The best esports advertising campaigns of 2023

29 December 2023

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G2 Esports and Ralph Lauren
Image credit: G2 Esports

As we head into a new year, Esports Insider has once again compiled the industry’s most creative esports advertising campaigns.

Following the lists for 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, this year was full of outstanding marketing projects, highlighting the impact of well-designed collaborations and one-of-a-kind product launches.

In no particular order, Esports Insider presents the best esports advertising campaigns of 2023.

ESI Next Gen 2024 Oxford

Lofi Girl x Chess Champions Tour

For its 2023 Finals, Chess Champions Tour partnered with YouTube channel and music Lofi Girl Records to create a 20-track playlist. Titled ‘chill beats to play chess to’, the playlist features ‘chess inspired’ original lofi tracks.

Lofi Girl’s YouTube channel of 13.7m subscribers is best known for its long-running 24/7 lofi music streams. The collaboration with Chess Champions Tour is an effective way to tap into the younger chess audience, who listen to lofi music alongside their work, studies, and – of course – their chess practice. What also makes this campaign so unique is its longevity, with lofi-enthusiasts and chess fans alike having a playlist they can listen to whenever.  

Sentinels x ADVANCED: Hopium energy drink

While collaborations between esports organisations and energy drink brands are nothing new, Sentinels and ADVANCED succeeded at adding a unique flavour to the mix: hopium. The term is used in gaming and esports communities to describe hope for good results despite the odds. Hopium was popularised by the likes of Riot Games in the past and is a common term in Sentinels’ social media posts.

The new energy drink launched alongside a video announcement, which depicts Sentinels players and personnel as scientists in a laboratory developing the formula for hopium.

Guild Esports x Sky: No Room For Abuse

Guild Esports’ and Sky’s initiative to raise awareness for the abuse women face in gaming is centred around the video ‘What it’s REALLY like to be a woman in gaming’ on Sky’s YouTube channel. Garnering over 586,000 views as of now, the short film shows the unfiltered reactions of male gaming content creators as they experience comments of harassment and abuse commonly heard by women while engaging in the gaming space.

Despite the runtime of less than two minutes, the video has an immediate and lasting impact on the viewer. The setting and execution of the campaign clearly communicate its message, reaching all sides of the conversation.

Ballantine’s: Dota 2-themed bottles

Spirit and beer brands have been the latest brands to increase their involvement in gaming and esports. Scotch whiskey company Ballantine’s teamed up with several esports stakeholders, including Tundra Esports and BLAST. However, perhaps most notably, the brand contributed to Dota 2’s 10th anniversary celebration with two limited-edition bottles.

The bottles capture the spirit of the legendary esports title with two contrasting designs featuring various Dota 2 characters. The launch was accompanied by a short film showing iconic Dota 2 characters celebrating the anniversary. Perhaps the most interesting fact about this campaign is that it was only exclusive to Chinese audiences. Still, this could be a sign that Valve is testing the waters with these types of collaborations.  

TSM x Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Tapping into the overlapping audience of esports and anime continues to produce compelling opportunities for fans. While 100 Thieves’ collaboration with Attack on Titan stood out last year, 2023 was all about TSM and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Airing from 2009 to 2010, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood remains one of the highest-rated animes of all time on popular endemic website MyAnimeList. The merchandise drop excels at staying true to the style of the anime, including the iconic ‘It’s a terrible day for rain’ saying, while also weaving in TSM’s branding. Alongside the merchandise, the video itself also excels in fusing both well-known brands. 

Gucci x ESL FACEIT Group: Good Game Legends documentary

The Good Game Legends documentary is yet another impactful contribution to the esports landscape from Gucci and ESL FACEIT Group. After launching the Gucci Academy last year, the two have joined forces again to give fans an authentic look behind the scenes of the industry.

The three chapters of the documentary series follow esports host Jorien ‘Sheever’ van der Hejiden, CS:GO star Mathieu ‘Zywoo’ Herbaut, and Team Liquid Brand Ambassador Aerial Powers through their personal struggles and achievements within esports.

G2 Esports x Ralph Lauren

G2 Esports and Ralph Lauren are another duo with a history of successful collaborations. In 2021, the luxury fashion brand became the exclusive fashion outfitter of G2, prominently featuring former G2 League of Legends player Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson.

This year, the pair returned with a joint apparel collection focused on the newly designed POLO x G2 crest. The launch of the collection was accompanied by a beautifully produced animated video showing various G2 talent in the new designs.

FaZe Clan x SteelSeries

Peripheral brands have been involved in esports since the beginning, largely sponsoring events, organisations and creators. Still, these companies continue making waves in the space with innovative projects. Last year’s collaboration between VALORANT pro player TenZ and Finalmouse sold out within hours of launching. 

Similarly, FaZe Clan and Steelseries attracted lots of attention with their joint peripheral release this year. The duo delivered on the main products, but their announcement video on FaZe’s X (formerly Twitter) page stole the show. In the playful clip, a mousepad flies into frame like a bird, followed by other peripherals hatching out of bird eggs. This unique introduction certainly left an impression among fans. 

Lea Maas
Lea is a business student with too many passions and too little time. In addition to missing her shots in Valorant, she spends her free time advocating for mental health awareness and fostering inclusive esports communities.