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Mahindra Racing Puts the Brakes on AI Influencer Amid Social Media Backlash

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Mahindra Racing’s plans for an AI-generated female influencer, named Ava, and associated Instagram account @avabeyondreality, have been withdrawn following a substantial social media backlash, says a Reuters report. The team initially introduced Ava to “interact” with drivers and offer a fresh perspective on their endeavors in the electric championship, but the announcement faced widespread criticism.

Social media users expressed discontent, with one comment stating, “Motorsport companies/teams will do anything but hire actual women.” In response to the negative feedback, Team principal Frederic Bertrand addressed the concerns, emphasizing Mahindra Racing’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and innovation. He acknowledged the value of the comments, indicating that they have decided to discontinue the AI influencer program.

While the Formula E series currently lacks female race drivers, it runs a ‘Girls on Track’ initiative catering to 12 to 18-year-olds. This program includes work experience, workshops, and the recognition of a participant on the podium after each race, highlighting the series’ commitment to promoting female inclusion.

As the Formula E gears up for its 10th season starting in Mexico City this weekend, Mahindra Racing’s decision to discontinue the AI influencer project reflects the importance of aligning with values of diversity and inclusivity within the motorsport community.

With over 30 years of journalistic experience, Aparna is a media maven who has been at the forefront of the media business for over two decades. Renowned for her pioneering spirit, she spearheaded the launch of many popular Indian websites focusing on the aspects of the television industry and has also served as the founding editor of the nation’s premier music trade print magazine.

Gaming

Indian Esports Teams Making a Mark in The Global Gaming Arena

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esports in india - the reelstars

Gaming has long surpassed the confinement to offline play; the rise of online gaming has introduced a vast world of esports to gaming enthusiasts. Esports athletes, the new generation of gamers, thrive in this digital arena, streaming popular games such as BGMI, Free Fire, Fortnite, Valorant, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, and more. According to the global esports market report, the market was valued at $1.98 billion in 2023. With a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.9%, it is expected to reach $2.39 billion by the end of 2024 and an impressive $10.9 billion by 2032.

Top Indian Esports Teams: 

Orangutan 

Orangutan has played a big role in the development of gaming culture in India. It is a professional esports organization that provides esports athletes with a platform to play for this organization at the highest level of competition with international standards. Orangutan’s motive is to bring opportunities to gamers in India. It is formed by a collective of passionate gamers and dreamers. It is an Esports organization that is headquartered in Mumbai. 

Orangutan is generally involved in 4 prominent games: BGMI, Free Fire, Valorant, and Pokemon Unite. The BGMI players are Akop, Ash, Believe, Whizzgod, and Vedzz. For the game Valorant, they also have a women’s squad of EMI, Erruma, Gunner, Twirly, and Casper. 

Team XSpark

Team XSpark is an esports organization located in Mumbai. BGMI is the core of XSpark, with team player and streamer Tanmay’ ScoutOP’ Singh. Urvesh and Axbak manage the team, and Akshuna Bishnoi is the Coach. The main line-up of the XSpark BGMI team is Shubham Ranjan Sahoo (NinjaJOD), Tushar Das (GamlaBoy), Harsh Malik (SPRAYGOD), Sarangajyoti Deka (Sarang), and Tanmay Singh (Sc0utOP). 

Sc0utOP (Tanmay Singh) is the team leader of XSpark Battlegrounds Mobile India. 

Blind Esports

Blind Esports is an Indian organization with rosters in various esports games, such as Free Fire, Clash of Clans, Call of Duty (COD) Mobile, and Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI). It is co-owned by Sharath B and Arjun “Satan” Suresh. In 2023, it was incredibly successful in BGMI. Later, it acquired the ex-Global Esports BGMI roster. The team has currently signed the ex-Team iNsane roster for the 2024 season. 

It revealed a program named Blind Elevate that would support upcoming creators.

Blind Esports has been one of the most consistent teams in BGMI in various events and tournaments. The team earned second place on the AFK Gaming BGMI Team Rankings.

Velocity gaming

Velocity Gaming, popularly abbreviated as VLT, was formed in 2017. Manoj “SENTINEL” Kasyap registered as an Indian esports organization in 2019. 

The organization initially involved itself in Rainbow Six Siege. Later, Velocity Gaming invested in the Indian esports scene by supporting players of various games, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and PUBG Mobile.

Swayambika Sachar as Sawy joined VLT as a streamer this year (2024).

Velocity Gaming acquires the roster of Ex-Grayfox Esports, consisting (Venkatesh Sharma) venka from India, and (Willy Ivandra) sayoo from Indonesia currently, the active roasters. 

Revenant esports

Revenant is Asia’s fastest-growing Esports organization. Home to highly talented competitors in Valorant, Battlegrounds Mobile India, Pokémon Unite, Brawl Stars, Call of Duty Mobile and CS:GO.

Their roasters include Paradox (Kasif Khwaja Sayyed), SkRossi (Ganesh Gangadhar), SkillZ (Jayant Ramesh), Dost9 (Dastan Zhumagali) and Tricky (Prish Valvani).

The Indian gaming industry has been growing in leaps and bounds in recent years. With the establishment of such esports teams and other initiatives, gamers in India have a hopeful road ahead. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently met with top Indian gamers, including SkRossi, aka Ganesh Gangadhar, to discuss the gaming industry’s future. 

Follow these top Esports teams to learn more about the gaming industry. 

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Gaming

Creators Who Have Levelled Up in the Gaming Arena

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Top Indian Gaming Creators are your Entertainment - The Reelstars

Are you passionate about video games? Do you love watching gamers play online? We’ve compiled a list of the best Indian gaming content creators guaranteed to provide you with hours of entertainment. Their engaging commentary and thrilling gameplay will make your online viewing experience more fun and exciting. 

