With how steady eSports has been growing in recent years, it’s not an exaggeration when people say that it’s gonna have a bright future. eSports has turned into a billion dollar industry with plenty of events taking place each year. Some of them are major tournaments with enormous prize pools.
We live in a digital age, so to have an assumption that eSports is only getting bigger isn’t completely wrong.
After all, many people like playing video games and what makes it more entertaining is the competition. And in this case, eSports has become a medium for people to release their innate desire to compete with one another.
Competitive gaming should no longer be overlooked as an inferior to traditional sports. While it may not involve a lot of physical movement, eSports is still about competition.
An eSports tournament has participants who try to come out on top and claim victory. In this sense, both types of sports are quite similar.
In eSports, you can also find brackets to show all the teams advancing towards the final and win the prize money.
Now that it has become an established industry, investors see it as profitable business, so they don’t mind pouring millions into it.
So, who are the top eSports sponsors? Let’s find out below.
- Some of The Biggest eSports Sponsors in 2021 (likely to be so in 2022)
- Top eSports Sponsors FAQs
- Best Competitive Gaming Sponsorships – Wrap Up
Some of The Biggest eSports Sponsors in 2021 (likely to be so in 2022)
1. Mountain Dew
There have been reports about the PepsiCo brand wanting to take part in eSports. The company is expected to spend 40% of its marketing budget on the gaming industry. Mountain Dew, a carbonated drink brand by pespico, isn’t shy when it comes to its marketing.
In 2018, for example, it spent around $119.5 million on advertising, specifically paid media. And that was an increase over the budget spent in the previous year. Despite the rumors, the company didn’t specify the exact amount that will be poured into the industry.
40% still a massive figure, which also marked an increase over last year’s budget. It’s aiming for partnerships with a range of eSports organizations, such as counter Logic Gaming and Team Optic. It also wants to partner with a couple of teams. All these sponsorships should effectively increase brand visibility among eSports parts.
Additionally, the company also has a plan to produce a new drink flavor that would appeal to gamers. Experts suggest that this effort done by Mountain Dew is unique for its category. It wants to be there first and do it in a big way, so that it can get noticed by everyone involved in the industry.
T-Mobile announced last year that it had renewed sponsorship of the Overwatch League. It seems that the company didn’t want to miss the big opportunity to expand its brand recognition. Other major brands like Coca Cola and Intel also took part in supporting the league.
Coca Cola was named the official beverage brand, while Intel was the computer brand. Given how fast the industry is evolving, it makes sense that everyone wants to be part of the development. eSports is already huge with more than 450 people seeing different matches worldwide last year.
This amazing figure is expected to see an uptick in the upcoming years and may hit the 600 million mark by 2022. This is a great opportunity for brands to increase their visibility. If you see a lot of large companies getting onboard, it’s not really a surprise.
The timing is perfect right now because eSports has yet to reach the saturation level. Many people are still crazy about all these games, like Dota 2, Fortnite, PUBG, and more.
Earlier this year Riot Games announced that Audi would take part at the Belgian league as a sponsor along with Omen by HP. The automobile company was said to offer sponsorship for the first season of the league. The partnership was quite unexpected because it was made public only one week before the competition started.
Meanwhile, the Belgian League had been announced in November last year to coincide with the Dutch League. Both events were conducted as part of the company’s ERLs, which had a purpose to build a good ecosystem in Europe. With this major endorsement deal, many hoped that the league could imitate the success of the rest in the continent, like Superliga Orange in Spain for example.
This wasn’t the first time Audi had made an appearance in eSports. Last year, the carmaker also revealed that it would be a sponsor for Future FC, a team created by Astralis Group. The contract was expected to last 3 years and from it, Future FC could receive a minimum of 1 million each year.
Mercedes-Benz looks confident in the way the industry is progressing. It shows from the partnership offered to the ESL. The ESL UK just announced that the company will again be involved in the ESL premiership this season. Basically, the company agreed to renew the contract and be the official auto supplier for the event.
Dota 2 was included in the list of contested games in September last year and it turned out to grab the company’s interest. They eventually had a partnership which continues to this day. For those keeping track of the ESL premiership, you’d know that the autumn season just got started.
Besides Mercedes-Benz, another giant company Razer also announced its support. It’s one of the leading manufacturers of gaming peripherals, has officially joined the lineup of sponsors that support the event. The ESL premiership will continue to become a platform for new gamers who want to show their skills at a professional league.
5. Comcast Xfinity
In 2020, eSports is a blooming industry, but before it has reached the new heights, Comcast Xfinity had taken the initiative to get into it. 2016 marked the year when Xfinity decided to team up with the ESL and Evil Geniuses. The company was right when it guessed that eSports would have a surge in popularity in the next few years. As we can see today, eSports already has a huge following.
