ESL ONE: ROAD TO RIO

Between 22nd April and 17th May, the world’s best 56 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams will compete in fierce competition. The purpose? To score valuable points and qualify for the ESL CS:GO Major due to take place later on this year.

With a $255,000 prize pool and 24 places up for grabs, the competition is primed for the best CS:GO players to take to the stage. Can they prove they’ve got what it takes to perform when the eyes of the world are on them?

If you don’t know what CS:GO is, check out our guide here before reading further.

SECURING QUALIFICATION TO THE MAJOR

In the context of the current world pandemic, the need for an entire rescheduling and restructuring of the CS:GO Major calendar was deemed necessary, leaving it up to game developers, Valve, to redesign their traditional qualification structure.

As a result, CS:GO teams will now need to qualify into the Major through an expanding online format, across various competitions. Teams will now look to secure points for their Regional Major Ranking – also known as their RMR – in an effort to qualify into the Major as either Legends, Challengers or Contenders, dependant on their positional ranking.

The first tournament to provide teams with points will be the ESL One: Road to Rio, with further competitions lined up before the Major due to take place in November.

ESL: ONE ROAD TO RIO FORMAT

The 56 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams taking place in the ESL One: Road to Rio, have been split into smaller groups of six regions: Europe, North America, Oceania, South America, Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Each region of teams will share a unique prize pool, as well as available slots for the Major.

EUROPE

Europe hosts some of the best-known teams taking part in the tournament. With 10 slots available to the Major, three Legends, five Challengers and two Contenders, as well as the biggest prize pool of $105,000, there’s plenty at stake for the 16 teams battling it out. Popular teams inside the division include Astralis and Team Vitality, who have both been tipped to do very well in not only the qualification tournaments but also the upcoming Major.

Teams: Astralis, ENCE, Vitality, mousesports, G2, c0ntact Gaming, FaZe Clan, North, fnatic, Complexity, Team Heretics, NiP, Movistar Riders, Copenhagen Flames, GODSENT and Dignitas.

NORTH AMERICA

North American CS:GO fans will witness a division that holds intense competition with the current sixth place ranked Team Liquid and seventh place world-ranked Evil Geniuses. In what’s sure to make for thrilling matchups, North American teams will compete for six slots and a prize pool of $70,000.

Teams: Evil Geniuses, 100 Thieves, Liquid, MIBR, FURIA, Gen.G, Bad News Bears, Cloud9, Triumph, Team Envy, Orgless, Yeah Gaming.

ASIA

TYLOO and Vici Gaming lead the competition in Asia, in a group also filled with six other teams fighting for a single Contenders slot into the Major and a prize pool of $10,000, between the 6th and 10th May.

Teams: TYLOO, ViCi, Mazaalai, TIGER, Lucid Dream, Camel Riders and two TBD (Asia Qualifier Tiebreakers).

OCEANIA AND SOUTH AMERICA

Oceanic and South American CS:GO contenders have both been placed into groups of four teams, and will each be sharing a prize pool of $10,000, as well as one regional Contender slot for ESL One: Rio 2020.

Oceanic Teams: Renegades, ORDER, Chiefs Esports Club and Ground Zero Gaming.

South American Teams: RED Canids, BOOM, Isurus and Team One.

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES

The second biggest division in the competition, with 12 teams, the Commonwealth of Independent States contains some of the most popular teams in CS:GO esports. With five slots and a prize pool of $50,000 up for grabs, teams like Natus Vincere, who find themselves currently ranked as the number one CS:GO team globally, will be looking to put their stamp on the division.

Teams: Virtus.pro, Natus Vincere, Winstrike, Gambit Youngsters, Spirit, Syman, Espada, Hard Legion, Unique, forZe and two TBD (CIS Qualifier Tiebreakers).

CS:GO AT ENERGYBET

Tune in to EnergyBet to find out more information about the exciting online world of esports and to stay up to date with the biggest esports events around the world. Follow CS:GO competitive play and events through EnergyBet here.

PREVIEW: F1 ESPORTS CHINESE VIRTUAL GP

The 3rd official F1 esports Virtual Grand Prix will take place this Sunday, with six Formula 1 drivers confirmed.

The third instalment of the official F1 esports Virtual Grand Prix series gets underway this Sunday, as six current Formula 1 drivers line up alongside celebrities and other big names in the sport.

Via the official Formula 1 2019 video game, drivers will join the race taking place at the Shanghai International Circuit remotely from the comfort of their own game station. The event itself has been set up to give drivers time for qualification runs on the circuit, in which the formation of the grid will be decided by each driver’s individual qualification timing, followed by the race itself.

THE F1 DRIVERS

Charles Leclerc – With Ferrari F1 boss, Mattia Binotto, praising his driver’s victory in the last event, Charles Leclerc returns to the Virtual Grand Prix series full of confidence. Looking to cement his place as the leader of F1 drivers taking part in the virtual race, Leclerc will be eager to produce another fine display of driving.

Alex Albon – After landing an impressive fifth place qualification lap in the Australian Virtual Grand Prix, Albon found himself dropping down to 15th after a terrible spin on the first lap. The Thai-British racing driver kept his head down throughout the race, making up time and crossing the finishing line in eighth place. Having impressed his viewers with a mid-week win in a charity stream with other F1 drivers, Albon will be looking to secure a podium and improve his Virtual Grand Prix record this Sunday.

