Tony Fernandes, the CEO of AirAsia Group, has taken to social media to reveal that he has bought a majority share in Team Saiyan, a Malaysian mobile esports organisation.
It’s reported that the organisation will be re-branded and renamed as AirAsia Saiyan.
Fernandes tweeted that he was doing some “cool stuff” when he announced the news, explaining that he’s “starting to invest in esports”. He went on to describe esports as the “sport of the digital generation.”
Team Saiyan competes in Mobile Legends, a mobile MOBA developed by Moonton, and currently takes part in the Mobile Legends Pro League – which is sponsored by Honor, GoPro, and hardware company Armageddon. In July 2017, League of Legends developer Riot Games filed a lawsuit against the title as it believed that the game took several trademarks from the game. Moonton later took to social media to dispel the alleged infringement.
AirAsia was founded in 2001 by Fernandes, with the goal of a being a popular low-cost airline. In 2017, the company reported a healthy profit of $408m (£290,863,200). Fernandes, through the holding company Tune Group, is a majority shareholder in Queens Parker Rangers FC. Not only that, AirAsia sponsored Manchester United FC from 2009 to 2013. It’s clear that he’s experienced in traditional sports, and wants to get more involved with esports, too.
The AirAsia Allstars Esports Club, an initiative that sees the company’s employees educated in esports, was launched in 2017. The club even competes against other teams formed in the corporate world. At the top of 2018, the airline announced its sponsorship of Dota 2’s Team Mineski.
Esports Insider says: AirAsia is doing interesting things in both esports and traditional sports, but it’s encouraging to see it further delve into the former. Rebranding Team Saiyan seems like a sensible move, and we look forward to seeing what the company does next in the scene.