Thailand – Cambodia railway to open this month

first_imgASIA: The 1·3 km cross-border rail link between Arayaprathet in Thailand and Poipot in Cambodia which was completed last year is to be opened on April 22, Thailand’s Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told the ASEAN PPP Summit in Bangkok on April 4.Speaking to Railway Gazette International on the sidelines of the event, the minister said an agreement on the procedures for the operation of cross-border rail services would be signed on the same day as the opening ceremony. The launch of through rail services to Phnom Penh ‘will take some time’, he added, as ‘we need to work on the agreement.’ In his speech to the summit, Termpittayapaisith said the cross-border link could be followed by other routes in the region. He mentioned the Chinese-backed rail project in Laos as being part of a broader plan for more rail connections between Thailand and its neighbours. The minister also emphasised that the private sector was welcome to use public-private partnerships to develop transport infrastructure in Thailand. As examples, he cited Bangkok’s Orange Line project which is under construction and plans to extend the proposed Pink Line monorail to the Impact convention centre at Muang Thong Thani.last_img read more

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La Liga team of the week: Ronaldo miss out as Messi, Kayode lead attack [See…

first_imgNigeria and Girona striker, Olanrewaju Kayode has been named in the La Liga team of the week for last weekend, According to whoscored.The team also includes Argentina and Barcelona superstar, Lionel Messi.Kayode’s inclusion in the list comes on the back of his impressive performance for newly promoted Girona who beat Deportivo La Coruna 2-1 away in the league on Monday night.Kayode also shares the third highest score – 8.3 – with Messi, who is also his strike partner in whoscored’s 4-4-2 formation. Valencia’s Goncales Guedes scored a perfect 10.See full list of La Liga Team of the Week:GOALKEEPERJan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)DEFENDERSMario Gaspar (Villareal)Raphane Varane (Real Madrid)Jeison Murillo (Valencia)Lucas Digne (Barcelona)MIDFIELDERSFaycal Fajr (Getafe)Geofrey Kondogbia (Valencia)Samu Castillejo (Villareal)Goncalo Guedes (Valencia)FORWARDSLionel Messi (Barcelona)Olanrewaju Kayode (Girona)last_img read more

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Great Britain and USA join Canada in bid to host WEG 2018

first_imgHome  »  Disciplines News  »  Great Britain and USA join Canada in bid to host WEG 2018 THE FEI has received formal Expressions of Interest from Great Britain, the USA and Canada to host the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018, after re-opening the bidding process on 1 July 2013.The USA has identified two potential host cities – Wellington (Florida) and Lexington (Kentucky) – and Great Britain will have to confirm the proposed host city with the FEI before the 15 November 2013 deadline for receipt of Bid Applicant Questionnaires.Canada confirmed its initial bid to host the 2018 Games in Bromont/Montreal. The FEI Bureau opted not to allocate the Games to Canada at its July meeting after the Canadian delegation was unable to provide the full public sector financial support required. As a result, the Bureau re-opened the bidding process for 2018, but expressed the hope that Canada would confirm its decision to continue in the bidding process. The Bureau made it clear at the time that any follow-up bid from Canada would be evaluated in the same way as other applicants.The Bid Applicant Questionnaires will be reviewed by the FEI Evaluation Commission at FEI Headquarters before the host city candidates are announced on 2 December 2013.In the final stage of the bidding process, the Candidates will formerly present their bids to the FEI Bureau at its spring 2014 meeting, after which the host city for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 will be announced.“The FEI World Equestrian Games is our flagship event, appealing to huge global audiences of equestrian enthusiasts and sports fans, and these expressions of interest by Great Britain and the USA alongside Canada are testament to the power of these Games”, FEI Secretary General Ingmar de Vos said.“We are now looking forward to receiving the Bid Applicant Questionnaires next month, to naming the candidates in December and ultimately of course to announcing the host city for the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 next year”. Great Britain and USA join Canada in bid to host WEG 2018 4 October 2013, 13:56 Tags:last_img read more

