The popularity of eSports is growing at quite an unexpected rate. What was seen as just a dream a couple of years ago is now a reality. World championships for numerous games draw in huge viewership, similar to what is seen with professional sports. This is why it should not be a surprise to see the latest huge news that appeared in the League Of Legends eSports scene.
As reported on https://www.esports.net/, Mastercard just signed a deal with Riot Games, the game developer behind the League Of Legends game, arguably the most popular of all eSports games at the moment. The deal was mainly focused on creating what was labeled as being “priceless experiences” at 3 of the major annual eSports events where LOL is played: Mid-Season Invitational, the World Championship and the All-Star Event. At the same time, online gameplay is going to be targeted by the partnership.
Mastercard chief marketing and communications officer, Raja Rajamannar, declared:
“Esports is a phenomenon that continues to grow in popularity, with fans that can rival those at any major sporting event in their enthusiasm and energy… We are excited about the experiences and benefits we can bring to the world’s largest esport.”
Through a Mastercard card people can actually buy new experiences for the League Of Legends 2018 World Championship, which will be held in South Korea in October. This does include testing PCs players are going to use, watching from special VIP areas and going on behind the scenes LOL tours. APAC Mastercard holders are going to get a chance to win South Korea tournament tickets. Some future global promotions are expected to be announced later during the year.
The deal with Mastercard is not the first one that involves a large, recognized international brand. Riot Games partnered with MTV in order to organize an eSports/music even in Singapore. Also, Gillette partnered with the game for an earlier event. Gillette even sponsored some of the League Of Legends players and nationally known teams.
Riot Games head of eSports partnerships, Naz Aletaha, declared that the team is thrilled to be able to team up with Mastercard on a partnership that is going to be “groundbreaking”.
What is quite interesting with this partnership is that we now know that Mastercard is just one of the many world-renowned brands that are getting actively involved in the eSports scene. League of Legends, as the game that draws in the largest viewership at the moment, both at live events and online, is becoming a pioneer in development. Practically, what Riot Games is doing right now is going to set the standard of what is going to happen in the following couple of years in the eSports scene.
In the event that the partnership with Mastercard is successful, which it most likely going to be, more global brands are surely going to be involved in eSports. We already saw big online platforms that are being sponsored by large corporations but nothing that can be compared to the size of Mastercard.
As a result of the partnership, Riot Games already announced the first promotion. Players that would buy League Of Legends in-game currency (Riot Points, RP for short) with Mastercard are going to be entered into a sweepstakes that will give them the possibility to receive VIP tickets to the upcoming League Of Legends All-Star Event, which features the most popular professional League Of Legends gamers voted by fans competing against each other. Details about other promotions and how Mastercard is going to be involved in the October LOL World Championship will be released in the following weeks.