Calyx, a subsidiary of Hockwood Games, and the Saudi Esports Federation have come together to host the finals of the VALORANT Regional League MENA LAN esports tournament in Riyadh. The tournament will be played in a LAN setting, where the best players from all over the region will fly into Riyadh, to battle it out in front of a live audience in hopes of securing the glory of being crowned Champions of the VALORANT Regional League MENA. As the biggest esports market in the region, the unique event will provide the Saudi Arabian gaming community with a new competitive series that features one of the most competitive games in the world – VALORANT.
Yahya Habib, Global Head of Strategy & Operations and Co-founder, Calyx Gaming, said: “We are delighted to have come together with the Saudi Esports Federation to create this unique experience. Our vision for Calyx is to be the home of esports in the region and we are excited to expand into Saudi Arabia, the biggest esports market in the Middle East. The first two splits of the VALORANT Regional League MENA tournament have been very competitive, with 152 teams registering from the MENA region, with our streaming entertaining millions of viewers worldwide. Now, with the support of the Saudi Esports Federation, we look forward to hosting the finals of the largest ever professional VALORANT tournament and four of the region’s best teams in Riyadh.”
Thanks to the support of the Saudi Esports Federation, the finals in July will feature four of the best teams in the region, including Yalla Esports, XPLDZ, Geekay Esports and Team Falcons. The VALORANT Regional League MENA Finals will be held between 4th and 7th July 2022, and streamed on Twitch, with a total prize pool of $20,000 (over SAR 75,000). The winning team of the VRL MENA Finals will represent the MENA region in the VRL EMEA Finals, where they will get the chance to compete against the other winners of every VRL in EMEA, and battle it out for a prize pool of $156,000 (over SAR 586,000).
“We are honoured to host a tournament of such stature in Saudi Arabia. Our main mission is to nurture elite gaming athletes, while also looking at unique methods to develop the gaming industry in the Kingdom. It is through our partners like Calyx that we can make this a reality and we look forward to the finals in July to help inspire the current and next generation of Saudi and Arab Nationals to help shed light on the benefits of the sport for years to come,” said Omar Batterjee Head of Communication / Marketing & Partnerships at Saudi Esports Federation.
Operational since 2016 and incorporated in 2019, Calyx is MENA’s #1 esports organiser and production company, based in Dubai and is committed to building the presence of esports in the MENA region. With tournaments like the VALORANT Regional League MENA Finals, Calyx and its partners are helping to build and expand the regional esports industry by providing local gamers with a state-of-the-art platform, play.calyx.gg, where they can have fun while showcasing their skills in various games. Calyx has successfully conducted large and small tournaments in 15 countries in the region, including Wizzo esports PUBG Mobile Cup, Regional VRL MENA League, and BLAST Premier Dune Cup.
HUAWEI XMAGE Awards Celebrate Photographers From MEA
Huawei announced the 57 winners of the XMAGE Awards 2023. The competition, which spotlights photos taken with Huawei devices, named three Grand Prize winners, 17 Best-in-Category winners, 34 Runner-up winners, and three Honorable Mentions.
This year’s winners were selected from more than 600,000 entries received between April 7 and August 15 from participants from nearly 100 countries. After China, the five countries with the highest number of entries were Malaysia, Türkiye, Poland, the Philippines, and the UAE. The most popular phone models used were the HUAWEI P60 Pro, HUAWEI P40 Pro, and HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro.
Out of the 17 Best-in-Category winners in the Global XMAGE Awards, one hails from Egypt. Sadek Khafagy won the award in the Outdoor category for his work titled “Reflection.” His image captures the striking beauty of the unique rock formations of The Wave in Arizona. After a rainy day, water pools in this area reflect the oranges and yellows of the layered rock walls and bright blue sky. Khafagy’s photograph masterfully depicts this vista in perfect symmetry.
