOLLER: “I’m definitely getting bored of what the game has to offer”

COOLLER: “I’m definitely getting bored of what the game has to offer”

A Quake legend and former world champion, Anton “COOLLER” Singov explained why he began playing Apex Legends and reassured his fans that he’s not quitting Quake anytime soon.

This is not the first time one of the most experienced players in all of esports put Quake on the sidelines to focus on a new game. A few years ago COOLLER switched to Overwatch when it first came out, even dedicating himself to the game full-time.

In his professional Overwatch career, the 32-year-old Russian played in several top-level teams, including Misfits, who later became Florida Mayhem, after joining Overwatch League. With the former, Singov even triumphed at DreamHack Winter 2016, defeating Fnatic in the grand final.

COOLLER, like many other professional Quake players, has been spending increasingly more time playing Apex Legends, he also spoke about Fortnite and reflected on the future of the battle royale game from Respawn Entertainment.

You moved from Quake to Apex Legends. What was behind the move?

It is wrong to call it as a transition. Or rather, I’m trying something new, something extra, as long as there are no tournaments in Quake. The nearest championship will be only in the summer. There is a large enough window to devote oneself to something new, to learn some new skills.

Is there a chance that you will leave Quake for the battle royale?

Complex issue. If Apex can offer me more than Quake — I’m not talking about money now, but about all aspects, then why not? I do not see any problems.

It seems to me that Apex Legends is more like Quake than other battle royales. Is that true?

I agree here. Probably, the elements of physics, the elements of dynamics in Apex Legends are quite similar to Quake. Still, the game is completely different from Quake. This is a completely different shooter.

I think the gameplay in Apex is quite easy. It is not difficult to get good. You just need to get comfortable, feel the dynamics, physics. Therefore, it was easy for me.

Why Apex Legends? I haven’t seen you run Fortnite even once, and about PUBG you said that it “slows down the brain.” What is wrong with these games?

Fortnite I just do not like visually. This is a personal dislike. Also, when Fortnite came out, I was actively playing Quake. I had a more professional attachment to discipline. It was not possible to go somewhere else, otherwise, I would start losing my skills in Quake. PUBG is about the same story.

Apex I chose, because it coincided. Good quality game. A big window between Quake tournaments — plenty of free time. Big hype and hope for high-quality esports, because the developer is serious enough — they can offer something worthy.

Why did Apex Legends become so popular?

A combination of factors influenced. Initially, the game itself, as I said, is very well made. People are bored of the same type, someone bored with Fortnite, PUBG, CS:GO, Overwatch or Quake. Apex offered something new, fresh.

In addition, the developers have created a real storm of hype, plus a significant role was played by the streamers and the community of gamers themselves. Everything is like a snowball. I think this should be enough for Apex to get its market share.

Now Apex Legends began to lag behind on views on Twitch. What is missing within the game?

Here is a standard story. When there is something new, something noisy, first there is a big influx of incoming traffic. Then someone just gets bored, someone is disappointed in the game, someone loses interest. It is therefore absolutely normal that the numbers fall.

As for the content, then I’m definitely getting bored by what the game offers. I need something new. Apex should captivate me again. But, since I position myself as a pro-player, it is the esport component that is important to me. Matchmaking, ranked games, competitions and so on.

Does the game need solo and duo modes? If they appear, what format should be made at competitions?

It would be interesting for me to see how these modes would enter Apex Legends, and esports in general. So far I have no idea how it will all look, but I really want to see what comes of it.

I do not know why they initially chose the game mode in threes. Perhaps the developers considered it as balanced as possible. Perhaps because it is something new – it will interest more people.

In general, I can not say which format would be best. Ideally, you need to have as many modes as possible so that each user can choose according to their taste.

It seems that the developers have hit hard the balance of weapons and legends. Do you like their approach or was the Wingman nerf a bit much?

I think the developers are doing the right thing with balance patches — everything is relative. The same Wingman definitely needed nerf, but now it is more or less in order. If you find an upgrade and increase the clip at least up to eight rounds, then the weapon returns to being tier-1.

Now in Apex Legends, there is perhaps Twitch Rivals and minor leagues, and in Fortnite and PUBG there are already full-fledged competitive systems. What would you like to see in the scene for Apex Legends?

