Event Notes: CL Match Between AEK Athens, Ajax Marred By Violence
The Champions League match between AEK Athens and Ajax was "marred by violent scenes" before kickoff, with Ajax fans coming under attack in the Greek capital as home supporters "threw flares into the stands." Photos showed police officers hitting Ajax fans, leaving some of them "caked in blood in the away end." It was reported that Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt ran over to the visiting fans "in an attempt to play the role of peacemaker" (THE AGE, 11/28).
Formula E champion Jean Eric Vergne and the president of his Techeetah team have "thrown their weight behind Sarajevo’s bid to host a race in the all-electric series" in '20. Vergne said, "I think it would be amazing to drive here. If there is anything I could do to push that, I will do it." Sarajevo was hoping to host a race in the city-based series next year, but postponed plans until '20 (REUTERS, 11/29).
Supercars shelved its plan to turn the Gold Coast round into a single 500km race from '19, with the current format set to be retained. The series announced plans to alter the format of the Gold Coast round during its calendar reveal last month, the idea being to adopt the same format as the Sandown 500 (MOTORSPORT, 11/28).
The Australian V8 Touring Car Series will be rebranded as the Super3 Series in '19. The category will officially be positioned as Supercars' third tier, below the Australian Supercars Championship and Super2 Series (Supercars).
Blizzard Entertainment released details for a revised Hearthstone esports structure in '19, which will award more than $4M in prize money. The game will move to a three-tiered competitive system. The first tier will consist of open qualifier events, the majority of which will take place online. Winning a qualifier will provide the victor with entry into one of three invitational tournaments. Each invitational will have a $250,000 prize pool. Blizzard also confirmed that more invitationals will be planned for '20 (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 11/29).
Prepaid cell phone service provider Smartcall -- a Vodacom subsidiary -- earlier this week revealed plans to invest 10M rand ($720,000) in South African esports tournament organizer Mettlestate as part of a commitment to grow the region’s competitive gaming scene. Though typically an investment of less than $1M would not "necessarily turn heads" in markets like North America, Europe, or Asia, "the relatively young and growing nature of South African esports makes Smartcall’s commitment to bolstering the scene notable" (TEO, 11/29).
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