George Russell – Russell impressed fans by qualifying second in his first Virtual Grand Prix two weeks ago. The British driver, unfortunately, made a mistake on lap five at Turn One, and fell back to fourth. Fighting tooth and nail against Charles Leclerc’s younger brother Arthur, Russell managed to secure a third-place podium finish in his first-ever Virtual Grand Prix.

Lando Norris – Last time out, the McLaren driver encountered a few technical problems and was forced to retire early from the Australian Virtual Grand Prix. With an army of fans and followers knowing exactly how fast Norris is in the online world, the British driver will be raring to go, and hopefully ensuring that his gaming cables are firmly connected this time around.

Antonio Giovinazzi – A surprising late addition to the Australian Virtual Grand Prix, the Italian driver immediately demonstrated a feel for the esport, sealing an eight-place qualification for the race. With Giovinazzi’s confidence growing with every lap, the Alfa Romeo F1 driver impressed fans with a series of beautiful overtakes, securing a fifth-place race finish. After spending more and more time on the virtual grids of the Formula 1 2019 video game throughout the week, Giovinazzi will be eager to transition his training into results.

Nicholas Latifi – Finishing qualification for the Australian Virtual Grand Prix in seventh-place, just behind F1 rival Alex Albon, Nicholas Latifi found himself losing places and time throughout the event due to a few unlucky slips, and crashes in front of him. The Canadian driver is still waiting for his first race in an actual F1 car and will be keen to keep racing with his competitors in the esport setting, and possible nicking a few places off each of them. 

WHO ELSE IS RACING?

The six F1 drivers will be joined by a number of celebrities and big names to fill out the grid, including Real Madrid and Belgium international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. The footballer has quickly made a name for himself in the esport, frequently joining F1 drivers on their racing streams and impressing. Courtois will be taking a seat in one of the Red Bulls.

HOW TO WATCH THE CHINESE VIRTUAL GRAND PRIX

The Chinese Virtual Grand Prix will be available this Sunday 19th, broadcasted live from the Gfinity Esports Arena from 19:00 CEST. Streams to tune into the action will be available on all Formula 1 channels including, F1.com, Formula 1 YouTube, F1 Twitch and Formula 1 Facebook.

The event itself is expected to run for around one hour and a half, with spectators able to enjoy live commentary throughout qualifying, as well as the 28-lap race around the virtual Shanghai International Circuit.

Drivers will be joining the action from their remote setups all around the world and will be racing with game settings configured to ensure that participants will have equal performance on their virtual cars.

The race will also be available to be viewed through live broadcast with international broadcast partners including Sky Sports F1.

F1 ESPORTS CHINESE VIRTUAL GP BETTING

Tune in to EnergyBetWorld to find out more information about the Virtual Grand Prix series hosted by F1, and the exciting online world of esports. The latest odds of the Chinese Virtual Grand Prix can be found on EnergyBet here

PREVIEW: FINALS OF LEAGUE OF LEGENDS LEC AND LCS

The League of Legends Championship Series in Europe (LEC) and North America (LSC) draw to an explosive close this weekend, as Saturday’s matches set the stage for the Spring Season Finals on Sunday. The stakes are high: the winning teams in both leagues qualify for the 2020 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI). In Europe, Fnatic swept through the competition and are the first team to move on to the final Best of Five. NA’s first contender is Cloud9, who dominated the Rift with equally impressive plays. 

Their opponents will be determined following the last semi-final matches on Saturday. EU’s MAD Lions Madrid are bracing for a challenge as they set up to meet G2 Esports at 17:00 CEST. Their last playoff match was against Fnatic, who dominated MAD Lions in a crushing 3-0 victory. This time they’re in a tough match-up against G2, the runners-up of the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. G2 Esports are switching things up this season and it seems to be paying off well. Following last year’s incredibly successful run, G2 swapped two of their players in this season’s roster: Perkz in the Mid Lane and Caps now in Bot. The fans love to see Perkz shine in the Mid Lane and we’re eager to see what he has in store for Saturday’s match. 

In NA, Evil Geniuses return to LCS for the first time since 2014 with a fully revamped roster and face Flyquest at 22:00 CEST on Saturday. Evil Geniuses are one of the oldest esports organizations around: they’ve been on the scene since 1999, with teams in popular competitive games like CS:GO, Quake, DotA 2, World of Warcraft, and League of Legends. Their return to League has been fruitful, but Saturday’s opponent isn’t to be taken lightly. Flyquest, co-owned by Wesley Edens of the Milwaukee Bucks, is Cloud9’s Challenger brand with a formidable roster. Although their 2019 season didn’t run so smoothly, we’re expecting edge-of-your-seat plays from V1per and WildTurtle this weekend.

LEC: LEAGUE OF LEGENDS EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Fnatic (FNC) are moving on to the finals after an impressive run in the playoffs. The team is a part of the Fnatic professional esports organization, with players from all around the world competing in the top esports events. FNC entered the League scene back in 2011 and shook the fans by claiming the Riot Season 1 Championship title. To this day they remain a formidable opponent for anyone on and off the Rift. Having won three Global Offensive Majors, Fnatic’s Counter-Strike team is one of the best in the game’s history.

