Each month, Esports Insider recaps the biggest esports sponsorships and partnerships from the month prior. Below is our list of the biggest partnerships from May 2023.
Last month saw several major big-name sponsorships from brands including Mercedes-Benz, Subway, Volvic, Heineken, Jägermeister as well as several other esports partnerships with Microsoft, Sky and others.
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South Korean esports organisation T1 announced a partnership with the South Korean branch of the global car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz until at least 2025. Mercedes’ branding will be featured on the jerseys of the T1’s League of Legends team. In addition, the two companies will host giveaways and other activations.
This partnership is the first time Mercedes is partnering with a South Korean esports brand, but the car brand is one of the main partners of the LCK, the top-flight Korean League of Legends league.
European esports organisation G2 Esports announced a partnership with alcohol brand Jägermeister. The two parties will collaborate on a range of activations, including an event that took place in London during the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitiational (MSI) in London in May. G2 Esports and Jägermeister will also join forces to create a range of limited-edition apparel to go on sale on its website.
Jägermeister is no stranger to the esports and gaming industries. In July 2019, the brand partnered with the UK Esports Awards as its cocktail partner and in 2021, it joined forces with YouTuber ‘Bitwit‘ to create a themed gaming PC.
North American esports organisation 100 Thieves announced a partnership with sandwich chain Subway. Subway will become the Official Sandwich of the LA-based organisation and the marquee sponsor its LCS League of Legends team, alongside other team jersey logo placements.
The two parties will collaborate to overhaul the team’s California training facility ahead of the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) Summer Split, which commences on June 1st. The LCS is the top-flight League of Legends league in the US and Canada.
North American esports organisation 100 Thieves extended its existing partnership with international beer brand Heineken. Through the deal Heineken will continue supporting 100 Thieves across a number of projects to highlight and elevate ‘socialising in and around gaming’.
In addition to supporting 100 Thieves’ The Courage and Nadeshot Show, Heineken branding will feature inside the organisation’s Los Angeles-based facility. The creation of a themed bar will act as the location for future events as well as ‘lifestyle-related programming’. As the Official Beer Partner of 100 Thieves, the Heineken Silver brand will feature across future activations and programming.
German esports organisation BIG extended its partnership with bottled water brand Volvic until 2024. The two-year deal will see Volvic continue to support the organisation’s League of Legends and Trackmania rosters as well as expand into BIG’s CS:GO division. BIG first signed Volvic as a sponsor in 2020.
Notably, the partnership includes supporting the organisation’s female and non-binary League of Legends talent project, BIG Chroma, and , and its women’s Counter-Strike team BIG EQUIPA. BIG’s CS:GO talent development project BIG OMEN Academy will also be supported by Volvic.
Indian esports and gaming company Skyesports announced a partnership with hardware brand AMD and technology corporation Microsoft. As a result, AMD and Microsoft’s Windows 11 brand will sponsor the Skyesports Masters CS:GO tournament.
Skyesports is no stranger to collaborating with Microsoft. In February 2023, the two parties joined forces to co-launch the third season of the Windows 11 Skyesports Grand Slam, a multi-title event that took place as part of the government-led India Gaming Show.
Esports tournament organiser and production company BLAST partnered with cinema chain Cineworld. As a result of the deal, the final of the BLAST.tv Paris Major was shown in cinemas located across eight countries.
Cinemas in the UK, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Israel, Bulgaria and Ireland broadcast the final match of the CS:GO’s final Major on May 21st. The partnership marks Cineworld’s second foray into the esports market. In November 2022, the cinema chain showed the final of the Rio Major at its O2 Greenwich venue in London.
BLAST additionally partnered with TikTok to also broadcast the Major on the short-form video platform for the first time.
North American esports organisation Evil Geniuses partnered with cryptocurrency betting platform Thunderpick. The partnership will see Thunderpick become the Marquee Partner for all of EG’s CS:GO teams: EG Blue, EG Black and EG Gold. Thunderpick will also become the official crypto casino and gambling partner of Evil Geniuses.
Only Evil Geniuses’ CS:GO teams are included in the partnership, with EG’s academy roster EG Black joined by women’s team EG Gold and the main roster called EG Blue. Thunderpick noted that the partnership is also a reflection of the company’s commitment to supporting women in gaming.
The partnership drew some criticism over the fact Thunderpick is unregulated in the US, Evil Geniuses’ primary market.
Berlin-based esports organisation G2 Esports partnered with CS:GO skin gambling and trading site CSGORoll, announcing the partnership via a promotional video that has sparked controversy.
An advert for the partnership, called ‘We’re All In‘, features G2’s newly 18-year old CS:GO star Ilya ‘M0nESY’ Osipov walking round a stylised casino. The video shows graphical depictions of the CSGORoll interface as well as traditional backgammon cards in a casino setting.
The partnership drew criticism over the fact it promoted unregulated grey-market skin gambling, and for M0nESY’s young age.
American restaurant chain Chipotle has announced several new moves in the esports and gaming fighting game community (FGC) ecosystem. This is headlined by a partnership with game developer Capcom for the new Street Fighter 6 game.
The brand will act as a launch partner of Street Fighter 6 and be a presenting sponsor of the Evolution Championship Series (Evo). The brand also announced a new edition of its Chipotle Challenger Series.
Indian esports organisation Orangutan Esports has named sportswear brand PUMA as its Official Kit Partner. As a result, Orangutan Esports will wear a jersey and merchandise range created exclusively by the Indian branch of PUMA.
n recent months, Orangutan Esports has expanded its partnership portfolio. In addition to PUMA, it secured a deal with Indian real estate company Raiaskaran to collaborate on social media campaigns and in-person events for fans. The deal isn’t the first for PUMA in the Indian market. The brand partnered with Revenant Esports in October 2022 in a bid to promote it to younger audiences in the region.
British esports organisation Tundra Esports and PSG Esports, the esports division of French football goliath Paris Saint-Germain, have announced a major partnership that will see the creation of a new Rocket League team. Named PSG Tundra, the new team aims to ‘break into the global elite’ by creating a Rocket League division that is capable of winning competitions, according to the press release.
The new team becomes PSG Esports’ latest team venture with another esports organisation. Alongside its collaboration with Tundra for Rocket League, PSG partners with LGD in Dota 2 (PSG.LGD), works with Fortnite organisation Team New Age (PSG.TNA) and notably holds a League of Legends roster with Talon Esports (PSG Talon). The latter deal with PSG Talon was recently renewed for a further three years earlier this month.