As a quaker, I have an idea only about trips to competitions on average once a quarter. For me, this is both enough and not enough. I would like as much competition as possible. So that every day you can compete, compete and compete.

How did you like TwitchCon? It seemed to me that the tournament was too short. What format would you like to see at Apex competitions?

Let’s start with the fact that TwitchCon is more of a streamer event than a full-fledged pro-competition. Yes, everyone wanted to win, but in general it is not included in the category of professional tournament IMHO. I was offered three matches, but for three games to objectively reveal the best, it seems to be impossible.

In general, as an event, TwitchCon was very cool. And I would like to highlight this as a highlight. It is necessary to thank Twitch and Maria Staipy for their professionalism and the opportunity for us to express ourselves [the team that came out with COOLLERZ received an additional invitation, as it took second place in the qualifying tournament because of misunderstanding with administrators – approx. ed. ].

Plus, if KTVSKY hadn’t called me, I wouldn’t be there in principle. Therefore, I will only talk in a positive way about TwitchCon. For me, it was top content thanks to all these people.

In itself, the specifics of the battle royale implies a certain number of matches with the same compositions. There is a so-called dispersion, due to which a certain distance is needed to reveal the best. Three matches is too short a distance.

As I understand it, you continue to perform with KTVSKY, but now Dmitry “Shade1” Roshchin has joined you — is it still a mix or are you looking for an organization?

I represent AMD, and the guys, as far as I know, are ready to consider proposals to represent an organization. By the way, I consider them some of the best in the world at the moment. I know that this is subjective, but believe me, I have an idea about the current level of the scene.


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Fans invited to compete against Epsilon players and support charity

Fans invited to compete against Epsilon players and support charity

Belgium based Epsilon esports partner up with bet exchange platform VIE.gg in an effort to support charitable causes — team’s CS:GO players are set to put their game knowledge on the line in a month-long charity event against their fans.

Today Epsilon Esports announced they will be inviting their fans to join for charitable esports bets between the team’s pros and their fans until May 31, 2019, with all the proceeds going towards the charities of players’ choice.

The three players to take part in this event are team captain Teodor “SPELLAN” Nikolov, Kia “Surreal” Man, and Nils “k1to” Gruhne.

“I would like to donate my winnings from Vie.gg to Cancer Research UK,” said Surreal in a press release. “It has personal meaning to me and I would like to help further their research.”

His teammates SPELLAN and k1to chose to support Teach For Bulgaria and Holidays From Cancer, respectively.

“I know that life in Bulgaria is really hard for some children that deserve a better life,” SPELLAN stated in a comment. “I feel very proud and happy that I am able to help them through my esports play.”

The unique model offered by VIE.gg, which allows its players to bet against one another in a bet exchange format, is perfectly suited to let the team’s fans battle Epsilon players face-to-face. Unlike a traditional sportsbook model, where players bet against the “house”, at VIE players are betting against other players.

Several times per week, each of the Epsilon players will examine the markets and place a bet of their choosing on a team that they think will win. The fans will be invited to challenge their bets and bet against the team chosen by the professional player.

All bets won by fans will be theirs to keep, while all bets won by Epsilon players will be donated to their respective charities.

To further support the cause, the organizers will be giving all the fans that sign up through this promotion a free bet on VIE.gg for up to 20 euros.

“This is a fantastic initiative between VIE.gg and our players, and we are extremely proud to take part in helping make the world a better place,” Gregory Champagne, Chief Executive Officer at Epsilon eSports told Vie esports. “The trio, K1to, Surreal and SPELLAN have chosen to donate their winnings to worthy charities that have important meaning to each of them and I know they look forward with great excitement to challenging esports fans.”

“It’s a pleasure to get to work directly with players that genuinely want to make a difference using our website,” said Brian Cordry, Head of Esports at VIE.gg. “I’m excited to see how much money the guys can raise for their great charitable causes.”

Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) has approved the charitable event, and the players were cleared to bet on matches during this period. According to ESIC announcement, the players won’t be able to bet on their own games, nor will they be betting their own money or making a profit — all of the players’ winnings will go directly to support their charity of choice.

