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DreamHack San Diego Sets Record As Largest-Ever U.S. Festival With More Than 41,000 Attendees

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DreamHack San Diego, a three-day gaming lifestyle festival, has concluded with more than 41,000 total attendees, setting the record for the largest-ever U.S. DreamHack festival. On April 7-9 at the San Diego Convention Center, the first-ever DreamHack San Diego featured a variety of experiences for the gaming community, including esports tournaments across the most popular titles, an assortment of LAN competitions totaling nearly $1 million in prizing, musical performances, retro arcade, and much more.

“We are immensely proud of the success of DreamHack San Diego, breaking the record as the most attended U.S. festival in DreamHack history,” said Shahin Zarrabi, VP of Strategy & Growth for DreamHack. “Across three days, the festival showcased the best of gaming, esports, music, and pop culture under one roof – bringing together the global gaming community. Thank you to all our festival goers for their enthusiastic participation across both professional and amateur competitions, and congratulations to our winners.”

Special guests throughout the weekend included voice actors and actresses from the God of War, Overwatch, and Assassin’s Creed franchises, popular gaming influencers FaZe Sway and Jake Lucky, and many more.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Dream Big by DreamHack and Autism Society San Diego

In celebration of Autism Acceptance month, DreamHack San Diego partnered with Autism Society San Diego to introduce its “Dream Big” initiative to raise funding and awareness for autism. As part of Dream Big, DreamHack donated $25,000 to the organization and raised additional proceeds for the non-profit to ticket sales. Dozens of celebrities attended DreamHack San Diego in support of Dream Big, including voices from the God of War, Overwatch, and Assassin’s Creed franchises, and famous cosplayers and content creators.

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DreamHack gives back to local San Diego community

DreamHack launched multiple initiatives to support San Diego during its first visit to the city including contributing $1 million worth of tickets to students at schools through the area and providing discounts for U.S. military members.

​​Set It Off, City of Sound rocked centerstage on Saturday night

Los Angeles-based rock band Set It Off headlined the Main Stage on Saturday. The band, which has 528 million plays on its top 10 Spotify tracks, was joined by opening acts City of Sound and Scene Queen.

COMPETITION RESULTS

Rocket League Championship Series Winter Major

  • $310,000 Prize Pool
  • WINNER: Karmine Corp 

The top 16 internationally ranked Rocket League squads battled it out in San Diego for the most exciting major of the season, with online viewership peaking at over 270,000. Karmine Corp edged out FaZe Clan to secure the victory and took home the lion’s share of the $310,000 prize pool.

Snapdragon Pro Series Powered by Samsung Galaxy Mobile Challenge Finals: North America 

  • $100,000 Prize Pool ($50,000 per title)
  • BRAWL STARS WINNER: STMN Esports
  • CLASH OF CLANS WINNER: Lotus Gaming

The Snapdragon Pro Series powered by Samsung Galaxy featured top North American mobile esports competitors as they battled for $100,000 in total prizing. Lotus Gaming took home the Snapdragon Pro Series Clash Of Clans championship title, while STMN Esports lifted the Brawl Stars trophy. Tribe Gaming and STMN Esports additionally secured spots at the highly anticipated $200,000 Mobile Masters competition at DreamHack Japan (May 13-14).

DreamHack Open Ft. Fortnite

  • $250,000 Prize Pool
  • WINNER: Kwanti & Threats

Kwanti & Threats claimed the top spot and their share of the $250,000 prize pool at the DreamHack Open Ft. Fortnite, which kicked off this weekend. The three-part Zero Build competition continues at DreamHack Dallas (June 2-4) and DreamHack Summer in Sweden (June 16-19), with the top 10 duos from each festival qualifying for the $2 million Gamers8 Featuring Fortnite event from July 6-9 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

DreamHack Fighters

  • $100,000 Prize Pool
  • WINNERS: All details are available on the website

DreamHack San Diego featured a number of professional and amateur fighting game tournaments throughout the weekend, including Brawlhalla, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, and many more. More than 11,000 viewers tuned into the official DreamHack Fighters broadcast on the final day of competition, which featured some of the event’s top competitors.

BYOC LAN Tournaments & Freeplay

  • $40,000 Prize Pool

BYOC LAN is the core of any DreamHack festival. DreamHack San Diego featured 10 BYOC tournaments across eight titles, including Overwatch 2, VALORANT, Rocket League, and more.

