Coinbase enters eSports with sponsorships from BLAST Premier and Evil Geniuses.
The cryptocurrency exchange will be featured in the BLAST Premier Counter-Strike Competition, and also on Evil Geniuses player jerseys.
Ahead of a public listing in the next few weeks, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has entered the world of esports with a pair of sponsorship deals: a freshly announced partnership with the tournament organizer BLAST and teased an alliance with Evil Geniuses.
The deals show Coinbase’s first steps into the surging world of competitive gaming, which has grown and professionalized in recent years.
The BLAST deal has been publicized today, as Coinbase will sponsor the European organizer’s upcoming BLAST Premier spring season based on the PC shooter game, Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). Coinbase will sponsor the Spring Showdown event from April 13-18 and the Final from June 15 – 20. The entire 2021 BLAST Premier season has seven events with a total prize pool of $2.475 million.
Furthermore, Coinbase branding will be used for “The Economy Play” broadcast segments during the events, where the commentators discuss the teams’ use of in-game funds for buying weapons. This type of segment is mostly sponsored by betting platforms, but a crypto exchange fits the bill. Coinbase branding will also be used for the digital activations and content around the competitions.
Concurrently, the partnership with Evil Geniuses hasn’t been officially announced yet, but the team tweeted an image of a player jersey with the logo this week, then tagged Coinbase in the tweet.
Founded in 1999, Evil Geniuses is one of the longest-running and most popular American esports teams, and now it fields a team in the prominent League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), and also games like CS:GO and DOTA 2. The team’s other sponsors include Absolut, Bud Light, LG Ultragear, Razer, and streaming platform Twitch.
The esports industry has seen a remarkable growth last year. It strived through online competition during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when traditional sports leagues have been forced to shut down. The esports market is estimated to see a total revenue of $1.08 billion in 2021. Nearly 60% of that sum is supposed to come from sponsorship deals.
Furthermore, there are a lot of efforts in the blockchain and crypto industry to develop esports initiatives that pay the users in cryptocurrency. For instance, Bitcoin startup ZEBEDEE had rolled out CS:GO servers that use the Lightning Network to pay the players with BTC as they compete, while Polyient Gaming and Community Gaming currently announced a $100,000 tournament series around games like Valorant and Axie Infinity.
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