T1 signs multi-year Red Bull deal, Microsoft acquires Smash.gg | ESI Digest #21

Each week, ESI Digest breaks down the weekly happenings in the esports industry, making sense of things so you don’t have to. As well as being housed on YouTube, ESI Digest is available on all major podcast platforms and is also available in written form below.

This week on the ESI Digest, we cover Microsoft’s acquisition of Smash.gg, Duracell’s partnership with Ellevens Esports, T1’s multi-year Red Bull deal, Panda Global’s rebranding, plus Ninjas in Pyjamas’ collaboration with Leeds United.

Red Bull announces multi-year T1 partnership

Energy drink brand Red Bull announced today that it has signed a long-term, multi-year partnership with T1 Entertainment & Sports, best known for its League of Legends team.

The alliance will cover all of T1’s competitive teams and players, including those in VALORANT, Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and more. T1 players and teams will have access to Red Bull’s performance training resources, including facilities in Austria and Santa Monica, California. 

Microsoft acquires esports tournament platform Smash.gg

Image credit: Smash.gg

Technology giant Microsoft has acquired self-service esports tournament platform Smash.gg for an undisclosed amount.

The news was shared officially on Smash.gg’s Twitter account after followers called out a banner on the platform’s homepage referencing its acquisition. Outside of a tweet from its MSN Esports social account, Microsoft has not made any public mention of the deal at the time of writing.

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Ellevens Esports charges up with Duracell sponsorship

Ellevens Esports, a U.K-based esports organisation co-owned by Tottenham Hotspur player footballer Gareth Bale and 38 Entertainment Group, has announced Duracell as its official team sponsor for the 2020/2021 season.

The partnership is part of a new Duracell campaign to increase their efforts to appeal to gamers through an exciting series of in-game and digital initiatives that launch this month.

Ninjas in Pyjamas teams up with Leeds United

NiP x Leeds

Swedish esports organisation Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) has partnered with Premier League football club Leeds United.

Exact terms of the agreement are yet to be disclosed. However, the partnership will concern FIFA esports and the annual ePremier League. According to NiP, more details on the partnership will be released soon. 

Panda Global rebrands with new logo and apparel line

Photo Credit: Panda Global

North American esports organisation Panda Global has rebranded with the reveal of a new logo and brand identity created by graphic design firm Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv (CGH).

Panda Global’s new branding has been implemented across the team’s social media platforms and websites, as well as the organisation’s other firms: PGstats, PGhardware, and PGhealth. 

The partnership marks CGH’s first foray into esports branding, with the firm recognised for collaborating with National Geographic, State Farm and the U.S Open, among others.

ESI Digest is part of ESI Network, a collection of podcasts encompassing the esports industry. For deep dives into the major areas of esports with subject matter experts, check out ESI Focus. For conversations with key personnel and major stakeholders in esports, ESI Insight is the series for you.