Let’s meet the talent behind this season’s incredible League of Legends lineup. 

ROSTER

Bwipo – Gabriël Rau. FNC’s current TOP laner who briefly switched to BOT in the EU LCS 2018  Summer Split. Bwipo is a solid TOP player, he started back in 2015 with mCon esports and played for Rox before switching to Fnatic. Awarded “Esports PC Rookie of the Year” in 2018. 

Selfmade – Oskar Boderek. Selfmade joined Fnatic in 2019 and roams the Jungle. Received seven Player of the Game awards in the 2019 LEC Spring, more than any other player! Previously jungled for MAD Lions and SK Gaming.

Nemesis – Tim Lipovšek. On the competitive scene since 2016, Nemesis is a stone-cold MID laner. The 20-year-old from Slovenia played for VAPE NAYS and MAD Lions in the past, he’s known for keeping his cool in the roughest match-ups and his rip-roaring Pentakill in the 2019 LEC Spring Playoffs on Kayle. 

Rekkles – Martin Larsson. Rekkles is Fnatic’s ADC down in BOT lane. Prior to joining competitive League of Legends in 2012, Martin Larsson was a very talented football player who had to give up the sport due to injury. His favourite League of Legends champions are Vayne and Kennen, and in 2019 he became the first player to reach 1500 Kills in the LEC.

Hylissang – Zdravets Iliev Galabov. Hilly is the team’s Support player from Bulgaria, who competed for Unicorns of Love before joining Fnatic in 2017. On 09.08.2019, Hylissang reached 2500 Assists in the LEC.  

LSC: NORTH AMERICA’S LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

North America’s first LCS finalist are Cloud9 (C9), a professional esports organization based in Los Angeles. Cloud9 was formed with the acquisition of the Quantic Gaming League of Legends roster in 2013. Their success in the NA LCS led the organization to form divisions in other esports: Hearthstone, DotA 2, Call of Duty, CS:GO, Overwatch, and others. Cloud9’s Counter-Strike roster became the first and only NA team to win a Global Offensive Major. 

C9’s track record in League is equally impressive: they won the 2018 NA Regional Finals and consistently place in the top three in all major tournaments. 

Here’s the Cloud9 roster for the 2020 LCS Spring Finals.

ROSTER

Licorice – Eric Ritchie. Licorice joined C9 in 2017 and plays up TOP with his favourite champion picks like Fiora and Poppy. The young Canadian previously played for eUnited, who dominated the NA Challenger Series in 2016.

Blaber – Robert Huang. Blaber is C9’s versatile Jungler who joined the team in 2018. He prefers aggressive champions like Kindred, Lee Sin, Nidalee, and Elise. 

Nisqy – Yasin Dinçer. Nisqy is a Belgian MID laner who competed in the EU since 2015, prior to joining Cloud9 in NA. He prefers to mages to AD champions, some of his favourites are Orianna, Syndra, Ryze, Cassiopeia, and Zoe. 

Zven – Jesper Svenningsen. Previously known as “Niels”, Zven is a 22-year-old BOT laner from Belgium. He previously played for outstanding teams like G2 Esports in EU and TSM when he switched regions to NA. He’s been competing in League since 2013, and is one of two players to record a Pentakill in both the EU and NA LCS.

Vulcan – Philippe Laflamme. Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme is a Canadian Support player for Cloud9. He briefly played for Dignitas in 2019, shortly before joining C9 in November of the same year. This season he’s running champs like Tahm Kench, Blitzcrank, Nautilus, and occasionally pulls out his favourite: Thresh. 

WHERE TO WATCH THE LEAGUE OF LEGENDS LEC AND LCS FINALS

Now that you’ve met the top two teams of the EU and NA pro leagues, here’s where you can watch the League of Legends LEC and LSC Finals.

The semis and finals will be streamed live directly on the League of Legends Esports platform. You don’t need to register an account or sign-up for anything, the tournament schedule, standings, and vods are available to everyone. To tune-in to Live matches, head on to WATCH. Previous tournaments with highlights and commentary are available on the VODS tab. You can also enjoy the LEC and LSC Finals on Youtube and Twitch, where many League of Legends streamers follow the biggest LoL events.

LEAGUE OF LEGENDS BETTING

If you’re interested in placing a wager on League of Legends tournaments, we’ve got you covered at EnergyBet. Check out the latest odds for this weekend’s action-packed matchups and back your favourites to take the Nexus!

DOTA 2: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

The Multiplayer Online Battle Arena esports scene is dominated by the two MOBA goliaths: League of Legends from Riot Games and Valve’s Defense of the Ancients 2. These real-time strategy games are entirely free-to-play sequels to the astonishingly popular Defense of the Ancients mod for Blizzard’s Warcraft III. We’ve already covered LoL here, so in this guide, we’ll focus on DotA 2; taking a behind-the-scenes look at this MOBA and what led to its prominence.

WHAT IS DOTA 2?