The large sums of prize payouts also prove that the industry shows no sign of slowing down. Fast forward to 2020, Comcast Xfinity is still present in the world of eSports. Activision Blizzard recently announced that xfinity would be the official sponsor of the Overwatch League this season.
The partnership had come to fruition since last year where Xfinity became a sponsor of last year’s OWL. They’re like a match made in heaven.
Why? In eSports, a speedy internet connection is a must because gamers are connected to each other this way. And Xfinity happens to be a major internet service provider in the US. So, can you connect the dots now?
Getting support from a big company is like every team’s dream, and that’s what ‘Out of the Blue’ probably felt the moment airbus decided to take to social media and announce its sponsorship for the team. There wasn’t a lot of detail in the tweet to read into. The company just specified that it would give its support to the team.
People later speculated about the legitimacy of the deal because the account was normally used to inform followers about job openings. But a new video later surfaced which might confirm that the deal did actually happen.
The video was titled ‘Airbus is Ready to Catch the Future’ and featured screens displaying the gameplay of League of Legends. It could be an indication that Airbus was ready to join the EU LCS with the new team.
Honda is another auto company that shows support to the gaming industry. Last year, the company was disclosed to be the official auto partner for the LCS Series. The partnership also extended to Team Liquid, so that would be the first in history particularly in North America where a company teams with both League and team.
However, this support was not to be mistaken for special treatment because Riot had said that fair game was always important to everyone involved. The deal came to the surface not long after Honda had showed its support for Team Liquid. It was done in hopes that the company could get closer to the Millennial and Gen Z who were popular with the sports.
Despite all the news, details regarding the deal hadn’t been published. What appeared on the surface was the partnership would help a lot of new players achieve their dreams. The thorough support for the entire ecosystem was one of the many reasons why riot welcomed the offer. Besides the pro level, the company also showed its enthusiasm for the amateur system.
Top eSports Sponsors FAQs
Is it hard to get into eSports?
Yes, simply because there are plenty of people wanting to secure a spot in a professional team. eSports have attracted gamers from around the world. It’s better to keeps your expectations low than to be disappointed, but anyone who takes it seriously should have an equal chance. There are a few things to remember if you want to get into eSports.
First, you need to have the skills. And it’s not just the basic skills. As we know, every game is different in mechanics and play style. Since eSports tournaments are often specific or feature one game only, you should be good at whatever you choose.
For example, if choose to play Dota 2, then you should be focused on that as it takes time to master the game. And then, don’t forget to seek opportunities that will take you closer to a tournament. It could be joining a professional time or building social presence.
Do eSports players get paid?
When you manage you secure a spot in a team especially an established one, you’ll be paid to improve your skills. That was just one source of income. If you can win competitions, you’ll get more from prize money.
Salaries for eSports players vary, but usually fall in the range of $3,000 – $5,000 per month. That’s a lot of money, right? No wonder many people aspire to be a pro gamer these days.
How much money is in eSports?
The global eSports is valued at over a billion USD this year and is expected to grow to 1.6 billion in the next 3 years. But there are also reports that suggest the growth will be even bigger, probably reaching 3 billion within the same period.
To prove the fact that the industry is flourishing right now, many eSports teams have surpassed a valuation of more than $100.
How do I get eSports sponsors?
Perhaps, the most effective way to get sponsors is by getting noticed by them. In other words, you should put your name out there. Let’s say you already have a team, the next step is to help it win tournaments.
If it manages to bring home trophies, the team’s profile will also increase and sponsors will try to reach out to you.
How do eSports sponsors make money?
eSports organizations and sponsors have a mutual relationship. Sponsors pour money to help the industry grow and provide opportunities for up-and-coming gamers. The money received is important to support the growth of the industry. Meanwhile, sponsors also get something in return.
Those who get into the business realize that eSports is blooming right now. It has a massive player base and fans, so to market your brand and products to them is a good decision as it helps boost visibility. So basically, they can make money from product placements, selling products catering to the sports audience, etc.
Best Competitive Gaming Sponsorships – Wrap Up
Sponsorships play a huge part in sustaining every industry, and that’s no exception with eSports. The tremendous support coming from sponsors, part of it is because the industry is flourishing right now. It’s not just a new trend that will dwindle in popularity. eSports is on track to keep growing along with the technological advances.
We all have witnessed how the technology has been evolving in the past few decades. Games have become more sophisticated then they were once in terms of graphics, mechanics, etc. Besides, people live for competition. That’s why games like PUBG, Counter Strike, and Dota 2 became so massive.
We all like to challenge each other and this desire has been ‘ported’ onto another medium known as tournaments. There are many parties involved in them.
Besides players, eSports organizations, top eSports sponsors are also important. We’ve mentioned a few examples of partnerships that happen between all these parties.
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