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Honda signs as the automotive partner for North American League of Legends, NetEase plans to invest over ¥5B RMB ($710M USD) to build an “Esports Park” in Shanghai, and Bumble Teams with Gen.G for an all-women team.
Missed any of the biggest esports business news last week? The TEO Monday Morning Briefing recaps the top headlines from the last seven days!
Less than a year after partnering with Team Liquid, Honda has expanded its esports strategy to include the entire League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). Honda will be the exclusive automotive partner of LCS beginning with the Summer Split Playoffs in Los Angeles August 10 and continuing with the Finals in Detroit on August 24-25. In addition, the company will sponsor the League MVP and the LCS Scouting Grounds, which helps up-and-coming players gain visibility to LCS teams.
Team Liquid announced a partnership with Honda in January, which includes that automotive brand’s logo on team jerseys, merchandise, and a fleet of branded Honda Civics. The team arrives at events in a Team Liquid emblazoned Honda Odyssey minivan.
The LCS deal makes Honda the first automotive brand in North America to sponsor both an esports league and one of its teams.
Game publisher and the exclusive Chinese distributor of Blizzard Entertainment games, NetEase, announced that it plans to invest over ¥5B RMB ($710M) to build the “NetEase Esports Park” in the Shanghai Qingpu district. Ding Yingfeng, president of NetEase, said that the plan would include multiple esports-related projects, including those related to product design, team development, talent construction, and user experiences.
Yingfeng also announced that the company will build China’s first “class-A esports venue” in the park. This is in accordance with a new classification and set of standards for esports venues announced by the Shanghai government. As a class-A esports venue, the facility is required to have a minimum size of 50K square meters, and 5,000 seats.
Epic Games announced details surrounding the Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) and updates to Season X gameplay. FNCS offers a $10M prize pool with additional prizes to be given away in weekly Cash Cup events.
In addition to an arena bug fix and payments update, Epic Games revealed that B.R.U.T.E., a mech added to Fortnite in Season X, will remain in all core game modes and competition. The mech has been criticized by players for being overpowered, creating an unfair advantage to whoever uses one.
Several esports teams, pro players, and fans expressed their frustration on Twitter using the hashtag #RemoveTheMech, which became the #1 trending topic on the social media platform Friday evening.
Sponsorships and Partnerships
Bayes Esports Solutions has acquired world data distribution rights for Riot Games’ largest esports competitions. The Berlin-based startup—a joint venture between DOJO Madness and Sportradar—will be the first company exclusively authorized to take data from League of Legends matches, make it easier to use, and deliver it to media customers and data consumers.
Esports team Gen.G announced its first all-female team as part of a deal that includes title sponsorship from networking/dating app Bumble. Gen.G put together a roster of all-women pro Fortnite players, plus some gaming influencers. Bumble will also develop co-branded merchandise with Gen.G and has added a gaming badge to its app to let users show their affinity for gaming on their profiles.
Burger King introduced its first “0% beef” Whopper through a partnership with esports organization FaZe Clan. FaZe Clan regularly produces “challenge” videos, some of which have team members try to be the first to guess what something is. The Burger King mascot joined the team in an August 7 blind taste test challenge that included several items on the restaurant’s menu.
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