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“Dream big and respect other people”: the French football star and UEFA ambassador Eric Abidal gives Football for Friendship Young Journalist an exclusive interview

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Eric Abidal
Eric AbidalReading Time: 2 minutes

 

The former French international and two-time winner of the Champions League with FC Barcelona supports the Gazprom International Children’s Social Programme Football for Friendship (F4F) in his capacity as a UEFA ambassador. As part of the Good News Show, he answered the questions of the 15-year-old F4F Young Journalist Irintsoa Rakotomamonjy from Madagascar.

Today, Eric Abidal is a football manager. He told the Young Journalist that the most emotional moment of his career had been his return to his team after an operation following a cancer diagnosis in March 2011. With his children’s cancer charity, which he founded in 2015, he wanted to make a contribution to the fight against this illness. And it was his dream to conquer cancer completely. He added that during the corona pandemic his charity – and also that of his wife – had tried, in spite of the lockdown, to stay in touch with the children it supports, and had visited them in hospital and brought them small gifts.

When Irintsoa told him that boys and girls in the F4F programme played in a team with equal rights, Eric Abidal replied that women’s football had already made enormous progress and was continuing to grow. He was convinced that women are showing the world that they can develop similar abilities to those of men. He predicted that women’s football would have become a global sport in 10 years’ time.

For him, it was very important to experience the emotionality of football on the playing field. But in sport too digitisation was gaining ground. He thought that in 10 years’ time e-sport would be the number one sport. Irintsoa explained that, in the case of F4F, the Championships in 2020 and 2021 were contested in a digital format.

The Young Journalist went on to tell her famous interview partner that the participants in F4F shared the programme’s Nine Values: friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour. When asked which value was the most important for him, Eric Abidal said it was friendship. For him, this included a good relationship with everyone, teamwork, and respect for others.

As a successful footballer, his advice to young people who are striving for a career in sport was, above all, to respect other people, their parents, their teachers, their trainers and their friends. And they should have big dreams, which of course they would have to work hard to achieve. To see the interview, please click on the following link: https://youtu.be/GhLvsy_tQbQ.

Following the ZOOM-interview with the Young Journalist from the F4F Press Centre, Eric Abidal held a short football training session with the 13-year-old F4F 2021 participant from Belgium Elias Ali Mohamad. After a short warm-up phase, Abidal showed his young training partner a few tricks and encouraged him to practise them with him. This episode can be viewed by clicking on the following video link: https://youtu.be/bsK04TU0ZV8.

Before Eric Abidal, the UEFA ambassadors Luis Garcia from Spain, Kelly Smith from England and Robert Pirès from France had already taken part in #STADIUMISWHEREIAM and had spoken on the Good News Show with the Young Journalist about Football for Friendship, their life and their career.

As part of #STADIUMISWHEREIAM, the following sports stars also showed what they can do: Anton Pawlinow, two-time freestyle world champion from Russia, Andreas Cetkovic, French freestyle football champion with the S3 Freestyle Crew, and the six-time freestyle world champion Mélody Donchet.

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Everything you need to know about VCT Game Changers EMEA #2

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58 teams of fierce competitors are set to battle it out in the next iteration of the groundbreaking VCT Game Changers EMEA tournament series next week – and we’ve got something very exciting to share with you all before then!

Review VCT Game Changers EMEA Series #1

With the first VCT Game Changers EMEA tournament concluded, our teams have proven they are #HERETOSLAY, – and now it’s time to show that VCT Game Changers EMEA is here to stay!

True to VCT Game Changers EMEAs goal of fostering an inclusive environment for competition and creating new opportunities for women to shine in the VALORANT esports ecosystem, an astonishing total of 49 Teams registered for the first VCT Game Changers EMEA tournament, which took place between September 27 – October 3 this year The top spot was taken by TENSTAR Nova  following a valiant fight against Rix.GG after a week long competition, with the final score standing 3:1 in favor of TENSTAR Nova

This translates to 272 players (including subs) from 36 countries in the EMEA region, with the largest number of players coming from Turkey, followed by Russia and France.

VCT Game Changers EMEA Series #1 boasted 21,933  peak viewers with over 189,000 hours watched across platforms and simultaneous co-streams presented by our 12 Watch Party Hosts. The hosts have also committed to host the upcoming tournaments as well, making Game Changers EMEA accessible in 7 languages

Vera Wienken, Brand Manager DACH at Riot Games said: “We couldn’t be more proud about our first achievements. It’s awesome seeing these women competing on such a high level and vocalizing their dedication and positive feedback publicly. We see more and more esports organizations signing talents, which is a huge success and will allow us as a region to thrive together towards a more diverse VALORANT esports ecosystem. This is only the beginning, we are here to slay.”

And following the roaring success of our first series, we’re happy to announce that Series #2 and beyond will be backed by an incredible new partner ready to join the fray!

HyperX partners with VCT Game Changers EMEA!

We’re delighted to reveal HyperX as our Main Partner for VCT Game Changers for the remainder of our first season! HyperX is integral to the VALORANT esports community and we’re excited to have them on board to help us push VCT Game Changers EMEA to the next level.