DreamHack Magic

  • $130,000 Prize Pool
  • WINNER: Joshua Willis 

DreamHack San Diego hosted Round 2 of the United States Magic: The Gathering Regional Championship. The country’s best Magic: The Gathering players competed for their chance to qualify for The Gathering Pro Tour and the Magic World Championship.

Cosplay Championships

  • $3,000 Prize Pool

DreamHack San Diego offered a hub for local and national cosplayers. Competitors toured the festival floor, participated in the Cosplay Championships, and walked the audience through their creative process.

Novice

  • 1st — Ashleythegraham
  • 2nd — X_PROT_492
  • 3rd — Kat.Cos.11

Artisan

  • 1st — VivSai
  • 2nd — Maike Huster
  • 3rd — Chaosplay Karma

Expert

  • 1st — Sinister Propz
  • 2nd — Divine Creations
  • 3rd — Nylo Ren
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Canada

OLG and Team Canada Launch Official Partnership Ahead of Paris 2024

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Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has entered into a partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee and has become the Official Ontario Lottery Partner of Team Canada for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Ontario is ready to cheer on Team Canada athletes as they compete in Paris this summer. This new partnership is showcasing one of the many ways OLG’s support makes a difference to people and communities across the province,” said Stan Cho, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Gaming.

“We are thrilled to welcome OLG to Team Canada. Ontario has such a rich sporting history and OLG has long been a supporter of sport and amateur athletes. We know this support has made a profound impact on athletes across the province, whether they’re engaged in sport at the grassroots level or pursuing their Olympic dreams,” said Jacqueline Ryan, Chief Brand and Commercial Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee and CEO of the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

“We are so pleased to be entering a new partnership with OLG and welcoming them into the Canadian Paralympic community. We know support for sport and athletes has been important to OLG for many years, and we are excited to work with them to continue to champion Ontario’s Para athletes and inclusive sport across Ontario,” said Karen O’Neill, CEO, Canadian Paralympic Committee.

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As momentum builds toward the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, OLG is also shining a spotlight on its players, who have helped support amateur athletes in Ontario by playing with OLG. The new “Sponsored by You” campaign reinforces that when you play with OLG, you support Ontario athletes.

Since 2006, OLG and the Ontario government have supported high-performance amateur athletes through the Quest for Gold athlete assistance program. The program has provided direct financial support to thousands of amateur athletes, enhancing their ability to train by offsetting the costs of training and living expenses.

“Many people don’t realize 100 per cent of OLG’s profits are reinvested into Ontario, and that we have a longstanding history of supporting amateur athletes. OLG’s ability to give back to communities is only possible thanks to our players, so we wanted to use this opportunity to recognize and celebrate them,” said Maxine Chapman, VP Brand & Marketing Officer at OLG.

OLG’s campaign features Team Canada athletes Andre De Grasse, Penny Oleksiak, Maggie Mac Neil, Jillian Weir and other Ontario athletes and Para athletes who have received funding from Ontario’s Quest for Gold program.

“Training for the Olympics takes a lot of preparation – physically, mentally and financially – and it’s not something you can succeed at alone. Having programs like Quest for Gold to help and knowing your community is supporting you makes all the difference, especially when you’re competing on the world stage,” said six-time Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse.

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The success of the Quest for Gold program shows in the numbers – in the last four Olympic cycles, over 90% of Ontario medal winners had received Quest for Gold funding during their career.

“The Quest for Gold program showcases our government’s continued efforts to enable Ontario athletes to achieve their full potential at the highest levels of competition. We are proud to join with the OLG, our partners across the sport sector and all Ontarians in wishing our Olympic and Paralympic athletes the best of luck in Paris,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Sport.

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Canada

Greo and CCSA Release New Report Named “Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action”

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Recent gambling policy changes in Canada have led to increased opportunities to legally bet on sports and gamble online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The report “Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action” looks at the impacts of legal gambling in Canada since the approval of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in 2021. The report recommends developing a pan-Canadian strategy to address gambling-related harms. This is a new report by Greo Evidence Insights (Greo) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).

This call to action is in response to the significant increase in gambling advertising on billboards, social media, at commercial breaks during sports broadcasts and during sporting events. Increased gambling availability and advertising are expected to contribute to increased gambling in Canada, thereby posing a significant risk of harms among the general population, particularly for youth, young adults and other vulnerable populations.

