ESL partners with U.S. Air Force for IEM, Pro League, AnyKey

Event organiser ESL has established a multi-faceted partnership with the U.S. Air Force.

The deal sees the U.S. Air Forces become an official partner of Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) in North America, Season 11 of the ESL Pro League, and AnyKey.

ESL IEM U.S. Air Force
Photo credit: ESL

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U.S. Air Force will host on-site activations and produce dedicated content for tournament broadcasts, starting with the ESL Pro League in March. It will also sponsor the ‘Air Force Tactical Timeout’ broadcast segment whenever a team calls a timeout in ESL Pro League or North American IEM events. The likes of ELEAGUE and Cloud9 have partnered with the U.S. Air Force in the past.

Paul Brewer, SVP Brand Partnerships for ESL, commented in a release: “We’re honored to welcome the U.S. Air Force as our first Official U.S. Armed Forces partner for ESL tournaments and leagues. We continue to partner with organizations who share ESL’s values and, as a supporter of AnyKey, we are especially excited to work with the U.S. Air Force to fight toxicity in gaming and to drive awareness of diversity and inclusion in esports.”

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U.S. Air Force will also be an official brand partner and supporter of ESL-founded AnyKey, an initiative that supports “diversity, inclusion, and equality” in esports. As part of the ‘Changemaker Program,’ the two parties will work together to recognise a member of the gaming community that has done well to raise awareness on issues hinged on diversity and inclusion.

Maj. Ross McKnight, Chief, Air Force National Events Branch at Air Force Recruiting Service, added: “The Air Force is excited to partner with ESL. This partnership provides the perfect platform to generate public awareness about the Air Force and the many opportunities we have to serve. The Air Force has a lot in common with gamers, especially the intellectual challenge that both provide. The Air Force and ESL also greatly value integrity—a core value for each of us. This partnership showcases the similarities such as teamwork, technology and respect. It can show how young Americans can turn their hobbies and interests in gaming into an Air Force career.”

Esports Insider says: The U.S. Armed Forces has slowly but surely increased in presence in esports over the past couple of years, working with many major brands and companies in the industry. You don’t get much bigger than ESL and IEM!

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