“At HyperX we celebrate and empower all gamers to be their best. The VALORANT Game Changers tournament is an incredible initiative that lifts all women to the forefront of competitive gaming, an area which needs to be improved to ensure inclusivity in gaming and esports. We’re proud to support the VALORANT Game Changers series in EMEA and look forward to witnessing the next generation of a more gender equal esport.”  Said Jessany Van’t Hoff, Head of Global Gaming Partnerships for HyperX.

What’s next? Looking ahead to VCT Game Changers EMEA Series #2

We’re immensely proud of VCT Game Changers Series #1 – so much so that we’re excited to do it all again!

VCT Game Changers EMEA Series #2 will kick off later next Monday as up to 64 all-women teams will battle it out for the lion’s share of the €20,000 prize pool. Series #2 will begin on October 25, with the final game closing out on October 31 in an action-packed week showcasing the best of the best female VALORANT talent EMEA has to offer.

And after watching Series #1, we know that some of these squads are ready to turn up all guns blazing! With that in mind, here are some of teams you should definitely keep an eye out for:

  • Rix.GG Lightning

    • The Rix.gg Lightning squad showed they are a force to be reckoned with in the last Series, securing second place after a strong showing against rival squad, TENSTAR Nova. Rix.GG has already established itself as an impressive org within the UK and are known for their fighting spirit during heavy competitions. On their return to Series #2, expect them to come back with a vengeance!

  • TENSTAR NOVA

    • TENSTAR Nova are our reigning champs after taking down Rix.GG in VCT Game Changers Series #1, and snagging the biggest slice of the prize pool on offer. The teams return to Series #2 will surely put the other teams on red-alert.

  • Oxygen Esports

    • Oxygen Esports were our third place winners of VCT Game Changers Series #1 and showed tremendous determination throughout the competition. With a roster of fantastic players and the hunger to fight for the crown, this Turkish side is definitely one to keep an eye on in Series #2.

  • The Originals

    • After securing fourth place in Series #1, The Originals will be aiming for numerous successful rematches this time around. We’re expecting big things from this new team, and we can know their squad are thinking the same thing.

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Snax Launches New App that Turns Players into Movie Makers with Interactive Gameplay

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The future of interactive movies has arrived. Paris-based startup Marmelapp has released Snax, an app that combines movies with interactive gameplay to give the player control over how the story progresses. Players become movie makers by making choices with bitesize content and solving fun puzzles.

Snax combines movies with interactive gameplay to give the viewer control over how the story progresses. Choose which direction to go, where to hide, how to react and more as the story unfolds. Use the 360 mode to look around before making decisions. Viewers will also encounter puzzles during gameplay, and hits are available for those who get stuck.

Reviewer dxlyen gave Snax five stars and said, “Perfect for the spooky season! It really makes you think, there are cool features like 360 mode, and it’s really like you’re actually there. But get this, you don’t need any account or anything! And btw the effect it makes when you open the app is so satisfying. Really needs more recognition.”
Nasia2006 said, “Just from the first episode, I am hooked on this app! It really makes you think, and it’s a very interesting app!! Best thing I could have ever downloaded, honestly!”

Snax is free to download on the Apple App store and offers free gameplay options. Subscription options are available within the app for premium features and unlimited content. Subscriptions are available for one week, one month, and one year.

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Kindred Reports Decline in Revenue from Harmful Gambling in Q3

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Kindred Group has reported that the share of revenue from harmful gambling decreased to 3.3% in the third quarter of 2021.

Kindred is committed to transform gambling by being a trusted source of entertainment that contributes positively to society. Therefore, Kindred has set an ambition to reach zero per cent of revenue from harmful gambling by the end of 2023 and to report this on a quarterly basis. The purpose is to be transparent, contribute to a fact-based dialogue about harmful gambling, and raise awareness of the Group’s sustainability work. For the third quarter of 2021, the share of revenue from harmful gambling decreased to 3.3% from 4.3% in Q2 2021.

“We are pleased to see that the percentage of revenue coming from harmful gambling has decreased. Whilst we welcome this decrease, we do understand that we still have to work hard to further decrease this number. In line with our roadmap, our operational teams have worked to implement more proactive customer interactions, and this has resulted in an increase in the use of control tools to help customers stay in control,” Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Kindred Group, said.

“We have also taken a more cautious approach towards the younger demographic, since this group is at a higher risk financially and is more prone to addiction. Therefore, we have set up tailored approaches to de-risk customers that are between 18-24 and we can already see the benefits from this action,” Tjärnström added.

On October 11, Kindred’s Head of Responsible Gambling and Research, Maris Catania, together with her PhD tutor, Professor Mark Griffiths, published a peer-reviewed research paper that examines the application of DSM-5 criteria for gambling disorder to actual online gambling behaviour. This notion and approach are the basis for the ideology behind Kindred’s behavioural monitoring system.

Kindred announced it will continue to work on publishing more research to increase the transparency of information through empirical studies.

“To limit harmful gambling, the behaviour has to be identified in the first place. Our research provides Kindred with actual examples of the types of behaviour engaged in by problem gamblers, which could be used by the player protection team to identify potential markers of harm,” said Professor Mark D Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University.

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