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ESI Digital Summer presents: Regional Esports Market Report – Asia-Pacific

first_imgIntroductionsEsports Insider held conversations with Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director at NODWIN Gaming operating just southwest of New Delhi in Gurgaon, India and Bo Shen, VP of International Development and Innovation at Royal Never Give Up (RNG) Esports from Shanghai, China – both speaking during ESI Digital Summer next week and representing very different corners and markets of the monstrous Asia-Pacific esports region.Started in 2015, NODWIN Gaming focuses on gaming and esports entertainment in developing markets by creating linear television programming formats, white-label content creation, and as a media company licensing IPs, among other endeavours.Royal Never Give Up (RNG) began as Star Horn Royal Club in May of 2012, rebranding to RNG in 2015. They are one of today’s most influential esports organisations in the industry. The organisation manages a total of 10 teams in different esports and leagues including team RNG in the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), team Royal in Dota 2, and the Chengdu Hunters Overwatch League team. The RNG Stadium, previously in Beijing, will reopen in Shanghai this fall.Two very different organisations representing completely different aspects of the industry: Rathee’s wheelhouse is in media rights, where Shen’s expertise focuses on esports organisational business. Our conversations with the two will hopefully be helpful to inform those who have interest in the region but are not sure where to begin to try to understand some of the nuances of these large and diverse foreign markets.The OverviewChina and South Korea have served as an example for many outside of the region on possibilities of a local and international competitive esports scenes. Japan has slowly begun to enter the arena, as noted by Michael Sheetal, Founder and CEO of PlayBrain Inc, during May’s ESI Digital Summit.WATCH Michael’s Esports in Japan presentation at the ESI Digital SummitSoutheast Asia and India’s competitive gaming scenes, in particular, have exploded via mobile gaming. It’s safe to say that regardless of the region, some purists look down their nose at mobile esports, but in these regions, mobile esports have more than a leg to stand on. They reign supreme over their PC and console counterparts, whereas China and South Korea embrace all aspects of esports thanks to their established PC bang and internet café cultures.Rathee prefers to think of the area that NODWIN Gaming operates within as “Emerging Market Mobile Esports Economies,” rather than within a specific geographic region. While they are an Indian company, if tomorrow’s newest emerging market is Venezuela, South Africa, or Nigeria: “NODWIN will go where esports will be predicated on mobile networks,” Rathee explained.Mobile gaming is big in countries where these devices are the first owned gaming system for most players, like consoles have been for the past 40 years in other markets. Rathee said that in these markets, spending a lot of money on hardware dedicated gaming isn’t perceived as kosher within the culture – especially when a gamer can purchase a mobile device to play titles popular in the region for a similar price point.WATCH Rathee on the ESI Digital Summit Mobile Esports panelShen shared that the sheer size of RNG comes with a hefty price tag: after paying for their myriad social media, international, and production arms of the organisation, on top of the company’s own stadium – it still manages to be one of the only profitable esports organisations. Shen explained it is because RNG enjoys some of the largest sponsorship deals in the whole of China, including Mercedes-Benz, HUYA, CITIC Bank, and Logitech.While many esports organisations have a content or media division, NODWIN Gaming is fully committed to a media and content business model – it views itself as the end-all of non-live content in gaming for their markets. It partnered with MTV India last year to produce various series broadcasted on mainstream television. The company views itself as agnostic, thus not tying itself to a specific title or publisher, allowing it to create a plethora of gaming and esports content.NODWIN Gaming also manages some of the most popular Indian gaming YouTubers and has recently expanded into the Middle East, opening offices in Dubai and Saudi Arabia respectively, we’ll cover details of those markets in the Middle East segment of the series.The OpportunitiesProximity to other emerging mobile marketsRathee believes that his regional market advantage – while he generally views NODWIN Gaming as regionally agnostic – is its proximity to other emerging mobile esports markets and understanding of the mobile gaming and esports scenes. When asked which market he would love to move to next, Rathee replied: “I am where I want to be.”Rathee looks at new communities as new potential markets rather than new regions and thus forming new relationships with publishers, such as a recent one with Activision Blizzard, it hopes that being able to expand its IP portfolio where it operates, it can