The success of the fan-made DotA game mod caught the eye of Valve Corporation, an American video game developer and publisher known for titles like Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, and Team Fortress (Valve is also the developer of the video game digital distribution service Steam). In 2009, Valve made a move to hire the lead designer of Defense of the Ancients, IceFrog, to remake the mod with a more modern look and feel. The game was released on a free-to-play model, maintained by a Battle Pass subscription and non-game altering enhancements like cosmetics and audio packs. Since its release, DotA 2 has been continuously updated and even made the impressive leap to virtual reality.

LOL VS DOTA 2

Much like League of Legends, DotA2 is a 5v5 clash of two teams who coordinate map and objective control to siege the enemy base and claim victory. Before we dive into the DotA 2 gameplay, we’ll give you a quick rundown of the key differences between the two MOBA giants: League of Legends vs DotA 2. 

Both games are highly competitive, but LoL favours accessibility and entertainment above all else. Every League of Legends champion is available for purchase using in-game currency which can be obtained simply by playing. The easiest LoL champions are also the easiest to acquire: limiting the pool when you are just getting started creates a smooth transition that doesn’t overwhelm new players. Cosmetic upgrades, like champion skins and summoner icons, can be purchased for real currency or unlocked through RNG and special events. As a result, League of Legends is a very user-friendly game that makes it easy to explore and enjoy the universe of Runeterra. 

DotA 2, on the other hand, stakes its wager on depth to create a far more complex gaming experience. It offers unrestricted access to every hero in the game from the very beginning, multi-step customisation options, and many useable items. The depth of detail shines through each of the over 100 playable DotA 2 characters, known as heroes. League of Legends champions tend to have a standard set of five abilities, with a few exceptions, while DotA 2 heroes crank it up and tune in to their wild side. Many of the heroes have multiple sets of abilities and spells: with so many combat mechanics, no DotA 2 tournament goes without mindblowing plays. Although the game offers tutorial and player vs bots modes, the sheer abundance of choice doesn’t make it easy for novice players, with the game more appealing to dedicated MOBA veterans who thirst for a little more “OOMPH” in their gameplay. 

DOTA 2 GAMEPLAY

The main objective of DotA 2 is to breach the enemy defences and lay siege to their stronghold. Destroying the most important building of the opponent’s base, the Ancient, is the only way to achieve victory. The DotA 2 map is split into two sections, Radiant and Dire, and has three lanes divided by the river and jungle. Players slay minions (in-game AI units) and enemy heroes to gain experience, gold, and strategic advantage. The mechanics of how to play DotA 2 have many similarities with League but retain that flair of complexity and depth that the original DotA mod once had. 

HEROES

Players can choose one of 119 heroes and work together to coordinate team fights, objective control, and lane dominance. The primary roles of DotA 2 heroes are Core and Support. Cores, or carries, are fairly vulnerable in the early game but their survivability can be enhanced through in-game items. Carries grow stronger as the game progresses and deal absolutely devastating amounts of damage as they carry their team to victory. Supports focus on utility and control. They don’t shine when it comes to dealing damage, but their healing, shielding, crowd control, and team buff abilities excel when it comes to setting up plays or protecting the carries. 

AGILITY

Agility heroes gain attack damage and attack speed as their primary attribute increases over the course of the game. They scale well with offensive items and have the highest damage output in the game. These damage dealers are a threat in any lane!

STRENGTH

Strength heroes gain attack damage, health, health regeneration, and magic resistance, with every increase of the strength attribute. Most are melee and some often fill the support role as tanks, but their ability to deal damage shouldn’t be overlooked! These resilient heroes strike a balance between aggressive and defensive play, staying relevant throughout all stages of the game. 

INTELLIGENCE

Intelligence heroes focus on improved spell-casting. The intelligence attribute grants them mana, mana regeneration, attack damage, and spell amplification. They have an immense pool of crowd control abilities and spells that wreak havoc in the mid and early game.

MAIN OBJECTIVES

THE ANCIENT

All of the lanes in DotA 2 are direct paths connecting the Ancients of Radiant and Dire. These massive structures are found inside the centre of each team’s base, near the respawn Fountain. Each Ancient is protected by a series of towers running down the lanes and will be invulnerable to damage until the last two towers fall. Teams must protect their base and seek out opportunities to destroy the opposing team’s Ancient in order to win the match. 

ROSHAN

Aside from striving to gain the most experience and gold to tip the scales in late-game, both teams should keep an eye out for the most formidable monster in DotA 2: Roshan the Immortal. Roshan spawns at the beginning of the match, but very few heroes can take him on alone before late-game. Engaging Roshan is a team decision and can be a decisive turn point of the match. Roshan grows stronger as the game progresses but slaying this beast will award plenty of gold and powerful items!

DOTA 2 BETTING

DotA 2 does not back down when facing the uncertainty around sporting events. While live DotA 2 tournaments have been postponed, this spring’s biggest competitive events – the Electronic Sports League (ESL)  – have been split into online leagues. 

Check out EnergyBet for top-tier odds on upcoming DotA 2 ESL One Los Angeles 2020 group stage matches in Europe and CIS. As DotA 2 teams around the world brace for their climb to Valve’s The International tournament, we’ll keep you covered and informed every step of the way! 

We’ll also continue to post esport guides on EnergyBetWorld, so stay tuned to the site.

