London-headquartered eSports organisation Fnatic have announced a new partnership with Asian betting and poker site Dafabet.
The deal, which sees Dafabet become headline sponsor for all of Fnatic’s eSports teams, also provides content and promotion of the gambling site’s upcoming editorial portal for eSports.
Dafabet currently sponsors several Premier League football teams in the UK for the 2015/16 season, including Aston Villa, Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers, so have previous understanding of sports sponsorship deals.
Fnatic’s teams, all top flight squads in their respective eSports with their LoL and CS:GO teams performing consistently well throughout this year, are in constant limelight and well-positioned for sponsorship.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the Dafabet logo on the shirts of some of the world’s best eSports players as they play live in front of thousands or millions of fans,” said Dafabet’s Head of Sports Marketing John Cruces. “The global scale of eSports and the rate at which it’s growing is remarkable, we’re incredibly to be excited to be partnering with one of eSports’ founding teams”.
More than 27m viewers saw the CS:GO team triumph at ESL One Cologne in the same weekend the LoL team took first place in the WCS Summer Split, with a combined concurrent viewership of 2m between the two finals.
The ‘educational and entertaining’ content Dafabet intends to produce with the help of Fnatic’s editorial team will focus on creating ‘a community for sports enthusiasts to discover and learn more about the world of eSports.’
“Dafabet is passionate about the growth of the eSports industry and by partnering with Fnatic, one of the industry’s leaders, we intend to strongly influence its expansion,” said Head of eSports at Dafabet Jason Hutcheson. “The innovation within the industry is impressive and we’re proud to be the first online betting provider to sponsor an eSports team.”
The news comes a week after Daily Fantasy Sports monoliths DraftKings and FanDuel announced their arrival into eSports, with FanDuel acquiring current eSports fantasy leader AlphaDraft.
It also comes just two weeks after the ESEA ruled against popular cosmetic item betting site CSGOLounge owning a team, as it conflicted with Valve’s conditions regarding potential compromises of match integrity.