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Singtel and Singapore Esports

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Singtel and Singapore Esports Association launch award

Singapore Esports Association (SGEA) has joined forces with telecomms company Singtel to launch an award that recognises talent and excellence in esports.

The nominees for the newly-devised PVP Esports Award were selected by representatives from both parties after the closing of the Southeast Asian Games on December 11th.

For the first time in its 30 year history, this year’s edition of the SEA Games featured esports as an official medal event. Rather than prize money, players will compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals.

Ng Chong Gen, President of Singapore Esports Association discussed the partnership in a release: “SGEA is proud to partner up with Singtel in supporting local esports athletes as well as the gaming ecosystem. We believe that Singtel’s infrastructure and our industry veterans will enable us to further develop the esports scene in Singapore.”

Players will be selected using criteria that includes excellence in performance, sportsmanship, and commitment to the craft. The creation of the award is a continuation of the partnership between Singtel and the SGEA, in which they’re aiming to cultivate Singapore’s first official esports players.

Arthur Lang, CEO of Singel’s International Group added: “We are pleased that our sponsorship of the Singapore team has enabled the athletes to focus on what they do best and having a shot at winning medals for Singapore. This award recognises their skills and contributions, and represents our commitment to support and celebrate their efforts. We believe they will be excellent ambassadors for the sport, and an inspiration to others.

“With the growing popularity of competitive gaming in the region, we are passionate about developing the gaming ecosystem for professionals and amateurs alike through our PVP Esports platform.”

Each worth $10,000 (£7,690.58), the awards offer cash alongside additional funds to aid professional development, education, and athletic training.

Esports Insider says: The introduction of the PVP award is nice in that it rewards players for doing well, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. The inclusion of esports at the Southeast Asian Games is a much bigger deal but this award is a nice accessory.

eSports Boom

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How can brands capitalise on esports boom?

It’s not tricky to understand why Chris Beer, a senior trends analyst at GlobalWebIndex, posits that 2019 is the year esports has come of age.

In late-1997, Tom “Gollum” Dawson triumphed in FRAG (Foremost Roundup of Advanced Gamers), reckoned to be the world’s first official gaming tournament, and won $1,000 (£770) in gaming merchandise.

Twenty-two years later, in August, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, 16, succeeded in the first Fortnite World Cup and took home $3 million (£2.4 million). The teenager was catapulted to fame overnight and even invited on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Signs that esports is on an upwards trajectory

There are plenty of other signs besides that esports is now swimming in the mainstream. Indeed, The Washington Post is hiring specialist reporters, Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has established an esports strategy and, the surest indication, esports has featured on The Simpsons. Twelve months ago, GlobalWebIndex included esports as one of the big trends to watch in 2019.

“It has grown impressively throughout the year,” says Mr Beer. “Our research shows that this time last year 16 per cent of the global population watched esports online; now that figure is 24 per cent. We’ve seen an uptick in most regions around the world, but it’s Asia-Pacific that continues to be the core market; over a third of people (34 per cent) watch esports there, compared to 21 per cent last year.”

Little surprise that advertisers have sought to generate value from esports’ growing popularity. Anheuser-Busch has filed a trademark request to become “official beer of esports”. Similarly bookmakers are eyeing the opportunity to offer a new market.

How brands can capitalise on esports success

Advent of 5G will only drive further growth, says Lior Friedman, vice president of global partnerships and strategy at Amdocs Media, a provider of software and services to communications companies.

“Viewing metrics, prize money and sponsorship are all increasing substantially year on year,” he says, “and esports is being considered for entry into the Olympics as a new discipline for Paris 2024. Our recent research found that nearly all operators (97 per cent) plan to support esports in the 5G era.”

How can advertisers capitalise? “While there is huge potential for advertising in esports, brands need to understand how to engage with the sector,” says Gavin Poole, chief executive of Here East, a media complex located in the Olympic Park in East London.

“Esports fans value an authentic experience and will not react well if large companies simply bombard the community with logos and placement.

“Instead, brands need to consider how they can enhance the esports experience, not detract from it. The most successful brands, such as Redbull, Gillette and Mercedes-Benz, have taken a targeted approach, focusing on specific games and their particular audiences, as opposed to an umbrella marketing campaign that would alienate players and viewers alike.”

