eSports and competitive gaming are growing in popularity and gaining viewership each month. The current value of the eSports market is approximately $900 million, a figure that should continue to rise throughout the year.
Consider that the prize pools for the most popular eSports games (League of Legends, Dota 2, Call of Duty) get richer with each passing year. The International 2017, the world championships for Dota 2, broke the record for the largest prize pool in eSports history at $24,787,916. But more impressive is that every International since 2014 has accomplished that feat.
And as with any successful industry, a greater valuation means more money will follow. For competitive gaming, that has taken shape in the form of eSports sponsors and gaming sponsorships. These eSports sponsorship deals are helping push international competitions from a niche segment to full-fledged sporting events.
Below, we’ve compiled an eSports sponsors list that highlights some of the major companies that are attaching their names and dollars to competitive gaming.
Intel: Has sponsored Intel Extreme Masters along with ESL (Electronic Sports League) since 2006. This is the longest-running eSports tournament in existence.
Coca-Cola: The soda giant sponsors the League of Legends World Championship, one the largest eSports competitions on earth. But to take it a step further, Coca-Cola and Riot Games partnered with some cinemas to host more than 200 simultaneous viewing parties for the 2016 League of Legends World Championships throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
Comcast Xfinity: The cable and internet provider sponsors both ESL and the eSports team Evil Geniuses, which competes at the highest levels in Dota 2, League of Legends, and more.
Red Bull: Energy drinks such as Red Bull are major proponents of eSports. The company began by sponsoring tournaments for Blizzard’s StarCraft 2 and then branched out into Dota 2. Red Bull sponsors competitions and teams, such as Tempo Storm.
Mountain Dew: The soft drink company sponsors several eSports teams, including Team Dignitas, Splyce, and Team SK Gaming. It also started the Mountain Dew League, which helps amateur teams try to make it to the pros.
T-Mobile: The wireless carrier sponsored eSports organizations TSM and Cloud9 starting in August 2017. T-Mobile also sponsored Twitch’s E3 fighting game tournament “Twitch Esports Arena” in June 2017 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Mobil 1: The synthetic motor oil brand sponsors the Rocket League Championship Series. It’s a natural fit, as Rocket League is a game in which two teams of three remote-controlled cars play soccer.
Audi: The German automaker began sponsoring Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Astralis in January 2017.
Airbus: The aeronautics company announced a sponsorship with eSports team Out of the Blue in October 2017.
More to Learn
As the eSports market grows, more sponsors and investors will flow into the industry, which will create a booming opportunity for all the players involved. To see how it all fits together, BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together a comprehensive guide on the future of professional gaming called The eSports Ecosystem.
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