service more corners of the gaming and esports population.Huge potential cross-region audiencesWhile it is difficult for many esports clubs to gain international fans and sponsors, due to cultural differences and language barriers, both Shen and Ashkat believe that the Asia-Pacific region has great strength in its very large and active gaming and esports market share. Shen believes this should attract international companies to pay attention to the possibilities of the region.Shen views North America, Europe, and China as ideal cross-regional markets, and many Chinese brands are already expanding globally, despite the current trade war. By pursuing esports fans, companies can tap into younger audiences that are interested in lifestyle apparel, hardware, and gaming, this strategy can work conversely for foreign brands looking to expand into China and the greater Asia-Pacific region.Social media activations galoreShen advised that while the best ways to enter the Chinese market are to invest into an established organisation or create a partnership with a local club that can help navigate the government regulations, media rights, and local cultures – there is another way.“Open their own branch of social media to do some marketing activation in China. At RNG, we helped Team Vitality [LoL] do a bootcamp in China. They spent one month in China and produced a lot of content for social media. We even did a show match and invited about 30 esports media [companies] to cover the show match. The overall online impressions were over 50 million, that’s a very big number,” Shen shared.He continued, “This shows the potential of the [Chinese] market, if you want to seek the exposure and if you want to have a solid fanbase in China: come to China, work with local organisations or club, do social media promotions or bootcamping – which probably a lot of teams will do this year for Worlds – this is going to help them a lot.” The reason for pursuing this strategy is “more fans, more opportunity for sponsorships,” according to Shen.The Challenges Language and cultural differencesWhile all interviews were conducted in English and in the global esports industry at large, English is the lingua franca especially for business – for content and other consumer media in each region, communication needs to be localised. And due to the localisation, the scene can be hard to understand and follow for outsiders – much less the case in North American and European markets.As mentioned above, NODWIN Gaming has recently moved into the Middle East and South Africa, but in order for it to find suitable partners in the region, it had to expand its organisation to include Arabic speakers. Its proximity makes this potentially less difficult, but far distant outsiders to new regions will find this challenging without an in through its network.Navigating nuanced and foreign platformsShen shared that in comparison to North America or Europe, where it’s common for the youth to grow up with athletics, in Asia they grow up with games, leading to the Asian proliferation of its streaming culture, years ahead of the West. While the West features only a few streaming services all generally resembling each other, the Asia-Pacific region offers dozens – each with different streaming cultures, audiences, and popular users. This fragmentation can be difficult to understand for insiders and outsiders alike.WATCH ESI Digital Summit Esports in South East Asia PanelLack of talented professionalsThe size of the esports market and of the audience offers a great benefit to the region, offering expansive reach, but because of the youth of the industry, even in China, the lack of experience and professionalism leads to its own challenges, a sentiment shared across all regions based on our interviews.Due to the lack of regulations, established best practices, and guidelines, Shen explained that the turnover rate of esports employees is astounding in China. Many people try to come in from traditional sports or internet companies, but due to poor organisational structures and lack of talent and professionalism, many leave as quickly as they came.Employment data – Powered by HitmarkerDuring Esports Insider’s conversation with Hitmarker’s Managing Director, Richard Huggan (featured in the Europe-focused entry of this series) he shared regional data from the premier English-language esports and gaming job site. You’ll find these insights in each respective entry of the series. In anticipation of ESI Digital Summer (#ESIDIGITAL), presented by Kinguin LOUNGE, we’ve taken the time to speak with a number of our esteemed panelists and partners involved in the biggest online B2B esports conference of 2020, to share their perspectives of the unique regional esports scenes represented during the event.ESI Digital Summer is the second digital conference in line this year for Esports Insider, and we invite stakeholders from in and around the industry globally to join us over August 17th-21st for five consecutive days of content, including 35+ live hours wherein each day will focus on a different and important regional market for the esports industry.To make reading up on the global perspectives from industry veterans