Esports Experts Plan and Execute

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Esports Production Summit: How Experts Plan and Execute During Current Venue Boom

Esports - focused venues are popping up across North America, and, with the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League set to start home and away games next year, the esports industry appears on the verge of a massive building boom. Esports venues must be extremely flexible since competitions run the gamut in terms of size and style. In addition, esports attendees expect a fully immersive experience beyond just on-stage competition.

At last month’s SVG Esports Production Summit, esports-venue experts addressed best practices in designing and operating a venue, as well as what they expect in this rapidly growing sector.

Moderated by SVG Associate Editor Kristian Hernandez, the panel included:

  • Kristin Connelly, senior director, marketing, Overwatch League
  • Corey Dunn, VP of broadcast, Esports Stadium Arlington/president, Esports Locker
  • Jud Hannigan, co-founder and CEO, Allied Esports International
  • Bob Jordan CVE, CEO, 1337 Facilities/founder, Venue Road
  • Brian Mirakian, senior principal and director, brand activation, Populous

Top 5 Esports Moments

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Top 5 Esports moments of the last decade 

Over the last decade, Esports has grown in unimaginable ways. Teams and players now routinely compete for large sums of prize money in some of the biggest arenas in the world. And over those 10 years, there have been dozens of incredible moments, miracle runs through tournaments, unprecedented win streaks, victories that we thought might never come. And so, as the decade comes to an end, we look back on those teams and players who caused the biggest moments in history.

5. ASTRALIS CLAIMS THE FIRST INTEL GRAND SLAM

Astralis has been the undisputed best team in the world for the last two years. With 15 tournament wins, over $5 million in prize money and three major victories in a row, a new record, it’s no surprise that Astralis gave us some of the greatest moments of the decade. But the one moment that stands out happened back in December of 2018. The Intel Grand Slam is a system organized by ESL and Dreamhack, where if you win four top-tier tournaments in a row out of 10, you won $1 million. Astralis’s victories in Marseille, Dallas and Chicago put them in position to claim their reward with one more win and the next tournament was in their home country of Denmark.

In front of a hometown crowd, Astralis dominated, dropping only two maps all tournament en route to a 3-1 map victory over Team Liquid and a million-dollar prize. As Astralis walked out to claim yet another trophy, they eliminated any remaining doubt of their position as the best team in the world.

4. TAIPEI ASSASSINS VICTORIOUS AT WORLDS 2012

In 2012, League of Legends was only in its second year of true professional play. The year before, Worlds had only really had North American and European talent due to servers not yet being established for the East. But as soon as Korea gained servers, they took over as one of the best teams in the world, dethroning Europe with apparent ease. Headed into what most fans view as the first actual Worlds, Korea’s Azubu Frost and Russian’s Moscow Five were the favorites. 

But the Taipei Assassins didn’t care. They got a free pass to playoffs for topping their region and dominated Korean representative Najin Sword, charging forward to defeat Russian favorites Moscow Five 2-1, and finishing off their tournament run with a 3-1 victory over Azubu Frost. This upset is still one of the most legendary runs in League of Legends history: Not only did the Assassins win, they beat probably the three best teams at the tournament. And they didn’t just cheese it; they played well, using brilliant team fighting and unique picks to throw their opponents off on their way to the title. As the Taipei Assasins stood on that stage hugging each other in emphatic delight, you could for a moment genuinely believe that any team could win. 

3. SERRAL WINS AT BLIZZCON

Until 2018, every single Starcraft World Championship had been won by a Korean player. Koreans dominated the scene, winning tournament after tournament, title after title. While non-Koreans had won smaller championships before, none had ever won on Starcraft’s most prestigious stage: Blizzcon. None had taken home a world championship.  

Until one of them did. Joona “Serral” Sotala, a Finnish player from a tiny village who’d been playing professionally since 2012, shot up in the standings after an incredibly dominant year where he claimed every World Championship Circuit event that year. But even with his record, a Blizzcon win still felt like a stretch. But Serral walked into Blizzcon ready to win. 

And win he did. Serral dominated. He was undefeated in groups, swept his first opponent, and eliminated 2017’s winner Rogue 3-1 with apparent ease. In the Grand Finals, he faced off against Stats, a player who he’d beaten earlier in the year. That series was probably his closest yet, but Serral played confidently the entire time, claiming a 4-2 victory and breaking the biggest streak of regional dominance in the history of Esports.  

2. OG’S MIRACLE RUNS. 

At one time, OG was considered the best team in the world. They won four major titles. For two years, they were favorites headed into TI. The brainchild of Johan “N0tail” Sunstein and Tal “Fly” Aizik, the lineup consisted of incredible players, fantastic teamwork, and an ability to win that seemed unstoppable. It felt like they were destined to win TI.