To participate in the event, fans should head over to the player page, where they can find out more about the event, the players and their charities:

Bet against SPELLAN and support Teach For Bulgaria HERE.

Bet against Surreal to support Cancer Research UK HERE.

Bet against k1to for Holidays From Cancer HERE.

This weekend Epsilon CS:GO are in Belgium, playing in Charleroi Esports 2019 for their share of €100,000 euros. Epsilon will start in group B with the likes of G2 Esports and Virtus.Pro.

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NaVi CEO: “Investments will be necessary in the future. Esports does not stand still”

NaVi CEO: “Investments will be necessary in the future. Esports does not stand still”

The man behind the Ukrainian NaVi, Yevgeny “HarisPilton” Zolotarev, talked in-depth about running an esports team, expanding into international waters, creating a winning team and remaining profitable in highly competitive esports scene.

Natus Vincere CEO also talked about the appointment of Andrey “B1ad3” Gorodenskiy to the role of esports director, the opening of the academy team, recent struggles of their Dota 2 team and much more.

Recently Andrey “B1ad3” Gorodenskiy joined for the role of esports director. How did this idea come to be?

Similar thoughts started long ago. We are quite familiar with Andrey, we even played on the same team, but somehow all this time we went parallel to each other. Nevertheless, we constantly communicated, shared opinions about CS and everything else.

I have always considered him an intelligent specialist, he has a good eye for young talents, a lot of experience on the professional stage: a player, a captain, a coach. His main advantage, unlike the other 90 percent of former esports athletes, that he has a high focus on the business component, he understands the development of the club as a business. I think he is very suitable for this role.

Previously, Na’Vi did not have such a position?

Not for the last 2.5 years, but even earlier I myself was in this position when Alexander “ZeroGravity” Kokhanovsky appointed me in 2016. I worked there for six months and then took the position of CEO, combining it with the esports director, and ZeroGravity went into inactivity.

The position can be called new, but it is necessary for large clubs. Team Liquid, for example, have several general managers at once, who have distributed disciplines and regions among themselves. Na’Vi, like any other multigaming, requires personnel enhancement as well.

He will only deal with Counter-Strike?

No, by all teams, it will include Dota 2. An esports director is a person who is responsible for all the compositions of an organization. Transfer policy, tournament schedule, bootcamp schedule and more.

I took Andrey as an experienced specialist to build a vertical search, training and education of players. As a general director, I still have operational work, finance, media and marketing, the rest went to B1ad3.

With his signing, you will also open a youth academy?

Yes, in the near future it will really appear. By this time, the market had matured, and our organization had matured, human and financial resources appeared to implement these plans. All other details will appear very soon in the official announcement.

I can only say that there will be many opportunities for young players. I really want to realize our accumulated experience in working with young people.

So talking about your Dota 2 team. One cannot help but wonder when you have a team as well supported as yours, where are the results?

The conditions are really good, but if the players did not work at the same time or if we had questions about their discipline, then we can say that the organization slacks off or something else. Speaking specifically about the composition of Dota 2 — the team has no disciplinary problems at all, the guys worked and continue to work with maximum commitment, even after defeats.

I cannot say that we are pleased with the results, but we see their return, they live on DotA and there are no problems inside the team. There are only game moments that we are trying to fix.

Nevertheless, there are positive things — some players six months ago were considered to be unknown to anyone, and during this time they were seriously tightened up from the point of view of the skill, the pool of heroes, the LAN experience and so on. I try to look for a positive in everything and we will continue to work for it.

Do you participate in the life of the team? Can you suggest something or express displeasure?

There is a manager, coach, captain and even an analyst who works with players remotely. For the last bootcamps, we have attracted such a person as a mental coach, with whom we plan to continue cooperation.

I am not competent enough in DotA to prompt guys. First of all, I appreciate the game as a fan, I can be dissatisfied, angry about why they made a pick for that hero and not for another, to draw conclusions based on the words of commentators or analysts. With my game level, I do not allow myself any in-game recommendations.

Na’Vi was among the first to announce the opening of a division in Apex Legends. Right now you already announced the signing of two Quake world champions — Cypher and clawz. What went into this decision?

There’re a lot of unknown moments, the game itself faces certain difficulties.

