COVID-19 has impacted every company in different ways. While esports has been insulated from many of the issues felt in the traditional sports world, extenuating circumstances from the virus have still caused plenty of problems.
For Enthusiast Gaming’s Vancouver Titans, the virus caused a situation that proved untenable. Faced with the uncertainty posed by the virus, the South Korean roster wanted to be closer to their families. Once back in South Korea, the team had to gear up to compete in now-online OWL matches. Unfortunately, the time difference and technical issues persisted, leading to Enthusiast Gaming releasing the entire roster that took the Titans all the way to the OWL Grand Finals in Season Two.
“COVID has issued its own set of challenges to esports and the Titans,” said Adrian Montgomery, the CEO of Enthusiast Gaming on the Esportz Network Podcast. “We moved into the Asian division which put the games at different times for our sponsors and our fans. The decision was made to let the players try and find new homes. We tried our best, but these things happen in professional sports.”
But while the organization deals with complex roster turnovers, they also welcome in a new partner. G FUEL is one of the longest-running esports brand partners. Their sponsor list includes the biggest YouTuber in the world, the most followed esports organization in FaZe Clan, and a host of the most-watched streamers across the gaming world. As a brand so entrenched in the esports space, partnering with them brings unique benefits.
“The folks at G FUEL helped create this space,” Montgomery continued. “They know this space and that makes brainstorming with them so much easier [than with a different brand.]”
For G FUEL, as massive beverage brands begin to focus on esports, that history within the industry allows them to compete with much larger ad spends. This G FUEL Enthusiast Gaming partnership truly increases brands’ potentials.
“We are 100% focused on this space,” said Cliff Morgan, the CEO of G FUEL on the podcast. “Sure, the Pepsi’s of the world can outspend us, but gaming isn’t the only thing they do. When we partner with influencers, we don’t just put pictures on our cans, we actually formulate flavors unique to our influencers. Pewdiepie could have had any beverage deal he wanted. Why did he want to do business with G FUEL? He wanted a flavor.”
For G FUEL, they have no shortage of possible brand partners. While most of the sponsorship roster, labeled Team Gamma, consists of content creators on Twitch and YouTube, Luminosity joins a more exclusive group of esports organizations sponsored by the company. FaZe Clan, Team Kaliber, Team Elevate, Team Heretics, and Rise Nation made up the list of esports organizations on Team Gamma. Much like FaZe Clan, what set Luminosity apart was everything that comes with the organization beyond esports. This G FUEL Enthusiast Gaming partnership is sure to boost the esports industry.
“Unlike a traditional org, they have all these websites they own,” Morgan said. “From an activation, an event side, they brought together a whole new arsenal of assets. We know that we are going to try some things that work, try some things that might not be so great. That whole business outside of the gaming side is a bunch of new tools for G FUEL and is unique in the space.”
Listen to the full Esportz Network Podcast below where Mitch Reames talks with Morgan, Montgomery, and Enthusiast Gaming President Menashe Kestenbaum about the aspects of this deal, the COVID-19 induced roster turnover and the value of partnering with endemic brands.
Written by Mitch Reames