They didn’t. 

After devastating losses in 2016 and 2017, in 2018, Fly left. The team he helped create and N0tail, his eight-year teammate and best friend, to go to a team he thought had a higher chance of winning. This move came only months before 2018s TI, leaving OG in pieces without any clear path forward. They didn’t get invited to TI. They didn’t even have a roster. 

But somehow, OG persevered. N0tail and the only other remaining player, JerAx, brought back their old teammate Ana, who had been taking a break from pro play, moved coach Ceb into a player role, and sighed complete rookie Topson, who had never played on a top team, to try and make it to TI. 

After winning the European qualifiers and fighting their way to TI, OG came back from a poor first two days of groups to somehow make it to the upper bracket. It was there the magic would begin. Playing the best Dota they’d ever played, N0tail and his band of brothers beat Fly’s new Evil Geniuses lineup 2-1, managing a last-second miracle of a comeback against Chinese favorites PSG LGD on the back of LGD’s overextension and incredible, earthshaking play from JerAx. 

In the Finals, they cemented their Cinderella run with a win, this time on the back of Ceb. Ceb, who had only been a player again for a few months after previously failing to succeed as a pro on other teams, prompting his change to a coaching role, pulled off some of the most clutch plays in TI history to force a comeback in both Game 4 and Game 5. Bolstered by incredible individual play from Ana and Topson, as well as N0tail’s steady presence as team captain and support, OG won. 

OG’s run in 2019 was far different from their 2018 success. In 2018, at no point did OG look like the best team at TI until the moment they won. They were the underdogs in every game and every series. In 2019, despite floundering before TI, OG came into groups and absolutely dominated every team they faced. This time they won their group, finishing with six wins and two ties and the top spot. They once again beat Evil Geniuses, with unique strategies and picks that no one had seen coming. And in the semifinals, they once again beat LGD, this time without needing a miracle. 

And this time, in the Grand Final, it wasn’t even close. Despite faltering and losing Game 1, OG came back and absolutely dominated Games 2, 3, and 4, on the back of now-star-player Topson’s incredible performances and creative strategies. OG didn’t just win TI twice, and claim around $25 million in prize money as a team, they became the first team ever to win twice. And even better than that, they proved that in no way was what they did a fluke.  

1. KOREA’S FALL

There has been no region more dominant in League of Legends history than Korea. Korea won the third Worlds, and fourth, and the fifth, sixth and seventh. SK Telecom T1 claimed three of those wins, along with Samsung Galaxy white and Samsung Galaxy, who won four and seven respectfully. For that long five-year stretch, from 2013 to 2017, Korea was without any question the best region in the world. 

But in 2018, something changed. Korea got second at MSI to China’s representative, Royal Never Give up. Going into worlds, SKT, the undisputed best team of all time, was nowhere to be seen. Instead, Korea sent three teams who didn’t really fit the worlds meta as well as they had in the past and, finally, instead of trying to copy Korea, the rest of the world played their own games. 

The first sign was Gen.G. The Korean roster won only one game in the group stage, and didn’t even make playoffs. Invictus Gaming defeated Korean first seed K.T. Rolster. And finally, for the first time since 2012 when Worlds truly became Worldwide, a North American Team made it. Cloud9 defeated the final Korean team, Afreeca Freecs, completely eliminating the Korean teams from the tournament. For the first time since they first went to Worlds, Korea did not make the Grand Finals. 

However, many people thought this was simply a fluke; Korea, like any other region, was of course allowed to have a bad year. SKT rebuilt, young teams flourished, and 2019 began to look like Korea’s year once more. 

And then came Worlds. It went fairly well for Korea, their three teams topped their groups and looked strong going into the quarterfinals. But once again, Korea was beaten: Griffin and Damwon both lost badly in quarters and while SKT survived quarters, they were defeated in the semifinals. Once again, Korea fell, this time to China and Europe.  

Two years ago, the idea that Korea would no longer be the best region in the world would be laughable. But now as we wait for spring to come and the next season to begin, there can no longer be any question. After five years of unchallenged dominance, Korea is not alone at the top of the world anymore. 

Fanduel Accepts Sports Betting On eSports

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FanDuel Accepts First U.S. Wagers on Esports for League of Legends World Championship

FanDuel has become the first U.S. online sportsbook to offer betting on esports competitions. 

