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Press Release -- May 23rd, 2019
Source: Vodafone Group
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VODAFONE AND ESL LAUNCH WORLD’S FIRST INTERNATIONAL 5G MOBILE ESPORTS TOURNAMENT

Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open Grand Final to showcase 5G gaming on Vodafone’s real-time mobile network in Milan
Participants to compete for a total prize pool of €165,000 plus 5G smartphones and other prizes.
Vodafone and ESL, the world’s largest esports company, today launched the Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open – a mobile gaming tournament with the first Grand Final in competitive international eSports to be played live over a 5G network.

The Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open will commence on 31 May and run until 29 September 2019, and is open to players from 17 countries where Vodafone is present. The competition features two popular online mobile games: arcade racer Asphalt 9: Legends; and multiplayer battle royale title, PUBG MOBILE.

The international tournament is comprised of a series of online-only qualifiers, plus ESL event qualifiers at ESL One Birmingham in the UK and ESL One Cologne and Gamescom in Germany. Online qualifiers can be played on any compatible Android or iOS mobile device and on any internet connection.

The Grand Finals for both games will be contested live only on Vodafone’s 5G network at Milan Games Week on 28-29 September, providing a major showcase of Vodafone’s high-speed, real-time 5G network for gaming.

There is a total prize fund of €165,000 for all placing Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile One live finalists, including a top prize of €14,000 for the winning Asphalt 9: Legends player and a top prize of €40,000 in total for the victorious PUBG MOBILE team.

Vodafone Group Chief Commercial Officer Ahmed Essam said, “The Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open is the perfect opportunity to show millions of gaming fans the potential of Vodafone’s real-time 5G network with low latency and ultra-high speeds enabling players to reach new levels of gaming performance on mobile devices anywhere. As interest and participation in esports continues to grow exponentially, many of the key skills and aspects across gaming are useful and transferable skills in the digital workplace.”

“Together with Vodafone we are bringing some of the top mobile games to a truly competitive esports format, building a bridge between hardcore esports enthusiasts and casual gamers,” said Ralf Reichert, CEO at ESL. “We believe in the rise of mobile esports and are thrilled to work with such an amazing partner as Vodafone on this program as they launch 5G across their markets internationally.”

Players can sign up for online qualifiers via the official website which will also provide more information about the tournament, leader boards, highlights and commentator clips, videos and on-the-ground coverage and schedules for ESL One and gamescom.

The Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open builds on Vodafone’s growing involvement in eSports, including the 2018 announcement that Vodafone is a Premium Partner of ESL One and IEM tournaments in Europe and the recent sponsorship of “Vodafone Giants” in Spain and “Mousesports”, the most successful German professional eSports team.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

The Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open – Tournament Structure

The Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open can be entered by players in Albania, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

Asphalt 9: Legends in-game online qualifiers

Online qualifiers for Asphalt 9: Legends will take place in a series of eight separate week-long cups scheduled from 10 June to 1 September 2019. Qualification will be based on ‘fastest time wins’, with four qualifying cup events open for players using either iOS or Android devices. The best players from each weekly cup will qualify to participate in the Grand Final at Milan Games Week on 28 September 2019.

Asphalt 9: Legends online qualifying dates

10 – 16 June 2019 Cup 1 – iOS

24 – 30 June 2019 Cup 2 – Android

8 – 14 July 2019 Cup 3 – iOS

22 – 28 July 2019 Cup 4 – Android

29 July – 4 Aug 2019 Cup 5 – iOS

5 – 11 August 2019 Cup 6 – Android

12 – 18 August 2019 Cup 7 – iOS

26 Aug – 1 Sept 2019 Cup 8 – Android

28 September 2019 GRAND FINAL – Milan Games Week – 5G Android devices

Asphalt 9: Legends Event qualifiers

Event qualifiers for Asphalt 9: Legends will take place at ESL events between 31 May and 27 September 2019, with entry open to all attendees. Qualification will be based on ‘fastest time wins’, with each ESL event hosting two qualifying cups for players using either iOS or Android devices. The best iOS or Android player from each ESL event will qualify to participate in the Grand Final at Milan Games Week on 28 September 2019.

Asphalt 9: Legends event qualifying dates:

31 May – 2 June 2019 ESL One Birmingham, UK

5 – 7 July 2019 ESL One Cologne, Germany

21 – 24 August 2019 Gamescom, Cologne, Germany

27 September 2019 Milan Games Week, Italy

28 September GRAND FINAL – Milan Games Week

PUBG MOBILE online qualifiers on ESL Play

Online cross-platform qualifiers for PUBG MOBILE will take place on ESL Play in three separate monthly cups from 1 June to 29 August, with entry open to teams of four players. Games in qualifiers will consist of 20 teams (80 players) per game and players are permitted to enter every cup. The 10 best teams – 40 players in total - from the three monthly cups will qualify for the Grand Final at Milan Games Week on September 29.

PUBG MOBILE online qualifying dates:

1 June 2019 Cup 1: Qualifier 1 – cross-platform play

8 June 2019 Cup 1: Qualifier 2 – cross-platform play

15 June 2019 Cup 1: Qualifier 3 – cross-platform play

22 June 2019 Cup 1: Qualifier 4 – cross-platform play

29 June 2019 Cup 1: Qualifier 5 – cross-platform play

3 July 2019 Cup 1 June Final – four teams – cross-platform play

6 July 2019 Cup 2: Qualifier 1 – cross-platform play

13 July 2019 Cup 2: Qualifier 2 – cross-platform play

20 July 2019 Cup 2: Qualifier 3 – cross-platform play

27 July 2019 Cup 2: Qualifier 4 – cross-platform play

31 July 2019 Cup 2 July Final – three teams – cross-platform play

3 August 2019 Cup 3: Qualifier 1 – cross-platform play

10 August 2019 Cup 3: Qualifier 2 – cross-platform play

17 August 2019 Cup 3: Qualifier 3 – cross-platform play

24 August 2019 Cup 3: Qualifier 4 – cross-platform play

28 August 2019 Cup 3 August Final – three teams – cross-platform play

29 September 2019 GRAND FINAL – Milan Games Week – 10 teams – 5G Android devices

For further information on tournament terms and conditions, please visit: https://pro.eslgaming.com/mobileopen/home.

For further information:

Vodafone Group

Media Relations

www.vodafone.com/media/contact

Investor Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 7919 990 230

About Vodafone Group

Vodafone Group is one of the world’s leading telecoms and technology service providers. We have extensive experience in connectivity, convergence and the Internet of Things, as well as championing mobile financial services and digital transformation in emerging markets.

Vodafone Group has mobile operations in 25 countries, partners with mobile networks in 41 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets. As of 31 March 2019, Vodafone Group had approximately 650 million mobile customers, 19 million fixed broadband customers and 14 million TV customers, including all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates.

For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com.

About ESL

ESL is the world’s largest esports company. Founded in 2000, ESL has been shaping the industry across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline competitions. It operates high profile, branded international leagues and tournaments such as ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL Pro League and other top tier stadium-size events, as well as ESL National Championships, grassroots amateur cups and matchmaking systems, defining the path from zero to hero as short as possible. With offices all over the world, ESL is leading esports forward on a global scale. ESL is a part of MTG, the leading international digital entertainment group (about.eslgaming.com).

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