CS:GO: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, aka CS:GO, is a highly-skilled, competitive online multiplayer first-person shooter, developed by Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve Corporation. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the fourth iteration of the highly successful Counter-Strike series and remains one of the most popular first-person shooters around. 

CS:GO Game Modes

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a competitive first-person shooter that splits players into two teams; Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists. There are two main game modes which determine the main objective of each match: Defuse and Hostage Rescue. 

Defuse 

Considered the main playstyle, the Defuse game type is used in most competitive CS:GO live esports events. Players are divided into teams of Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists, each with particular objectives to secure the round win. The Terrorist team starts with a bomb that can be planted in two different defined locations around the map area. The Counter-Terrorists, who begin the round closer to the bomb sites, must defend the positions and ensure the bomb is not detonated. Each team may win the round by eliminating each member of the opposing team, or detonating or defusing the bomb accordingly. Should the round run out of time, the Counter-Terrorists are deemed the winners.   

Hostage Rescue 

Like the Defuse game mode, players are divided into teams of Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists, each with objectives to secure the round win. Terrorists start the round with two hostages, which the Counter-Terrorists must reach, rescue and return to the start zone. Counter-Terrorists need only save one hostage to win the round; each team can also be deemed the victor by eliminating each member of the opposing team. Unlike Defuse, however, should the time run out, Terrorists will be awarded the round win. 

Each of these game modes can be played casually or competitively, with a variety of settings, such as the number of players in the lobby, the number of rounds required to win, the overall matched skill rating, and the addition of friendly fire.

CS:GO Gameplay

Competitively, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is played five versus five, with the team who manages to win 16 rounds first, deemed the victor of the match. CS:GO teams enter the game as Terrorist and Counter-Terrorists for 15 rounds, before switching to the other side, giving both teams the opportunity to perform both roles. Players are rewarded with money to buy better weapons and items after every round, with the amount dependent on both the individual score of the player and team score. The individual score rating is based on how well the player performs in regard to kills, objectives secured, and whether their team wins or loses.

Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists are relatively similar, with the main differences being the objectives they need to perform and some differentiation in the weapons selection page. While they mostly share the same guns, Terrorists have access to more powerful and slightly cheaper weapons, whilst Counter-Terrorists weapons are a bit more accurate. 

The main goal of CS:GO is to complete your team objective round after round, in order to win the match. The most successful teams tend to implement strategic tactics and elaborate strategies to gain advantages over their competition. The best players have spent a long time mastering every aspect of the game, from knowing the maps inside out to having deadly aim with their curser. 

CS:GO Betting

Since its release back in 2012, CS:GO has successfully been the most played first-person shooter in the world, boasting sales of over 25 million copies. Given this immense global popularity, it is not surprising that the game has built a huge fan base of established and new players. 

With frequent tournaments throughout the year and reward pools in the millions, coverage of this esport is immense, with incredible amounts of viewers tuning in to watch their favourite teams compete. 

As the world deals with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many live sporting events have been cancelled or postponed, leading many sports fans to turn their attention to massive, and fiercely competitive, esports such as CS:GO. Unlike traditional sports, esports have the advantage of being able to be played from the comfort of a home setting. This has allowed competitive play and events to continue, all of which can be found at EnergyBet

You can bet on a variety of esports and virtual sports at Energybet, with a wide selection of bets available for each event. For CS:GO betting, there are options to wager on Match Winner, Map Winner, Map Handicaps and more!

Stay tuned to EnergyBetWorld to find out more information about CS:GO tournaments and the exciting online world of esports, and to stay up to date with the biggest esports events around the world.  

PREVIEW: F1 ESPORTS AUSTRALIAN VIRTUAL GP

The 2nd official F1 esports Virtual Grand Prix will take place this Sunday, as new Formula 1 drivers get set to join the online grid.

Formula 1 continues to replace cancelled Grand Prix events with virtual races. The move is sure to please fans of the sport who were introduced to the serious online world of racing on March 22nd, as they watched Guanyu Zhou overcome fierce competition, and take a well-deserved victory in a thrilling Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix.

With the sport approaching its third cancelled race, the Formula 1 team are making their final preparations for a virtual Sunday behind the wheel, at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit – as the Vietnam circuit where the live event was going to originally held, is currently unavailable on the official F1 2019 video game.

Line-up

The Melbourne Virtual Grand Prix welcomes back Formula 1 drivers Lando Norris and Nicholas Latifi for their second virtual race, with the former being kept busy through last Sunday’s official #ChallangeLando virtual competition.

Alongside the duo, Ferrari’s boy wonder Charles Leclerc, newly promoted Red Bull driver Alex Albon, and Williams’ golden boy George Russell, take to their home setups to join in the action this Sunday.

The five Formula 1 drivers will be racing for their respective teams and be joined by former driver and fan favourite Johnny Herbert, England cricket hero Ben Stokes, Haas F1 Team Reserve Driver Pietro Fittipaldi and other notable personalities linked to F1 and the racing esports scene.