Get ready for an exhilarating ride with these top gaming creators:

AS Gaming

YouTube Subscribers: 20.3M

Sahil Rana, an Indian YouTuber and Gaming content creator, owns AS Gaming. Sahil is a Free-fire player streaming for an audience of 20.3 million subscribers. Sahil started his YouTube channel in 2016. However, it took him three years to upload his first video, “5 Hidden Places in Bermuda Map,” on the platform. For this Indian gamer, 2020 was a turning point as his channel numbers kept increasing. Sahil also has 3.3 million Instagram followers. He usually plays Garena FreeFire, a famous battle royale game.

Gyangaming 

Youtube Subscribers: 16.5M

Ankit Sujan streams gaming content on Gyan Gaming. Garena Free Fire, Fortnite, Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto V, Call Of Duty Mobile, Pubg Moblie, Garena Free Fire Max and GTA 5 are a few games that this gamer is known to be obsessed with. Ankit uploads many videos with his gaming friends AS Gaming and Rai Star. 

Ankit began his YouTube journey in 2017 and has uploaded over 3700 videos thereon. Gyan Gaming started by creating content for multiple games, but because Free Fire was more popular, he shifted his focus to Garena Free Fire. Ankit currently has 14.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel and 2.1 million followers on Instagram. He regularly interacts with his fans by sharing posts about events, updates on new games, and gameplay.

Kroten Gaming

Youtube Subscribers: 20.3M

Chetan Chandgude is the head of Kroten Gaming’s YouTube channel. Kroten Gaming is famous for playing PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile. He is widely known for his entertaining gaming streaming and informative gameplay videos. 

Chetan Chandgude was born and raised in a middle-class family in Pune, Maharashtra. He is the champion of the PUBG Esports contests and currently has a YouTube Gold Play Button. He is the CEO of GodLike eSports, a leading eSports organization home to many teams from India.

Ankit Panth 

Youtube Subscribers: 115K

Ankit Panth AKA V3nombiceps is a professional gamer based in Mumbai. He is a Red Bull Athlete. He was the brand ambassador of Alienware and Intel for 5 years.

Ankit worked with Corsair for 5 years & HyperX for a year. Backed up by 15+ years of experience in gaming, he has fulfilled his dream of becoming a professional gamer with dedication and a humble attitude. Coming from a middle-class society, Ankit needed more help at the start of his journey. How he crossed the hurdles and sits where he is today, is an achievement by itself. He has dedicated all his time to gaming and has also achieved a name for himself in the DJing and Fitness industry. He was featured in various magazines in and outside of India.

HydraFlick

Youtube Subscribers: 333K

HydraFlick aka Rohan Ledwani, is an Indian gaming content creator from Vadodara, Gujarat. HydraFlick uploads videos of quality games, tutorials, analysis and reviews. He aims to be one of the best and showcase a prime caliber streaming atmosphere. Rohan wishes to represent India internationally through his streams, gameplay, and solitary performance. 

Follow these top gaming content creators with unique and engaging online streaming channels!

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Gaming

S8UL and KRAFTON Partner Up for Bullet Echo India Launch

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s8ul x krafton - the reelstars

S8UL, a prominent force in the Indian esports and gaming landscape, has entered into a strategic partnership with KRAFTON, the global gaming giant behind titles like PUBG Mobile and Battlegrounds Mobile India. This collaboration aims to elevate the launch of Bullet Echo India, a fast-paced, top-down shooter, through the creation of engaging and impactful content.

Leveraging S8UL’s Influencer Power

Central to this partnership is the role of S8UL’s popular creators. Known for their ability to connect with the Indian gaming audience, these influencers will be instrumental in generating excitement and anticipation for Bullet Echo India. By producing a variety of content formats, including:

  • In-depth gameplay tutorials and tips
  • Thrilling competitive showcases
  • Character deep dives
  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Engaging community interactions

S8UL aims to create a comprehensive content ecosystem around the game. This strategy is designed to appeal to a wide range of players, from casual gamers seeking tips to hardcore esports enthusiasts looking for competitive action.

Bullet Echo India is a Fresh Take on the Battle Royale Genre

Bullet Echo India is a fast-paced, top-down action shooter that has taken the Indian gaming scene by storm. Developed by Krafton, the same studio behind global sensations like PUBG Mobile and Battlegrounds Mobile India, this game offers a unique and thrilling gameplay experience.

While classified as a battle royale, Bullet Echo India sets itself apart with its distinct top-down perspective and focus on tactical gameplay. Players are thrown into intense, short duration matches where survival hinges on quick reflexes, strategic thinking, and effective teamwork.

With its innovative gameplay and competitive format, Bullet Echo India has the potential to capture the hearts of Indian gamers. The partnership with S8UL will further amplify the game’s reach and engagement, ensuring a successful launch and sustained player interest.

A Win-Win Partnership

The collaboration between S8UL and KRAFTON is a strategic move to capitalize on the burgeoning Indian gaming market. By combining KRAFTON’s game development expertise with S8UL’s influencer power, the partnership aims to create a winning formula for the launch of Bullet Echo India.

S8UL’s deep understanding of the Indian gaming audience and its ability to create engaging content will be crucial in driving player acquisition and retention. In turn, KRAFTON’s resources and expertise will support S8UL’s efforts to deliver high-quality content to its audience.

The partnership between S8UL and KRAFTON signifies a broader trend in the gaming industry, where collaborations between game developers and content creators are becoming increasingly important. By working together, these two industry leaders are setting a new standard for game launches and demonstrating the power of influencer marketing in the gaming space.

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