This week in Esports: Gillette partner with EDward Gaming, ESL reveal Facebook plans and ESforce busy

It’s been another busy week in esports news as non-endemics have continued to plough into the space at an astonishing rate. This time, however, it’s non-endemics that have already entered esports simply expanding. The biggest news comes arguably from Gillette as Chinese League of Legends team EDward Gaming join the likes of the New England Patriots and FC Barcelona as Gillette partnered teams. Elsewhere, ESL has revealed comprehensive plans for Facebook live streaming and ESforce has revealed a partnership with PepsiCo. 

Gillette and EDward Gaming enter partnership

Gillette has revealed the brand’s first ever global esports team partner, EDward Gaming (“EDG”). EDward Gaming remains one of the top Chinese League of Legends teams in the world.

It’s not the brand’s first foray into esports. Enrique “xPeke” Cedeno is already an ambassador for the brand and earlier this year Gillette partnered with ESL, sponsoring the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) World Championship. Gillette were on site throughout Katowice handing out free products. The move to partner with EDG shows an expanded commitment to the esports industry.

John Mang, Vice President, Global Gillette commented: “The commitment to precision and performance under pressure displayed by professional League of Legends teams was inspiring to us and ultimately led us to partner with Gillette’s first esports team EDG, the top team in China and one that’s posed to break out on the global stage in 2017.”

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ESL reveal comprehensive Facebook plans

ESL has revealed that all IEM and ESL One events will be broadcast in up to six different languages on ESL Facebook pages. Furthermore, it will show multiple National Championships and online leagues. It also revealed that exclusive backstage content from ESL’s stadium events will go on Facebook Live where fans have the chance to interact directly with their favourite players and casters through AMAs. It comes as a big move to increase their content on the world’s largest community network as ESL aims to expand its reach and permeate a mainstream audience. 

There will be a completely new and exclusive weekly stream focused on ESEA Rank S, in which viewers can follow the highest level of EU and NA ladder play in a show that mixes commentary with team audio. In addition to the 30 hours of weekly Rank S streaming, there will be a weekly half an hour show hosted by Mark “Boq” Wilson focused on Rank S and current occurrences in ESEA and CS:GO in general. It’s important to note that although the content is increasing, all of the IEM and ESL big events are non-exclusive so will continue to be broadcast elsewhere.

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ESforce and PepsiCo join forces

ESforce has announced a partnership with PepsiCo which will specifically see energy drink brand Adrenaline Rush become a partner with one of ESforce’s teams, Virtus.pro. 

There’s not a huge amount of information regarding the deal, yet the Adrenaline Rush deal is seen as part of a “global cooperation” and is labelled the “first project” thus implying that the PepsiCo partnership has wider implications and possibilities. 

It’s not the first time Adrenaline Rush has been in and around esports, however. Adrenaline Rush was the title sponsor of the “Adrenaline Cyber League”, a tournament in which 16 CIS/Russian teams were invited to qualify, and two teams were directly invited to the four team LAN finals. FlipSid3 Tactics and Tengri were joined by qualifiers Gambit Gaming and Team Spirit, with Gambit taking home first place and $50,000 (£38,400), half of the total $100,000 (£76,800) prize pool.

It will be interesting to see how this partnership develops.

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