The report also describes how the increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are of great concern because:

  • The types of gambling being made available and promoted (single-event sports betting and live or in-play betting) are associated with a greater risk of harm. For example, single-event sports betting increases gambling intensity and gives an illusion of control over the outcome as people believe their knowledge of the game gives them a competitive edge.
  • The volume of gambling advertisements repeatedly pairing sports with betting normalizes gambling, leading people to think of betting as an integral part of being a sports fan.
  • Increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are happening at a time when many people in Canada are more vulnerable to problematic gambling and gambling-related harms because of the lingering health impacts of COVID-19 and a rise in the cost of living.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed some of the most significant changes in gambling policy since the 1970s. We have seen a massive increase in gambling advertising and opportunities to gamble. We can no longer watch sports with our kids or go online without being subjected to an overwhelming amount of gambling advertising. Canada is at a critical moment in how it manages gambling. A national strategy or framework — similar to what we have for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis — is critical to manage the expected increase in gambling harm, especially among youth and other vulnerable people,” explained Dr. Matthew Young, Chief Research Officer at Greo, Senior Research Associate at the CCSA and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University.

The report recommends developing a national strategy that will:

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  • Develop national standards governing the promotion and availability of gambling;
  • Manage conflicts of interest among gambling stakeholders;
  • Address inadequate funding for gambling harm prevention and reduction initiatives and research;
  • Monitor systematic changes in gambling-related harm, including any assessments of the social and economic costs of gambling; and
  • Increase awareness of gambling-related harms among health and social service professionals and the public.

“Increased gambling among people living in Canada will undoubtebly result in increased harms and therefore increased societal costs. These include healthcare costs, criminal-justice costs, child welfare costs, increased unemployment and lost productivity costs because of gambling-related suicide. We need to think about our approach and ensure that it considers not only short-term government revenue and economic activity but also the longer-term societal costs. That’s why we need a national strategy,” Dr. Pam Kent, Director of Research and Emerging Trends at CCSA, said.

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Canada

Call for a National Strategy to Address Gambling-Related Harms in Wake of Sports Betting Boom

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Recent gambling policy changes in Canada have led to increased opportunities to legally bet on sports and gamble online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Released today, Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action looks at the impacts of legal gambling in Canada since the approval of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in 2021. The report recommends developing a pan-Canadian strategy to address gambling-related harms. This is a new report by Greo Evidence Insights (Greo) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).

This call to action is in response to the significant increase in gambling advertising on billboards, social media, at commercial breaks during sports broadcasts and during sporting events. Increased gambling availability and advertising are expected to contribute to increased gambling in Canada, thereby posing a significant risk of harms among the general population, particularly for youth, young adults and other vulnerable populations.

The report also describes how the increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are of great concern because:

  • The types of gambling being made available and promoted (single-event sports betting and live or in-play betting) are associated with a greater risk of harm. For example, single-event sports betting increases gambling intensity and gives an illusion of control over the outcome as people believe their knowledge of the game gives them a competitive edge.
  • The volume of gambling advertisements repeatedly pairing sports with betting normalizes gambling, leading people to think of betting as an integral part of being a sports fan.
  • Increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are happening at a time when many people in Canada are more vulnerable to problematic gambling and gambling-related harms because of the lingering health impacts of COVID-19 and a rise in the cost of living.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed some of the most significant changes in gambling policy since the 1970s,” explained Dr. Matthew Young, Chief Research Officer at Greo, Senior Research Associate at the CCSA and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University. “We have seen a massive increase in gambling advertising and opportunities to gamble. We can no longer watch sports with our kids or go online without being subjected to an overwhelming amount of gambling advertising. Canada is at a critical moment in how it manages gambling. A national strategy or framework — similar to what we have for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis — is critical to manage the expected increased in gambling harm, especially among youth and other vulnerable people.”

The report recommends developing a national strategy that will:

  • Develop national standards governing the promotion and availability of gambling;
  • Manage conflicts of interest among gambling stakeholders;
  • Address inadequate funding for gambling harm prevention and reduction initiatives and research;
  • Monitor systematic changes in gambling-related harm, including any assessments of the social and economic costs of gambling; and
  • Increase awareness of gambling-related harms among health and social service professionals and the public.

“Increased gambling among people living in Canada will undoubtebly result in increased harms and therefore increased societal costs. These include healthcare costs, criminal-justice costs, child welfare costs, increased unemployment and lost productivity costs because of gambling-related suicide,” says Dr. Pam Kent, Director of Research and Emerging Trends at CCSA. “We need to think about our approach and ensure that it considers not only short-term government revenue and economic activity but also the longer-term societal costs. That’s why we need a national strategy.”

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