Esports betting is now available in every state where FanDuel operates its mobile sports betting app. That currently includes New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Indiana. 

The first esports event FanDuel accepted bets on was the League of Legends World Championship final in Paris on Sunday. Users were able to wager on who they thought would win the match. Funplus Phoenix defeated G2 Esports 3-0 in the contest. 

FanDuel’s inclusion of esports came almost immediately after the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement approved retail casinos to begin offering esports wagering in the Garden State. Gambling research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming projected in a 2016 report that $12.9 billion is expected to be wagered globally on esports by 2020.

In February, SportTechie interviewed Jeff Liboon, president of esports production company Estars Studios. He explained the integrity issues that betting has brought to the esports industry in the past, such as instances of match fixing and underage gambling.

“If you look at esports’ past in betting, there’s a checkered past,” Liboon said. “For us to really embrace a fully regulated betting market, the integrity of these operators and players has to be held at such a high level.”

Esports ETF creator

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Esports ETF creator breaks down the current state of the industry

It’s been a big year for esports.

Between record multimillion-dollar prize pools in Fortnite and Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2) as well as research firm Newzoo’s prediction that the industry will exceed $1 billion in revenue this year, the esports hype is well and alive.

And the creator of one esports ETF says the industries about to get even bigger and better.

Will Hershey, co-founder and CEO of Roundhill Investments, launched the Roundhill BITKRAFT Esports & Digital Entertainment ETF (NERD) in June to give investors a way to play the esports space, especially as it continues its global expansion. Esports has historically thrived in Asia, with China and South Korea as two big regions for the industry, but the North American market has exploded in recent years.

Now NERD may not have been the first esports ETF on the market – that honor goes to VanEck’s Video Gaming and Esports ETF (ESPO) -- but Hershey emphasizes that NERD seeks to give investors a more pure exposure to the esports market.

“What we’re trying to do [is] provide people that core exposure, and maybe not go outside the risk curve and look at things like Microsoft and Amazon that really aren’t getting you what we’re talking about,” he said on CNBC’s “ETF Edge.”

So while an ETF like ESPO offers exposure to a plethora of game publishers, NERD’s holdings feature the likes of media-related companies like Chinese streaming platform Douyu and hardware companies like Turtle Beach in addition to a handful of major game publishers. Over half of the 25 companies held in the ETF are from Asia including Tencent, whose ownership of major esports-related companies like Riot Games leads Hershey to describe it as “a mini gaming ETF” in and of itself.

And on the subject of Tencent, Hershey also points out that there could be one risk factor coming out of China.

“I think if you’re going to point out risk factors [for esports], I’d more look towards the regulatory environment we’ve seen in China,” he said. “We saw [regulation in 2017 and in 2018] where we actually had a ban on new games coming to market. That’s kind of one of those ancillary risks that we would point to.”

But Hershey also stresses the global nature of the NERD portfolio in mitigating possible headwinds. And despite past regulations in China, which is a major market for gaming, Hershey points out that the gaming industry is still growing at a rapid pace.

“For us, it always comes back to the data,” said Hershey. “You’re talking about a gaming industry that’s $150 billion this year, growing at about 10% per year. That’s larger than the music and movie industries combined.”

“I think it’s only a matter of time before those larger investors start catching wind of how big this industry is,” he added.

Since it launched on June 4, the NERD ETF is up over 1%.

Esports GFW

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Esports GFW (Goes For The Win) By Brewing Its Own Craft Beer

For what appears to be the first time, a brewery has teamed up with a professional esports entity to produce a beer designed to appeal to fans of both. (For those unfamiliar with esports, it’s basically the game of playing online video games or watching other people play online video games. Click here for a primer.) Levante Brewing, in the Philadelphia suburb of West Chester, has released a hazy IPA called “AFK” in conjunction with a global company called Team Secret that owns pro-esports teams and provides advertising opportunities, product sponsorship and player development almost as sophisticated as any major-league sport. (Think psychologists and nutritionists in addition to coaches and management for often young players who might spend up to eight hours a day competing in a city, state or country far from home.)

The beer debuted at the major International Dota 2 (gaming) Championships in Shanghai this past August and can now be bought in a limited number of places in China, Japan, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland and direct delivered to 24 other states. In gamer-speak, AFK means “away from keyboard,” a message to let fellow online players know one is taking a break from the screen.

