The inaugural European Games Esports Championships (#EGE23) will welcome esports athletes and teams from across Europe to compete in two top esports titles – eFootball 2023 and Rocket League, this June.
The esports athletes will compete in parallel with the 7000 athletes representing 48 countries at the third edition of the European Games in Kraków and the Małopolska region of Poland. #EGE23 will add a whole new dimension of competition and entertainment to this grand sporting fiesta.
The Global Esports Federation and the European Olympic Committees confirmed that #EGE23 will run from June 30 to July 2. The International Congress Centre (MCK) in Katowice will become the epicentre of digital competition and is set to be a landmark event in the region’s sporting calendar.
The Open and Women Categories for eFootball 2023 and Open Category for Rocket League at #EGE23 will allow esports athletes from across the continent to compete for national glory.
Commenting on the groundbreaking nature of #EGE23, Aurelia Ruetsch, GEF Board Member and Chair of the EGE23 Coordination Commission, said: “The European Games Esports Championships represents a pioneering moment for esports in Europe. Having been part of the team at the inaugural European Games Baku 2015, I am thrilled to see another first with the EOC as we convene top-level esports competitions alongside traditional sports, celebrating youth culture in the heart of Europe.”
“We are delighted to see esports in this prestigious event – the European Games. The #EGE23 is a significant milestone in the development of esports in Europe. It’s a joyful celebration of youth, esports, and sport all together,” Chris Chan, President of the GEF, said.
In addition to the esports competitions, the #EGE23 will feature the GEFestival – a celebration of esports’ inclusive culture, games, music and entertainment – and GEFcon, a global convention of thought leaders and idea creators in business, esports, sport and technology on an international stage for sharing and learning.
“The Esports Championships is an extraordinary addition to the European Games lineup and underscores the progressive vision of the diversity and inclusivity of the sports world, highlighting the common ground they share in terms of dedication, strategy, and the pursuit of excellence. We are delighted to collaborate with the Global Esports Federation on the first of many planned initiatives,” Spyros Capralos, President of EOC, said.
Hasan Arat, Chair of the EOC Coordination Commission for the European Games 2023, said: “The EOC is delighted to have partnered with the Global Esports Federation to host the Esports Championships in Katowice this summer.
“Esports is hugely popular worldwide, especially among the younger generation, and as the European Games continues to look for ways to innovate and attract a younger audience, this is a significant step.
“The International Congress Center in Katowice will be the perfect venue for the competition, and I know that it will be a memorable occasion for all the esports athletes taking part.”
PRAGMATIC PLAY EXPANDS SLOVAKIAN PRESENCE WITH NIKÉ
Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the iGaming industry, will begin supplying its Slots to the prominent Slovak operator Niké in its latest partnership.
Niké’s players will now gain access to Pragmatic Play’s impressive lineup of award-winning player-favourite titles, from iconic hits like Wolf Gold and Big Bass Bonanza to the popular Sugar Rush and Gates of Olympus.
As one of Slovakia’s market leaders, partnering with Niké will catalyse further growth across the country for Pragmatic Play and introduce more players to its content for the first time.
The agreement is the latest in a string of major partnerships for Pragmatic Play in Europe, following deals with Napoleon in Belgium and GAMRFIRST in Switzerland, as it continues to solidify its presence in the region and globally.
Irina Cornides, Chief Operating Officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “Pragmatic Play continues to expand in regulated markets, and partnering with major operators like Niké in Slovakia provides a great opportunity for us to deliver our rich portfolio of games to even more players. We look forward to a great partnership with Niké as it continues to strengthen its offering as a top operator in the market.”
Robert Vizvari, Chief Revenue Officer at Niké, said: “Adding Pragmatic Play games to our game lobby is a significant step forward for us. It has gained an enviable reputation for delivering some of the industry’s most entertaining experiences and opening those opportunities up to our player base heralds the beginning of a fantastic collaboration.”