A number of photographers from the MEA region have won special awards from the Huawei community. The UAE, being one of the countries with the most submissions, bagged 10 out of the 15 MEA XMAGE Awards dolled out in 2023. Their images told rich visual stories from breathtaking landscapes, glistening architecture, and the diverse culture of the UAE. Talented photographers from Saudi Arabia and South Africa also earned Special Awards. The special awards had gold, silver and bronze winners in several categories ranging from Portraits and Art&Fashion to Hello Life and Outdoor.
Gold Winners: In the Art&Fashion category, the image “Art-Chitecture” captures a unique architectural design with excellent composition that almost makes it look like a flower. The portrait “Drying Up” is a monochrome shot of a man drying hotel towels, full of a sense of story. And “Water Drop” in the Hello Life category was a creatively inverted macro shot of a water droplet against a surreally colourful background.
Silver Winners: In Hello Life, “Golden Summertime” encapsulated the radiance of summer in a vivid splash of golden sunset colours. The portrait “Behind the Mask” shows an Emirati girl with her eyes conveying deep emotion behind her traditional face mask, a poetic image that celebrates cultural heritage. The joyful “Best Buddies” image depicts the silhouette of children at the beach against the colourful hues of the evening sky, representing the innocence and sincerity of childhood friendship.
The expressive portrait “Innocent Beauty” masterfully uses chiaroscuro lighting to accentuate the doe-eyed gaze of a young girl. In the Outdoor category, the “Skyscrapers” feature tiny window cleaners rappelling down the gleaming facade of a soaring skyscraper. This photo contrasts immense architecture with small human figures.
Bronze Winners: The serene “The Kite Runner” captures a solitary young boy silhouetted against a misty dawn sky as he tries to fly his kite. The cinematic “Life Sun” depicts the blazing sun casting dramatic rays through the immense desert landscape of Al-Ula. Another spectacular shot titled “Kyrgyzstan Postcard View” documents the culmination of a rewarding 9-hour mountain trek, showcasing the cascading valleys and jagged peaks revealing themselves in a breathtaking panorama.
The “The Last Light” is an atmospheric landscape taken at dusk, the fading sun casting the mountainous terrain in an ethereal glow. The “Night Under the Galaxy’s Lights” places an SUV in the middle, framed by the dazzling sweep of the Milky Way and some light-painting trickery. The image titled “There is No Love Like Snail Love” playfully highlights nature’s wonder through two spiralled gastropods tenderly exploring each other’s shells. And the portrait of a farmer carrying a woven basket on his head demonstrates excellent cultural storytelling.
Through unique perspectives, artistry, and storytelling, these 15 photographers from the Middle East and Africa have proven themselves at the forefront of their field.
“Dragon Clouds” by Domcar Calinawan Lagto from the Philippines, “Airshow” by Piotr Cebula from Poland, and “Fearless Eagle” by Dou Chuanli from China were awarded the Grand Prizes. Each Grand Prize winner will receive 10,000 USD (before tax) from the XMAGE creation fund, to support their photography and to encourage them to continue using Huawei devices in the future.
The 17 Best-in-Category winners and the 34 Runner-up winners were selected from each category, and will each receive $1500 and $1000, respectively.
The HUAWEI XMAGE Awards showcase how the XMAGE brand has inspired users’ creativity in mobile photography. Mobile imaging is a powerful lens for capturing life’s precious moments and as a tool for stimulating visual ideas. The HUAWEI XMAGE Awards has come a long way since its launch in 2017. The contest has inspired individuals to create magnificent photographs with their phones. It has also become a platform for showcasing wonderful images that provide glimpses into photographers’ perspectives on the world and their daily lives. Today, the XMAGE Awards has emerged as a prominent global photography event, igniting a wave of enthusiasm among individuals to express their emotions, exude confidence, and unleash their creativity through mobile photography.