Regarding the region: in the case of Apex — this is still two players from the CIS. When we choose the composition, the criterion of the region is not in the first place. We are after the players that we want, everything else is secondary.

We will take players and look at what the publisher will do, how much their efforts will be directed to the development of the esports component of the discipline. In PUBG we are now seeing a big recession, for instance.

Are you disappointed in PUBG?

It is too early to talk about our position, but we have serious concerns. The start of a Major league cannot be called successful. As an average person, I don’t see sponsors, I don’t see any views, and at the same time I see high costs associated with moving the team to Berlin.

The failure in the results of the team are related to this?

To a lesser extent, the season has just begun, the first phase has ended. The results are unsuccessful, but there is time to correct them. The concerns are tied to the discipline itself.

After a very long break, you recently signed foreign players. What led to that decision?

Fortnite is definitely a western game, not popular in the CIS region. Rainbow Six Siege — we wanted both a competitive line-up and the team that has a slot in the ESL Pro League. In the CIS, there is no choice in this regard, there is only one team — Team Empire, which recently signed the guys and did not intend to sell.

And getting more foreign fans while at it?

Of course, we perfectly understand that it is necessary to improve monetization. Unfortunately, this is hard to do in the CIS region.

We do not intend to leave the CIS esports, here are our roots. We, like any other major multigaming, are just trying to increase our presence in other regions. For example, in Team Liquid, FaZe Clan and Ninjas in Pyjamas, the compositions for Rainbow Six Siege are Brazilians.

Recently we could see stagnation in tier 2 esports — fewer sponsors, less audience interest, fewer fans. Do you think it may have a negative impact on esports?

In order for sponsors to pay good money, you need to show good numbers: reach, audience, views or results.

Sponsors calculate ROI (return on investment) — clicks, transitions and everything else, the more videos you watch, comment, etc. the better you’re off.

NaVi right now has no such problem. From the point of view of the business model, Natus Vincere can be called an independent asset, and it can sustain itself right now, but one way or another, investments will be necessary in the future. Esports does not stand still.


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Suprema_Ettorito: “I want to become back to back world champion”

Suprema_Ettorito: “I want to become back to back world champion”

Ettore “Suprema_Ettorito” Giannuzzi defeated his Brazilian opponent Alemao_pesbr in the Final Match of WESG Grand Finals with a 2-0 score, claiming another world champion title for the Italian player.

As the winner of the tournament, Suprema_Ettorito received an award of $30,000 US dollars. Alemao_pesbr, who took the second place, won a hefty prize of $15,000 dollars.

This match was hosted at the Olympic Stadium in front of live audience of a few thousand Chinese esports fans. The event marked a second significant victory in a row for Suprema, following his first place finish in Pro Evolution Soccer world championship last summer.

After his return from China, the player talked about the event in an interview.

Another great event for you, another world champion title. How does it feel?

I’m so happy for this tournament. The tournament started very bad for me at the beginning. I lost one game and draw one, so I went to my hotel with only 4 points. After that, I changed my formation, I changed team with Liverpool and Barcelona because before I played with Arsenal.

Thanks to that I won all the games, I draw only one game in the group, and after that, I won the quarterfinal, semifinal, and final 2-0 in BO3. So I’m so happy! I was confident for this game and now I’m a champion.

Why didn’t you play with Barcelona from the very beginning?

Because I think Liverpool have faster players like Origi, Salah, Mané, Messi, Suarez, they are technical. So I think, for second game, you can use and choose Barcelona only for this, not for other reasons.

Who was the toughest opponent in this tournament?

I think it is Sofia.

How will you spend your money? It is really a huge amount of money.

I don’t know. Maybe I will go for some holidays, buy a new car, or do some gifts for my family and girlfriend. I don’t know at the moment.

The first phase of the event took place in a hotel and the finals were at the stadium. Is there any difference between the two in how you felt?

I think that from the hotel there will be a difference in the game. From the stadium, with the stream on the monitor, there will be a delay and it will be slower than it was in the hotel. But the emotion, of course, is different. On the stadium, you have more tension, and in the hotel, you are relaxed.

What is your next goal?