Gauselmann Group Wins Tender for Casino Concession of the German State of Lower Saxony
The Gauselmann Group has won the tender for the casino concession of the German state of Lower Saxony. This means the group has the opportunity to operate up to ten casino locations. The concession allows for the state-licensed locations to be operated under the umbrella of the MERKUR sun from 1 September 2024, initially for a period of 15 years.
“I’m extremely delighted about receiving the casino concession in our neighbouring state of Lower Saxony. Being able to clock up this additional significant milestone in our company’s history, just two years after taking over the North Rhine-Westphalia casinos, makes me and all the employees involved very proud and shows once again that we master the ‘higher school’ of gaming with and centred round money, and that we can act responsibly in this respect. Now, in autumn 2024, the task is to integrate the Lower Saxony casinos, with their roughly 400 employees, into our company and to welcome them to the world of Merkur,” Paul Gauselmann, company founder and Chairman of the Management Board of the Gauselmann Group, said.
Pivotal for the issuance of the casino concession was the proven exemplary competence of the Gauselmann Group’s ability to operate casinos. A total of 15 locations in the German states of Saxony-Anhalt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin and Rhineland-Palatinate already demonstrate the success of the company. In addition to the proof of economic viability and financial stability, the high quality of the operator’s concept, above all, were decisive for the issuance of the casino concession.
“With the takeover of the North Rhine-Westphalia casinos in 2021, we proved in an impressive way that we are able to realign the gaming and service offering in record time, to secure existing jobs, create new ones, and even increase their attractiveness. I’m certain that we will also be able to set new standards in Lower Saxony and continue to write our story of success with the casinos there,” David Schnabel, Managing Director of all Merkur Spielbanken, said.
OKTO.CASH Receives GGL Approval
OKTO.CASH, the innovative cash-to-digital payment method of OKTO has been granted approval by the GGL and has been officially recognized as an approved payment method for iGaming in Germany. This significant milestone allows igaming merchants in the German market to leverage the unique advantages of OKTO.CASH, setting them apart from competitors and offering an unparalleled payment experience to their customers.
GGL’s approval of OKTO.CASH comes after a rigorous evaluation process, during which three different operators submitted applications to utilize this innovative payment method. OKTO.CASH has emerged as the preferred choice for operators seeking to enhance their payment offerings.
Operators now have the option to utilize the OKTO.CASH branded solution or opt for a white-label version, providing flexibility in catering to their specific customer base and brand identity.
Mikhail Ovsepyan, Head of Germany at OKTO, expressed his enthusiasm about this achievement: “We are glad to have received GGL’s approval. OKTO.CASH is a revolutionary payment method for the German market, allowing direct real-time cash top-ups for iGaming accounts at a wide network of points of sale (POS). This is a game-changer for the industry, as there are currently no comparable solutions available.”
OKTO has built a rapidly expanding network of POS locations in Germany, which will encompass over 40,000 points of sale, including supermarket chains, kiosks, gas stations, and potentially German post offices. This strategic emphasis on proximity ensures that customers can conveniently access OKTO.CASH, thereby opening up new opportunities for customer acquisition and revenue generation that were previously unreachable through traditional payment methods.
One of the key differentiators of OKTO.CASH is its seamless payment journey, complemented by an embedded eVoucher payment method, which elevates the customer payment experience to best-in-class standards. This innovation reduces abandonment rates for consumers, as cash payments significantly reduce friction, leading to higher conversion rates.
As the iGaming industry in Germany continues to evolve, OKTO.CASH stands at the forefront of payment technology, offering operators a competitive edge and providing customers with a convenient and efficient payment solution. The approval by GGL underscores the importance of innovation and customer-centric solutions in the rapidly expanding igaming market.
Operators who choose OKTO.CASH can anticipate not only differentiation from its competitors but also the opportunity to attract a unique customer segment that values the convenience and reliability of cash-based payments.
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