“We wanted to know what types of beverages were gamers looking for,” says Levante co-founder, president and brewmaster Tim Floros. “Team Secret came to the brewery and honed in on a light New England IPA. They told us it’s definitely what their colleagues, players and supporters would want to drink.”

Lest the uninformed misidentify AFK as yet another cross-promotional gimmick, this partnership seems to have serious staying power. Not only are Levante brass close friends with Team Secret CEO and craft beer lover John Yao, who lives in Philadelphia, but the company owns seven top professional esports teams. And esports doesn’t look to be going anywhere but up anytime soon, especially in the Philly region.

In a business that the Newzoo gaming analytics firm predicts will generate $1.1 billion in revenue on the professional level alone this year, Comcast sports subsidiary Comcast Spectacor is spearheading a $50 million project to open the western hemisphere’s first arena built specifically to host and publicly showcase international esporting events to more than 3,500 fans in 2021. Unwilling to wait until opening day, the Philly-based telecommunications giant opened an esports lounge in the neighboring Wells Fargo Center, which it owns, in October. Not coincidentally, the Spectacor-owned Philadelphia 76ers basketball team became the first pro sports team in the country to buy an esports team, in 2016.

“Esports is such an international phenomenon,” says Floros.

International and brimming with potential to bring in a shocking amount of bling. Global destinations like The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas are building viewing lounges and exhibition arenas, and Yao says the Shanghai tournament, which boasted a $35 million prize pool, sold out in seconds. Plus, Mercedes-Benz owns a team, among other things, and Louis Vuitton has actually licensed its clothing designs to outfit fictional game characters.

“Esports fans on average have higher income than traditional sports brands,” Yao says. “Louis Vuitton and craft brewing resonate with that crowd.”

AFK shows potential to do pretty well itself. The duo says they can’t send enough of it to China and they’re fielding requests from as far away as Australia. The first quarter of 2020 should see AFK and other Levante brands in the European Union (and on shelves in the brewery’s next two domestic markets, New Jersey and New York).

Floros says Team Secret is teaching his own sales team how to enter and operate in foreign markets and supporting them by having players Tweet endorsements or rallying crowds to establishments that sell the beer.

That said, Yao insists, “We want to be very authentic. AFK is not just a marketing play. It stands on its own.”

In this case, Yao doesn’t have to work hard to defend his record. From 720 reviews on Beer Advocate and Untappd, it boasts a formidable 4.1 (out of five) average rating.

Explaining The Appeal And Growth Of eSports

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Explaining the appeal and continued growth of esports

Gravity Media Group sales manager Edward Dowdall, explains the growing appeal of esports

As we head fast towards the end of 2019, esports continues to expediently grow in momentum with more global events. Tier 1 sponsors and media attention is being drawn to what is ultimately simply a form of live entertainment.

Examples include the Washington Post launching a dedicated website for esports, and the hype and publicity around the Fortnite World Cup, held in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Furthermore, esports will make its debut in the South-East Asia Games later this month and will be a fully-fledged part of the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

So, just why are Gen Z and Millennials choosing this form of content? It helps that it’s usually free-of-charge via Twitch, Mixer, YouTube or Facebook; it’s available 24/7; and it is social, enabling you to engage with others using interactivity tools.

Ultimately, it is a form of escapism, with highly attractive prize funds, including the $1.12m that 15 year-old Essex-based Jaden Ashman famously won for playing Fortnite.

Our most recent esports project, delivering broadcast services for the Summoners War World Arena Championship 2019 in October, was held in a 1,500-seater arena and received 1.25m live views and 2m views within 24 hours across 15 languages. This is particularly impressive when you consider this was a mobile esports event, where competitive gaming took place on handheld devices.

School and higher-education courses are now providing genuine career pathways as the eco-system builds out and professionalises, enabling anything from coaching to lifestyle consultants and talent representation opportunities to develop.

Closer National Association or even governmental co-operation, clearer player and team guidelines and governance standards, as well as regulatory oversight and implementation will also aid the growth of esports.

UK Esports Partnership

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UK Esports Partnership Begins to Take Shape

NEW YORK (Nov. 12, 2019) — The University of Kentucky’s vision for developing an esports program is bigger than games and sport.

“The main motivation … is our belief, our fervent conviction, that games will really bring the entire world together … and it’s going to be led by the young people of our next generation,” said Chris Park, CEO of Gen.G sports, a global leader in esports. “Today is really a celebration of games. It’s a celebration of students.”

