Riot Games has announced that German car manufacturing giant BMW is the Official Partner for this year’s EULCS Summer Finals.
The deal, which was announced on Twitter, sees Riot partnering with one of the best selling brands in the world for Europe’s biggest annual League of Legends event. The 2017 Finals will be held in Paris, and will see long-time European top dogs G2 face off against a Misfits lineup who have surprised many by upsetting both the Unicorns of Love and Fnatic in a series of dominating performances.
The much-anticipated final will take place on Saturday the 3rd of September, and will be preceded by Fnatic’s third place match against H2K. With both finalists having already qualified for the World Championships, and with Fnatic already set to take top seeding in the upcoming gauntlet for the third spot, the matches this weekend will have a focus on local pride – and the small matter of a $200,000 (£155,000) prize pool.
BMW’s sponsorship of the flagship event in the EULCS calendar is not the first time we’ve seen the automotive industry invest in esports. Just last week, ESL announced a gargantuan partnership with Mercedes-Benz, which will see them sponsor tournaments ‘across several global markets’. The fellow German-based company’s Vice President of Marketing, Dr. Jens Thiemer, said that they had been keeping track of esports’ burgeoning growth for some time. “This new involvement will complement our existing sports sponsoring activities with an eye on the future,” he said, “and allow us to make contact with a very interesting, new target group.”
In January this year, we also saw the car industry partner with esports on a team level, with Audi’s sponsorship of Astralis. That deal may have been worth around €700,000 (£605,000), according to Dot Esports.
Esports Insider says: Non-endemic partnerships seem as common as any in the current esports climate. Brands are finally sitting up and taking notice of the elusive (and lucrative) demographic which esports opens up. That is good news for everyone involved with the industry, and for Riot, this deal is also a show of strength.