ESforce has reached an agreement to sell 67% of its stake in German multigaming organisation SK Gaming to FC Köln and Daimler AG (Mercedes-Benz). The deal will see Mercedes-Benz appear on the front of SK Gaming’s jerseys whilst the German football club will have its #effzeh branding present on the sleeves.
ESforce acquired the stake in SK Gaming in September 2016, the team has recently stepped up its involvement in League of Legends as it became one of the new teams to join the franchised League of Legends European Championship (LEC). A move which undoubtedly made the organisation more attractive to investors. ESforce stated that this sale will allow them to focus on its other organisation Virtus.pro.
In a statement, ESforce said: “We are glad to have reached a deal with Daimler AG and FC Koeln. Such a major acquisition deal on the esports market is a showcase of not only our partners’ sincere motivation to contribute to the development of global esports but also SK Gaming’s remarkable performance throughout the years, which has made this brand one of the most well-recognized and beloved by esports fans around the world.
FC Köln has an existing partnership with SK Gaming which began in early 2018.
ESforce went on to add: “As the leading esports holding and one of the key market players worldwide, we strive to keep pace with the development of the global esports industry and act in accordance with all international regulations, among which the World Esports Association’s multiple team ownership rules. Together with other global esports organisations, we will continue to support and bolster esports as well as adhere to highest international standards.”
Mercedes-Benz is no strangers to esports, first entering in 2017 with ESL, a deal that the two parties extended in October 2018. They also signed an agreement with the Chinese League of Legends side Royal Never Give Up (RNG) and launched its own team in the F1 Esports Series.
Esports Insider says: The LEC is quickly becoming the battle of the car brands, Mercedes-Benz has decided to take it one step further by purchasing a stake in a team directly. Joking aside this deal is yet more great news for esports in 2019 and we’re not out of January yet. At this point, it’s safe to assume esports is being taken seriously by non-endemic brands.