Park was referencing the first public event, held last week in New York, designed to showcase the recently announced partnership between UK and Gen.G, which manages esports teams around the globe from its offices in America and Asia.

Through the partnership, the idea is to create an innovative esports program — unlike any other in the country — that maximizes student success and the potential for career opportunities in what is now a global, multibillion-dollar industry. At the same time, UK officials, as part of a larger Smart Campus initiative, are looking for ways to use esports and other technologies to build a stronger and larger sense of community on campus.

In New York last week, the two partners held an event at Samsung 837, the company’s high-tech event space in the city’s Meatpacking District. The event featured a panel discussion, moderated by esports personality and UK alumna Erin Ashley Simon, in front of more than 200 people. Participants in the event also tried out some of the latest games and gaming hardware from Samsung.

Against a backdrop of a colorful blur of games playing on a theater style digital media board, the panel consisted of Christine Harper, UK’s associate provost for enrollment management, Park, and Wally Johnson, a UK civil engineering senior who is president of UK’s esports club.

While in New York, UK officials from Student and Academic LifeEnrollment Management and Information Technology Services also visited with startup companies at ERA, the city’s premier tech incubator and accelerator.

“We need to meet students where they are,” Harper said. “Who knows where the jobs of tomorrow are going to be?”

For example, Harper said UK is distinctively positioned to take advantage of an esports partnership in which a synergy can be created from the university’s more than 200 majors and an industry where jobs and careers are possible in areas such as computer science, business, media and marketing, among others. To that point, Simon cited the engagement of large media companies — like ESPN and The Washington Post — in esports.

“Events like today and this partnership can help create more opportunities for students to find avenues to get into,” Park said.

But panelists quickly noted that esports — and the partnership between UK and Gen.G — is not only about career development. Both UK and Gen.G want to explore how esports can help build community in all its dimensions — whether it helps create a sense of belonging or can contribute to wellness and well-being. Harper said one of the reasons, in fact, that UK ultimately chose Gen.G as a partner is their focus on wellness and well-being. Indeed, Park cited a recent partnership that Gen.G has implemented with LA Fitness that is about promoting and prioritizing fitness.

Within the next few weeks, UK officials are planning campus forums — and focus groups — with faculty, staff and students to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with esports. In spring 2020, UK is working with Gen.G to plan an academic conference to discuss the issues associated with the growing industry and its involvement with universities. The potential exists for academic research into expanding opportunities in esports, but also challenges such as equity and diversity, repetitive motion injury and other concerns.

UK officials also will be working with faculty leaders for the appropriate review and approvals as ideas for academic programs and certificates are created.

For more about the esports initiative in New York, you can view this video: https://youtu.be/FH_kmG3U51E.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

 

Team Vitality Adidas Collaboration

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Team Vitality unveils sneaker collaboration with Adidas

French organization Team Vitality has showcased its first collaboration with Adidas in the form of VIT.01, a pair of limited-edition sneakers.

The collaborative effort will be available for purchase at Team Vitality’s headquarters in Paris on November 9th.

This collaboration is joined by an announcement of a multi-year contract extension between Team Vitality and Adidas.

Fabien “Neo” Devide, Chairman of Team Vitality discussed the collaboration in a release: “We are very happy to be able to continue our collaboration with adidas, a brand with which we share the common values of innovation and competition. It confirms that esports is not just a simple passing fashion but a real social trend that lasts over time. This is a new and fundamental step in our development, one represented by the VIT.01 shoe which embodies perfectly Team Vitality on a day-to-day basis.”

Sylvain Bouches, Brand Manager for adidas added: “We are very proud to extend our partnership with Team Vitality. This step strengthens our position as an innovative and pioneering sports brand. Team Vitality is a quality partner, inspiring a whole generation stemming from the esports culture, a strong sector that we started to pre-empt more than two years ago.

“Offering the best of our products and technology to our athletes to help them make a difference in their game, regardless of their discipline, is a priority. We are pleased to make our collaboration durable to continue challenging the codes of the sports industry.”

Team Vitality received €14 million (£12 million) from Rewired.GG earlier this week, marking a total investment of €34 million (£29.3 million) from the esports venture fund. It also announced the opening of its 10,700 square foot facility in Paris, Vi.Hive.

Esports Insider says: Esports-related sneakers that actually look good? We’re shocked! Team Vitality has been doing a lot of things right for a long time now and this feels like another step in the right direction, especially with the extension of its deal with adidas.