I will participate in the world final of Pro Evolution Soccer in June to become world champion back to back. I will try and we will see.

Do you have any words for your fans?

Hello, guys. I think you will challenge me in Pro Evolution Soccer. See you!


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Johnta: “Playing fast-paced games develops the brain very well”

Johnta: “Playing fast-paced games develops the brain very well”

With the popularity of Apex Legends booming and more esports tournaments being announced for it, professional CS:GO coach Ivan “Johnta” Shevtsov shared his thoughts about the competitiveness of the game.

Best known for his time with the HellRaisers, the coach recently made a move to new waters and joined TyLoo. The Chinese team successfully qualified for the IEM Katowice Major 2019 through the Asian Minor but had mixed results there.

In their opening matches in Poland the team behind Ivan “Johnta” Shevtsov overwhelmed Team Vitality and Cloud 9 earning themselves a head start with two early wins. Following that, the inexperience of the Chinese players came into play and the team suffered three losses straight, against NRG, AVANGAR and G2 esports.

Moving past the results of the last Major, Ivan “Johnta” Shevtsov talked about the “new kid on the block” and it’s future in the esports scene.

I couldn’t help but notice you playing Apex Legends a lot lately. Does it help you get away from the coach’s daily routine?

Yes, I would say that helps. It’s always good to be distracted, especially if you play with your buddies and get positive emotions from communication and playing together.

Also, games with high speed and dynamics generally develop the brain very well, because you learn to make quick decisions based on a bunch of various small factors. This is always useful, so the game like Apex for me is a combination of the useful and the pleasant.

Why did you decide to try Apex Legends? Have you played any other Battle Royale games like PUBG?

I played a lot of PUBG, so I am familiar with BR games. I like this format. But in PUBG it was boring, I wanted to break into some kind of fight all the time. Everything seemed to be a bit slow, even though the game was like made that way. Plus, I always loved to play Quake 3 because of its dynamics, physics, and speed.

Apex combines what I liked in both of the above games. The advantage is in an excellent loot system, cool dynamics, and convenient gameplay. You can play quietly in a team without a microphone too.

What do you think developers need to do in order not only to keep the audience but to develop the desire to continue playing? Or will it be a one-day game?

I think that it is necessary to hold regular events attracting attention. Quickly fix problems, and add new content (legends, locations, weapons, skills). It is also important to think up a good system for observers, so that it would be interesting to watch the events.

In Apex, the team consists of 3 players. Why do you think the developers decided to make it three-man teams because in other franchises the number is usually four?

Three is perfect, you don’t need more. Playing against three you always have to do your best, because the duel against three is very hard to win. Given the mobility in this game, it is important to move correctly. When playing 4 players, teams would often share two players and then positioning would have been completely different.

Some say that Fortnite is much more skill based than PUBG. What do you think it is connected to? Where does Apex Legends fit?

I didn’t follow Fortnite at all, I can’t compare it with anything. In Apex, the skill is of course important, if you move efficiently and shoot well — you will have a huge advantage. I think the skill ceiling is very high here, especially in team interactions and combinations between legends.

Can you highlight for yourself some unique aspects of the game you like? For example, many liked the respawn system.

Yes, the respawn system is very cool. Now they can not so easily ruin the game to one player from the team, as it often happened in PUBG. I like the fact that legends have different skills and there aren’t many of them. You can come up with funny combinations and choose play style depending on the weapon and armor that the team has. Also very cool is that it does not require a very powerful PC.

Many esports organizations have announced the recruitment of the next Apex Legend. Do you think there is a cybersport future? What do developers need to do, what is missing for the game?

If the developer comes up with a good event system, it will be interesting to watch it. After all, the game is very entertaining and easy to start playing. And if a lot of people play, then there are a lot of potential viewers. In this case, esports organizations and sponsors will be interested in maintaining this discipline and teams in it.

Have you thought about changing the game? In the case of interest and prospects arising in another?

Thoughts to become a player of course visited, but it is too early to think about it. (laughs)

You’ve been doing some great analytical CS:GO streams in the past. Any plans to bring that to Apex?

Working as a coach in CS: GO takes a lot of time but if you come and watch me stream — I’ll be happy to stream my shenanigans in Apex!


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