Vodafone and ESL, the world’s largest eSports company, have 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 is open to players from 17 countries where Vodafone is present, including Qatar. The competition features the popular online mobile game arcade racer, Asphalt 9: Legends.

Online qualifiers for Asphalt 9: Legends will take place in a series of eight separate week-long cups scheduled from June 10 to September 1, 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 finals at the Milan Games Week on September 28.

The following are the online qualifying dates for Asphalt 9: Legends – June 10-16 (Cup 1 – iOS), June 24-30 (Cup 2 – Android), July 8-14 (Cup 3 – iOS), July 22-28 (Cup 4 – Android), July 29 - Aug 4 (Cup 5 – iOS), August 5-11 (Cup 6 – Android), August 12-18 (Cup 7 – iOS), and August 26 – September 1 (Cup 8 – Android).

The grand finals will be contested live only on Vodafone’s 5G network, 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.

Vodafone Qatar COO Diego Camberos 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.

“Interest and participation in eSports is growing exponentially and Qatar is no exception with 1.5mn gamers. Vodafone Qatar’s 5G network is rapidly being deployed so we’re excited for Qatar’s gamers to start enjoying the 5G experience.”

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.

Since switching on its 5G network in August last year and receiving the spectrum license to operate 5G commercially, Vodafone Qatar has already deployed 5G in dozens of locations across the country, including Al Waab, Abu Hamour, Al Azizya, Al Mamoura, Al Rayyan, Katara Cultural Village, Salwa Road, Souq Waqif, and Umm Salal Muhammed.

The company has also marked several 5G milestones. Recently, Vodafone Qatar became the first in the region to make highly-anticipated 5G smartphones available to its customers.

In April this year, it made 5G technology commercially available to its customers with the launch of Vodafone GigaHome, the latest innovation in home internet solutions. Vodafone Qatar was also the first to make a live local and international 5G calls using a 5G handset in the region.

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