and developing brands easy – we’ve broken up the conversations into regional entries, following the itinerary of ESI Digital Summer.Each entry also features a shortlist of opportunities and challenges – gleaned from our conversations – and employment data powered by Hitmarker. These are not meant to be exhaustive, rather to provide context for each region from the perspectives of some of the industry’s finest.Regional Esports Market Report – Asia-PacificThe OpportunitiesProximity to other emerging mobile marketsHuge potential cross-region audiencesSocial media activations galoreThe ChallengesFragmented landscape, with various languages and cultural differencesNavigating nuanced and foreign social media platformsLack of experienced, highly skilled workers within local esports industryEmployment Data – Powered by Hitmarker7.24 percent of total global market share of newly-posted jobs in July During July of 2020, Hitmarker registered 245 new job listings for the Asia-Pacific region, claiming 7.24 percent of the total market share globally, including remote, of active jobs on the site.With half as many countries represented compared to the Europe region, Huggan noted that these figures cannot be representative of the real number of opportunities in the region, as Hitmarker is currently focussed on the English-language market.English-native Australia shows 14 job listings, while India and Singapore both number in the mid-40s.Gaming giants China, South Korea, and Japan collectively host only 37 jobs on the site, which clearly does not correspond with the reality of opportunities in the countries, more so, it indicates the prevalence of local language in their gaming and esports industries.The top five companies hiring in the region, according to Hitmarker’s data from March 1st  – July 31st, are: Ubisoft, Razer, Electronic Arts, Logitech, and Gameloft.Final thoughtsRathee shared his thought process for entering esports: “For me, it’s like building a skyscraper. Esports is the lighthouse on top of a huge building. However, if you just build a tall building just as a lighthouse, you will crumble and fall everytime the wind [blows], because you just don’t have a solid enough foundation. Understanding the life journey of gaming – from casual gaming to social gaming to competitive gaming to esports – is the depth of the foundation that you need to go ahead and understand. That will give you depth. Esports doesn’t happen on day one.”He continued to explain that for any professional sport circuit, you want the top 200 competitors and ideally these would come from a huge pool. The reasoning is that the top 200 from a pool of 20 million is going to produce more “Wow!” moments than the same slice from a pool of 20,000 – thus being proportionately more entertaining, leading more people to want to watch.Esports is ultimately entertainment for the average consumer, just like ‘traditional sports’, the reason people watch is to get their money’s worth (however figuratively) by witnessing highlight reel performances. The dopamine rush accompanied by such a moment is proportionate to the level of skill perceived to accomplish said feat, which is why, according to Rathee, why there are so many more players of FIFA than there are viewers – the spectator experience doesn’t make the game look that difficult. Viewers would rather play themselves to earn the dopamine than watch something that doesn’t appear difficult thanks to the broadcast. Rathee claimed that this is why FIFA also doesn’t label itself as an esport.Because esports is so international, Shen explained, if you want to be a true top tier organisation you have to generate attention from outside of your country, otherwise you’ll be extremely limited. In China, it’s tough for RNG to get another million followers, and in order for that to happen, it has to “steal” those followers from another rival club. But if it is performing well in competitions it will be easier to attract followers from North America or Europe so it can continue to perform well on the social media aspect of the organisation, and vice versa for foreign teams.This thought process could very well be applied to any other region with established organisations – expanding into other markets because the only viable option for continued growth in many cases, as both NODWIN Gaming and RNG are exemplary of this. It’s easier said than done, as most markets prefer to support their homegrown organisations than to pile on to new foreign influences.What it comes down to for both enterprises is the community. NODWIN Gaming provides its communities with IPs to license and distribute, allowing tournaments and competitions for their communities and providing top-tier broadcast entertainment to keep the fans coming back for more. RNG focuses on increasing its audience abroad and helping others grow within its market while continually striving to be the best-in-game with its various esports teams.Be sure to watch both Rathee and Shen speak during ESI Digital Summer during the Asia-Pacific programming Monday, August 17th.See Full Agenda and secure your ticket for ESI Digital Summerlast_img read more

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