Meet the F1 Drivers

Lando Norris – Lando Norris enjoyed 2019 as his first Formula 1 season as a racing driver competing for McLaren. A winner of numerous racing series’, Lando exceeded expectations as he drove alongside tested teammate Carlos Sainz, to secure 4th place Constructors Championship finish for McLaren. While suffering more than his fair share of bad luck throughout the season, Lando has still managed to not only impress everyone on the grid with his incredible driving but also gain a massive esports following. His many loyal fans tune in to his frequent online racing live stream sessions where he is often joined by other Formula 1 drivers.

Nicholas Latifi – Contracted to replace Robert Kubica at Williams for the 2020 season, Nicholas Latifi is new to Formula 1. Although his skills haven’t yet been put to the test behind the wheel of a real F1 car, fans of the sport will know that the Canadian driver’s Formula 2 credentials speak for themselves. Now racing his second F1 esports Virtual Grand Prix, Latifi will be looking to get himself further up the field, following his 6th place Bahrain finish.

Charles Leclerc – Ferrari’s new boy for 2019, Charles Leclerc spent his debut season with the Italian outfit wowing the entire grid. Seemingly finding himself in his element from the start of the season, Leclerc immediately turned his harshest critics into die-hard fans, with excellent displays of defiant drives. Dedicating his first-ever Grand Prix win in Belgium to his lifelong friend Anthoine Hubert, who had sadly passed away over that weekend, Leclerc immediately became a Ferrari legend n the following race by winning the Italian Grand Prix in front of a home crowd. Outscoring his 4-time championship teammate on his second season in F1, Leclerc promises to not only be the future of Ferrari, but the future of Formula 1.

Alex Albon – Starting off his rollercoaster debut season in F1 behind the wheel of a Toro Rosso, Albon got the call for promotion into the Red Bull car midway through the season, and hasn’t looked back since. While the previous driver, Pierre Gasly, struggled with the pressure that comes with a Red Bull drive, Albon thrived. During his first race with Red Bull at the Belgium Grand Prix, Albon gave the grid a taste of what to expect. Starting last, the British racing driver charged through the traffic to secure an extraordinary 5th place finish. With Albon coming heartbreakingly close to achieving his first podium in 2019, it’s only a matter of time before the Red Bull driver takes the grid by the horns, and earns himself a pole position finish.

George Russell – British racing driver George Russell is considered one of the hottest prospects in Formula 1. Although having what many would call a difficult first season racing with the underperforming Williams car, George Russell’s achievements through the different divisions of Formula 1 are some of the most coveted within the sport. Winning at every level of the sport, Russell has claimed both the 2018 Drivers championship in FIA Formula 2 and the 2017 GP3 Series Drivers’ championship.

How to watch the Melbourne Virtual Grand Prix

The Melbourne Virtual Grand Prix will be available this Sunday 5th, broadcasted live from the Gfinity Esports Arena from 8:00 pm CEST. Streams to tune into the action will be available on all Formula 1 channels including, F1.com, Formula 1 YouTube, F1 Twitch and Formula 1 Facebook.

The event itself is expected to run for around one and a half hours, with spectators able to enjoy live commentary throughout qualifying, as well as a 28-lap race around the virtual Albert Park Circuit, in Melbourne, Australia.

Drivers will be joining in the action from their remote setups all around the world and will be racing with game settings configured to ensure that participants will have equal performance settings on their virtual cars.

The Virtual Grand Prix will also be available to be viewed through live broadcast with international broadcast partners including Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Mix.

LOL: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Whether you are a newcomer to the universe of esports or a seasoned veteran, you’ve probably come across one of the industry’s giants: League of Legends. Commonly referred to as League, or LoL, this strategy game is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) developed and published by Riot Games.

What is League of Legends?

Following the success of the fan-favourite Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III, League emerged in 2009 and soared to worldwide popularity in the blink of an eye. League of Legends streamers on Youtube and Twitch sprung forth with the explosive growth of the game, drawing in millions of views from every corner of the world. With over 100 million active players, multiple game modes, and record-breaking championships, League is instrumental in propelling video games from at-home entertainment to the global competitive stage. 

The matches take place on Summoner’s Rift, the main League of Legends map, where two teams of five embark on a strategic crusade to lay siege to the enemy team’s base. Players assume the role of one of 148 champions: unique League of Legends characters with special abilities and vital roles. There’s only one way to victory, and that’s to bring down the main structure of the opponent’s base: The Nexus.

The LoL World Championship 2020 is on the horizon and there’s a lot to learn, let’s take a look at the basics of how to play League of Legends!

LANING

The Rift is split into three lanes, separated by the jungle. The enemy territories and the jungle are veiled by the Fog of War, concealing approaching enemies and several of the game’s objectives. Players must work together to coordinate control of the map, siege of objectives, and tactical team fighting in order to breach the enemy defences. Victory is claimed by bringing down the main structure of the opponent’s base: the Nexus.

TOP LANE

Top laners are the solo brawlers, they’re tough and they pack a punch! Champions contending for dominance of this lane excel at protecting objectives and bringing down the enemy team’s strongest players.

MID LANE

Champions in the mid lane are versatile and wreak havoc when it comes to damage output. They take on the lane alone, facing an equally threatening opponent. Mid lane is always bursting with action, from 1v1 skirmishes to full-on 5v5 team fights.

