This week in esports: NA LCS, Pringles and HyperX

It’s been a decidedly manic week in the world of esports this week, with the results of the North American League of Legends Championship Series franchising decision coming through in drips. It’s been somewhat of a hard week for those endemic to the esports industry, with some large NBA franchises being opted for by game developer Riot Games over traditional brands, notably Immortals, that have significant fan bases already in the game and region. Away from League of Legends, and Pringles has signed a deal with ESL One Hamburg and HyperX has become the official headset partner of NBA team the 76ers.

NA LCS teams revealed with no shortage of drama

Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_PapaBear'>PapaBear / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
View of the Quicken Loans Arena, home to the Cleveland Cavaliers

This week has seen a plethora of reports come through revealing the teams accepted into Riot’s newly franchised North American League of Legends Championship Series (“NA LCS”). Reports from the likes of ESPN and theScore esports have provided the basis for the news across the last seven days. 

The most recent was the news that the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and Flyquest have secured slots. The two successful applications will see the Cavaliers enter the League of Legends scene for the first time, whilst FlyQuest return to the North American League of Legends Championship Series after one season of competition. Meanwhile, G2 Esports seemingly failed in their bid to secure a transatlantic move, according to ESPN. The news follows previous reports claiming G2 were the only team out of four applicants from the EU LCS to make it to the second phase of applications.

The Cavaliers’ success means they will be required by NBA guidelines to create a new brand for the upcoming season. The team has reportedly hired former Call of Duty pro Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag to head operations of the esports division, which may mean that the team adopts his ‘100 Thieves’ brand. Matthew founded 100 Thieves in April last year to compete in the Call of Duty World League. The Cavaliers are apparently on the look out for League of Legends staff, with the transfer period opening on the 21st of November.

The latest list of teams is as follows: 

IN:

  1. Team SoloMid
  2. Cloud9
  3. Counter Logic Gaming
  4. Team Liquid
  5. OpTic Gaming
  6. Joe Lacob, majority stake owner of the NBA team Golden State Warriors
  7. Echo Fox
  8. Cleveland Cavaliers
  9. FlyQuest

OUT:

  1. Team Dignitas
  2. Team EnVyUs
  3. Pheonix1
  4. Immortals

Each successful team will have to pay a $10 million (£7.61m) buy-in fee, with half of that up-front and the rest in delayed installments. Existing teams who are denied entry will be receive compensation from a pool of funding provided by new teams entering the league, who will have to supply an addition $3m (£2.77m) each. With all original NA LCS teams’ fates apparently decided, there will be one more as-yet unannounced franchise to enter and complete the ten-team league in 2018.

Read the full article here.

Pringles join Mercedes Benz as non-endemic partners of ESL One Hamburg

Pringles, the famous crisp brand owned by Kellogg’s, has made a significant move in esports with a partnership with ESL ahead of ESL One Hamburg next week.

The partnership will see Pringles work together with ESL at the first Dota 2 major of the new season which takes place at the Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, next week. The prize pool for the tournament is $1,000,000 and will see eight of the worlds best Dota teams battle it out for money and coveted “qualifying points” to eventually be redeemed towards an invite to The International.

The partnership will see Pringles have a significant presence at ESL One Hamburg, featuring “several activiations”. As outlined by Dominik Schafhaupt, Senior Brand Manager Snacks Northern Europe: “In Hamburg, esports fans can look forward to several activiations, including an interactive area and we are excited to meet the community face to face – and in action”. 

The deal has been facilitated by agency Jung von Matt/SPORTS, who support Pringles and have already helped leverage several deals between non-endemic brands and those involved within esports.

Read the full article here.

HyperX become first official headset partner of the Philadelphia 76ers

HyperX has today announced its first NBA team sponsorship with the news that the company is now the official headset partner of the Philadelphia 76ers. 

HyperX is already heavily involved in the world of esports, and twinned with this announcement is news that its sponsorship of Team Dignitas has been renewed. Dignitas were acquired by the 76ers back in September 2016 making this combined announcement no great surprise. Team Dignitas now operates under the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment venture, which includes the New Jersey Devils of the NHL and Prudential Center.

HyperX is a division of Kingston Technology Company, and produces a wide range of headsets, keyboards, mice and more for gamers. The news of its extension into the NBA is particularly cool, and we can expect plenty of in-game activations during the 2017-2018 NBA season. This will reportedly include courtside and in-arena LED ring signage and branding, exposure on the scoreboards, concourse activations and HyperX giveaway nights.

It was also confirmed that both the 76ers and Team Dignitas will work with HyperX to ‘create co-branded video content, including crossover team activities and featured video vignettes, along with banner advertisements’ on the team websites. 

Read the full article here.