European esports organisation G2 Esports has partnered with Chinese esports organisation Invictus Gaming to launch a China-based Dota 2 team.
The joint-venture team will be named G2.iG and is slated to make its debut at the ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 major, which starts December 11th.
Invictus Gaming is a Chinese esports organisation operating in multiple esports titles, including League of Legends, Counter-Strike and PUBG, according to its website. It has also been involved in the Dota 2 scene stretching back years, having won The International in 2012. Invictus has struck sponsorships deals with the likes of Huya and Chevrolet.
The move sees G2 join the Dota 2 space for the first time. G2.IG now takes the number of esports titles G2 competes in to nine.
The partnership follows a series of moves from G2 to expand its operations worldwide, including a recent ‘strategic partnership’ with the ownership group behind Version1 to acquire a North American Call of Duty League franchise team.
Although G2 is based in Europe, this is not the first time the company has signed a team outside of its home continent as it expands worldwide. Six out of its nine teams are based outside of Europe and its recent strategic partnership with Version1 sees it expand to the US via the Call of Duty League slot, and the acquisition of Version1’s star Rocket League players.
This is also not the first time G2 has entered a partnership to expand its operations to Asia. G2’s team in Wild Rift, G2 Blacklist, is a Filipino joint-venture partnership team with Blacklist International.
According to a press release, the partnership with Invictus Gaming is supported by M88 Mansion, a large Asian betting platform. M88 Mansion will become the official betting partner of G2.IG as well as G2’s Counter Strike teams.
Chief Executive Officer of G2 Esports, Alban Dechelotte, spoke in the release about his excitement for the partnership: “China has continuously been a priority market for us and we’re happy to finally field a local team for our millions of Chinese fans to support. In addition to a new market, we’re also expanding into Dota 2 for the first time, which is a huge moment for us.”
“Both China and Dota have been at the forefront of our minds for a long time but until now, we haven’t found the right fit that would work in the long term. We know partnering with iG — who have a Worlds trophy and an Aegis — will enable us to build the best team and we can bring the G2 way to yet another region and a new esport. This really is the best time to be a G2 fan.”