BOT LANE

The bottom lane is reserved for the team’s unstoppable duo: the Attack Damage Carry (ADC) and Support. Much like the mid laners, ADCs can unleash terrifyingly high amounts of damage. Supports are versatile guardians of the game, armed with crowd control skills and defensive abilities, like healing: they protect their teammates and help set up brawls all across the Rift.

JUNGLE

The shrouded jungle is not for the faint of heart! Junglers utilize the Fog of War to their advantage, to devise ambushes on unsuspecting laners or catch the enemy jungler off-guard. Junglers are also tasked with securing monster objectives like buffs, Drakes, and the bloodcurdling Baron Nashor.

MAIN OBJECTIVES

The mechanics of gameplay require an inclination towards mathematics and incredible attentiveness to detail. All five members of the team have distinct roles to fill and must work together to gain control of the map. Players scout the map for intel, keep eyes on strategic locations, and work together to coordinate team fights.

THE NEXUS

The Nexus lies in the heart of each team’s base. It is protected by a series of defensive structures, like towers, and spawns your team’s minions: small combatant units that march down the lanes. Killing enemy minions awards gold and experience, which are vital in preparing the champions for the gruelling late-game team fights. There are only two outcomes to every League match: bring down the enemy Nexus, or surrender in defeat.

DRAKES

In the depths of the jungle rests the Drake pit, where the powerful dragonesque monster spawns. Killing a Drake awards unique buffs to the entire team and transforms the Rift in late-game, creating new obstacles and strategic advantages across the map.

BARON NASHOR

Baron Nashor is the jungle’s most menacing monster. Defeating a beast of such calibre pays off: the team to land the last hit will enjoy a generous boost to damage, faster recall (to base), and empowered minions.

Before Baron spawns at the 20-minute mark, the stony pit is visited by the Rift Herald. Killing the Rift Herald also provides a faster recall and offers one player the ability to summon the Herald to advance on a lane.

League of Legends Betting

As sporting events around the globe come to a staggering halt, esports are uniquely situated to continue thriving: online. League of Legends reaches every corner of the world, establishing a competitive scene like no other that culminates in the annual World Championship. The final event of the year brings in over 100 million tuned-in viewers online, while tens of thousands of roaring fans fill stadiums worldwide.

No two matches are alike in a League of Legends tournament: every decision that players make can turn the tide! Every step is a calculated risk, one wrong move can change the course of the game and force the entire team to adapt and seek new opportunities to regain the advantage. As teams are gearing up for the upcoming matchups in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) and North America’s Championship Series (LCS), tensions are on the rise – and so is the array of betting possibilities! 

At EnergyBet you can bet on the major LoL series and place your stake on a wide variety of wagers, from Match Winner to First Blood, First To Slay Baron, Total Kills and more!

In the next few articles, we will be taking a deeper look at tournament structure, upcoming LoL events, the contending teams, and where to bet on League of Legends at top-tier odds. League of Legends Season 10 is in full swing, tune in to EnergyBet to stay on top of the game: we’ll keep you updated on the League of Legends meta, betting odds, and the latest in LoL esports!


WHAT ARE ESPORTS?

The booming billion-dollar electronic sports industry is proving to be a revolutionary rival to the traditional sports market. In short, esports is competitive gaming, and we’re here to keep you in the know on the latest events, betting odds, and upcoming tournaments. Whatever your interests, there’s sure to be something you’ll enjoy and we’ll be exploring everything from Formula 1 to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Esports growing popularity

For some perspective on just how popular esports are, let’s take a look at some numbers.

In 2018, the League of Legends World Championship Finals reeled in 100 million viewers, decimating the 17.6 million who tuned in to view the NBA Finals and falling just short of the 103 million 2018 Super Bowl spectators. And it’s not just in terms of spectators that esports rival traditional sports. There are some pretty big prizes on offer too!

In August 2019, the EU team OG won the Dota 2 International, with each player banking $3.1 million of the top prize of $15.6 million. The same year, Tiger Woods took home $2 million in the Masters, and Novak Djokovic left Wimbledon with $2.9 million.

The similarities with traditional sports don’t end there. Just like football, basketball, or tennis, esports has well-supported teams, stars who’ve dedicated countless hours of practice, important championships, and millions of passionate fans worldwide.

The unprecedented growth of esports goes hand in hand with the meteoric rise of the video game industry. With dozens of titles released each year, the competitive scene of esports never runs dry. Even newcomer Fortnite made an explosive entrance to the international arena, with 250 million players and a $100 million World Cup prize pool.

What’s in store in esports?

Here’s a look at some of the major events coming up. With events taking place across the globe, across a variety of games, it can be hard to keep track. So, let’s take a look at the latest global hit and the esports competitions that are getting to crunch time.

F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series

Until F1 returns to the tarmac, F1 Grand Prix will be replaced with esports racing events on the F1 2019 PC game. Real F1 drivers of past and present, will be joined by celebrities around the world for some wheel-to-wheel action on the Virtual Grand Prix tracks. The next event takes place on the Melbourne GP track on April 5th. You can read our review of the inaugural event, the Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix here.

League of Legends

The first split of the League Champions Korea kicked-off on April 1st, with ten teams competing in the 9th season of the top-level Korean pro league. The reigning champions, Griffin, will face last year’s second-place winner T1 on the 3rd, possibly paving the way for an unforgettable rematch in the finals.

