Vodafone and ESL launch international 5G mobile esports tournament

The tournament will feature Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG Mobile with the live finals at Milan Games Week.

Screengrab via PUBG Mobile

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VVodafone has partnered with ESL for the Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open, the first international mobile esports event that will feature a live final played entirely on 5G internet. The tournament will have a prize pool of 165,000 Euros (approximately $184,000).

The Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open will feature Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG Mobile. Three months of qualifiers will lead up to to the live finals at the Milan Games Week on Sept. 28 and 29.

Registration is open to players from 17 countries: Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, Albania, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, and India.

“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 ESL CEO Ralf Reichert. “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.”

The grand finals for both games at the Milan Games Week will be played on Vodafone’s 5G network. Vodafone hopes to showcase its high-speed internet, which should offer low latency on mobile devices throughout the tournament.

“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,” said Vodafone Group chief commercial officer Ahmed Essam. “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.”

Asphalt 9: Legends’ qualification will take place over the course of eight weekly cups, with the best players from each one earning a spot in the live finals. In addition, there will be offline qualifiers that are open to all Asphalt 9: Legends players. These offline qualifiers will be held at ESL One Birmingham, ESL One Cologne, Gamescom Cologne, and at the Milan Games Week, one day before the live finals.

Qualifiers for PUBG Mobile will take place on ESL Play in three separate monthly cups. There will be a cup every month during June, July, and August. The 10 best squads from the three monthly cups will travel to Milan, Italy for the live finals.