American eyewear company Oakley has announced a partnership with three prominent figures in the Asian esports scene: Edward Gaming’s League of Legends player Tian ‘Meiko’ Ye and Arena of Valor competitor Yuan ‘NingZhi’ Jun, as well as LPL caster Guan Zeyuan.
The partnership, which was made possible by sports and esports marketing company SPORTFIVE, sees Oakley support the trio by featuring them in commercials and other activations. In addition, the players and caster will endorse Oakley’s line of eyewear.
This is not the first esports collaboration for Oakley. Moreover, it’s the second time the brand has focused on a partnership with individual players and influencers, instead of a brand or an organisation.
Oakley enlisted Call of Duty player Seth ‘Scump’ Abner as its first endorsed esports athlete in 2021. However, this is the first time that the company is focusing on Asia by endorsing prominent figures in the local esports scene.
The most known of the three new Oakley athletes is Edward Gaming player Tian ‘Meiko’ Ye. Ye plays the ‘support’ role for Edward Gaming and was part of the lineup that won the League of Legends World Championship in 2021. Ye is also the first player to reach 800 games in the LPL, and is one of the most successful Chinese League of Legends players, having won the LPL, MSI, Rift Rivals and Worlds.
Ye is joined by Yuan ‘NingZhi’ Jun, an Arena of Valor (Honor of Kings) player who also plays for Edward Gaming. Jun joined Edward Gaming in 2019 and is yet to win a tournament with the organisation. Jun has won the King Pro League, a Chinese Honor of Kings league, two times.
LPL caster Guan Zeyuan, one of the most-known Chinese League of Legends casters, rounds up the trio of new Oakley ambassadors. Zeyuan is a member of the LPL Hall of Fame and was named the Most Popular Commentator in the LPL in 2022.
Felipe Formiga, Head of Esports and Gaming Partnerships at Oakley commented on the partnership: “At Oakley, we are passionate about powering the field of play in esports and because of that, we continue to increase our commitment to the global Esports and Gaming community, this time expanding to the APAC region and Chinese market.
“Through an extraordinary Oakley and SPORTFIVE collaboration, we have established our most recent partnerships with a talented next generation of athletes as EDG players Tian ‘Meiko’ Ye, Yuan ‘NingZhi’ Jun, and the well-known creator Guan Zeyuan. We are looking forward to seeing what we will accomplish together in 2023 and beyond.”