The Tencent LoL Pro League runs from early January until May 1st. The top eight teams will progress to the playoffs, so April is poised for action. Last years victors, FunPlus Phoenix, face worthy contenders Topsports Gaming, while second place winners Invictus are set up to crush Victory Five.

With EnergyBet, you can wager on your favourite LoL team, go straight for the Match Winner or back them up with bets on First Team to Slay Baron and Most Kills. Check back for more guides on how to bet on League of Legends and LoL betting tips.

Defence of the Ancients 2

The first week of April is packed with action in the Chinese Pro League’s second season. Last year’s third-place Invictus Gaming kick-off the week with a rematch against EHOME, and VG are going strong to stake their claim at PSG.LGD’s crown. The much-anticipated ESL One Birmingham showdown has been moved entirely online. Meanwhile, you can place your bets on ESL One Los Angeles, with options to wager on the victor, Game Duration, First to 15/20 Kills, Total Kills, and more.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

The 11th season of the EU and NA Pro Leagues are wrapping up on April 12th. This week we’ll see Team Liquid take on Evil Geniuses in NA and EU’s mousesports face G2 in a last attempt to defend their title. Tune in to the streamed events and explore betting options on the Match Winner, Maps Total, or Rounds Handicap.

Esports at EnergyBet

The Spring Season is in full swing, and at EnergyBet we aim to have you have covered when it comes to betting on esports. We’ll continue to publish useful guides that offer in-depth explanations of the major esports, starting with League of Legends. We’ll also be posting betting previews for all the upcoming major events. So, stay tuned and enjoy all the exciting esports action that’s coming up!


REVIEW: F1 BAHRAIN VIRTUAL GRAND PRIX

With live Formula 1 cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak, motorsport fans tuned in to enjoy the first officially-organised F1 esports race online, in a brand-new series of F1 Virtual Grand Prix.

F1 Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix

Taking place on the virtual track of the Bahrain GP from the F1 2019 video game, the event hosted a mix of celebrity personalities keen on the sport, as well as current F1 drivers. The likes of McLaren’s Lando Norris and Nicholas Latifi of Williams, lined up against star competition, including former Renault driver, Nico Hulkenberg. Nic Hamilton, the brother of the current 6-time world champion, made an appearance, as did legendary Olympian Chris Hoy, One Direction’s Liam Payne and professional golfer Ian Poulter.

Through the official Formula 1 2019 PC video game, drivers joined remotely from their home setups for both qualifying and the 14-lap race around the night-time F1 Bahrain Grand Prix track. To encourage fair and healthy competition – and an entertaining event – all participants raced on an equal footing, with their game settings configured to ensure that all of the Formula 1 cars were uniformly competitive throughout the online event.

F1 Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix Qualifying

During qualifying for the virtual version of the F1 Bahrain GP, Austrian professional racing driver, Philipp Eng – racing for Red Bull – secured pole position. Current Mercedes reserve driver, Esteban Gutierrez, started in second place, leaving Renault Academy driver, Guanyu Zhou, with a third-place start.

Lando Norris was replaced with a bot due to technical problems throughout qualifying. So, he instead found the time to entertain his 100,000-strong Twitch streaming audience by calling up current F1 grid drivers, Max Verstappen, George Russell and teammate Carlos Sainz. He also called his McLaren performance engineer Andrew Jarvis and CEO Zak Brown, to ask for their advice on how to make the most of his last place starting position.

F1 Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix Race

With qualifying concluded, the stage was set for the main event, with professional live commentary adding an element of legitimacy for the almost half a million viewers who had tuned in to watch the start of the Formula 1 virtual race. In typical fashion, the virtual sports event began in a frenzy; Hulkenberg spinning off the track down the starting straight. Johnny Herbert, starting 16th with Alfa Romeo, surprisingly found himself in the lead at Turn 2, before being found guilty of cutting through Turn 1 and being given a drive-through penalty.

Without the support of teams, drivers were forced into coming up with their own racing strategies throughout the 14 laps, picking which tyre compound to use on their virtual car, as well as scheduling their own pitstops. Guanyu Zhou caught his competition out by pitting first and going on to claim victory by an astounding 11.392s over runner-up Vandoorne, who edged past polesitter Eng on the last lap, relegating the Austrian to third.

Never too far from the spotlight, Lando Norris was involved in some late drama as he fought tooth and nail with YouTuber Jimmy Broadbent. In the last turn of the race, the pair made contact, sending Norris off into the wall and opening the door for Broadbent to secure a fourth-place finish.

When is the next F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix?

With a fantastic introduction into the virtual world of online gaming in the books, and fan appetite growing for more racing action, F1 has stated that virtual races will continue to run.

The next full grid virtual racing event of the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series is due to take place on 5th April. Another star-studded line up of drivers will take their seats to race around the virtual version of Melbourne’s Albert Park track which is traditionally the first race of the F1 Calendar.  

Having been the first race skipped, Melbourne is taking the place of the Vietnam GP as the track doesn’t feature in the 2019 edition of the F1 video game.

Until then, fans of F1 esports will be able to enjoy #challangeLando, with the McLaren driver the breakout star of the F1 esports revolution.   



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