The full list of award winners is available here: https://consumer.huawei.com/en/campaign/xmage
The 43rd Edition of GITEX GLOBAL to Take Place From 16th to 20th October 2023
The surge in international demand has rallied the world’s largest tech and start-up event to scale even higher and bigger in 2023, spearheading a global tech takeover across two Dubai mega venues next month. The 43rd edition of GITEX GLOBAL will take place from 16-20 October 2023, the blockbuster tech showpiece once again reaching full capacity at the Dubai World Trade Centre as it prepares to host more than 6,000 exhibitors, while Expand North Star, the world’s largest start-up event hosted by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, will kick-off its largest ever edition from 15-18 October 2023 at the new Dubai Harbour venue, featuring 1,800 start-ups from 100-plus countries at the Middle East’s biggest iconic superyacht hub.
GITEX GLOBAL and Expand North Star will comprise a combined 41 halls spanning 2.7 million sq. ft of exhibition space – a 35 per cent increase over the previous year – converging the best minds and most visionary companies to scrutinise, challenge, define, and empower the digital agendas of the world. GITEX GLOBAL will present the year’s largest AI showcase and summit, its record growth fuelled by the AI innovation wave currently gripping the globe’s imagination, as 3,500 AI-infused exhibitors reveal how this next big technology shift is transforming lives, governments, businesses, and society.
The AI boom has also added another layer of complexity to protecting digital assets and critical IP infrastructure, with the elevated GITEX Cyber Valley taking the fight directly to the dark cyber-criminal underworld, gathering leading info-sec brands and global experts at the year’s biggest cyber security showcase. Amplifying this growth, the launch shows GITEX Impact and Future Urbanism Expo promise to be the epicentre of ground-shaking shifts in climate technology while advancing sustainable cities, and co-creating a net zero future ahead of the UN climate change summit, COP28.
“The intense demand for involvement in GITEX from the global tech and start-up community is an acknowledgement of the strong impetus to learn, exchange, debate and challenge the recent developments in the tech sphere,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President of Events Management at DWTC, the organiser of GITEX GLOBAL and Expand North Star. “From AI, and cyber to the mounting interest in clean tech, GITEX converges public and private sector leaders from more than 170 countries to explore the new unknown paradigms of the future digital economy.”
Expand North Star hosted by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy will scale to a record size in 2023, featuring 1,800 start-ups start-up exhibitors this year to connect, inspire, and extend engagements in one of the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystems. More than 1,000 investors from 70 countries with $1 trillion under management will also converge at the new Dubai Harbour venue, as they look to ramp up the momentum in start-up investment after a year of tepid achievements.
Saeed Al Gergawi, Vice President of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, said, “Expand North Star is set to drive the next era of digital entrepreneurship and inspire the next generation of innovators and thinkers. This landmark event will serve as a strategic catalyst to expand the future of Dubai’s digital economy, creating an unrivalled platform to gather key stakeholders from the global start-up community here in the emirate.”
GITEX GLOBAL 2023 welcomes the biggest tech names delving into the latest trends, risks, challenges, and opportunities that are redefining entire industries, spearheaded by returning titans including Dell Technologies, e&, Google, Huawei, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and Tonomus. Among the debut exhibitors supercharging their international growth strategies and forging new connections are Salesforce, Broadcom, Beyon, and Deloitte.
Steven Yi, President of Huawei Middle East & Central Asia said: “At Huawei, GITEX GLOBAL continues to hold great importance to our business year after year. This year, our theme, ‘Accelerate Intelligence,’ demonstrates our commitment to delve into the transformative power of AI, networks, and cloud technologies. Together, we will explore how these converging forces are reshaping our world and how we can unleash the full capabilities of AI-powered solutions to reshape industries worldwide with cyber security, privacy protection and safeguarding our customer’s digital transformation journey remaining our top priorities.”
Here’s How to Watch HONOR’s IFA 2023 Keynote
HONOR is all set to kick off the IFA keynote event through its “Unfold Tomorrow” event on the convention stage at IFA 2023 on 1 September 2023. The keynote live stream is set to start at 10 am CEST (12 pm, UAE time) live from Berlin, Germany.
You will be able to watch the HONOR IFA 2023 Keynote live at the following links:
At IFA 2023, HONOR will also showcase a concept phone that will break boundaries across tech and fashion. The device will be unveiled exclusively at the event in Berlin. The company will also launch the new HONOR Magic V2 at the event.
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