• Coinbase Extends Esports Push With ESL Sponsorship

  • This is the crypto exchange’s third esports sponsorship of the year.

    With a new contract with ESL, bitcoin exchange Coinbase has gained another significant, established competitive gaming partner after making its first steps into the esports business with a pair of sponsorship arrangements this spring.

    Coinbase will be the tournament organizer’s Official Crypto Exchange Partner for the ESL Pro Tour events series for StarCraft II and Warcraft III, ESL announced today. The collaboration will extend until 2022 and will include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) Pro Tour events.

    Broadcast integrations, internet and social media activations, and content development are all part of the agreement. The material and activations will “reinforce why Coinbase should be the gateway to crypto education” for esports fans, according to an ESL statement provided with us by Coinbase.

    ESL, which was founded in 2000 as the Electronic Sports League, is one of the most well-known tournament organizers in the esports industry, hosting a variety of live and online events in a variety of games. As pandemic restrictions loosen, the German corporation is hoping to return to live events, and a blog post published today claims that “partners such as Coinbase and Shopify” will assist ESL in taking the required procedures to safely return to in-person competition.

    “At ESL Pro Tour, one of our key goals has always been to remain ahead of the curve in order to guarantee long-term stability for players, commentators, and fans. “Coinbase, as a partner, will assist in achieving this goal,” the post states. “We intend to work together to educate our fans on the future generation of exchanges while also collaborating for the sake of the StarCraft community and competitors.”

    Coinbase initially entered the esports sector this spring, signing sponsorship partnerships with Evil Geniuses, a popular American organization, and BLAST, a German event organizer that competes with ESL. Because the BLAST arrangement was only supposed to endure through the end of the current CS:GO season in June, Coinbase has decided to go with ESL this time.

    Esports companies have recently become a popular target for cryptocurrency exchange sponsorships. Uniswap, a decentralized exchange, revealed in early June that it has given Team Secret a $112,500 sponsorship through the exchange’s decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) governance vote procedure. As part of the deal, Team Secret will provide educational content regarding bitcoin.

    Just days later, esports group Team SoloMid (TSM) signed a 10-year naming rights deal with crypto exchange FTX, which will be known as TSM FTX for the next decade. However, due to cryptocurrency sponsorship restrictions imposed by publisher Riot Games, TSM will not be able to use FTX branding during official broadcasts and contests for the popular games League of Legends and VALORANT.

    Meanwhile, popular esports team FaZe Clan was involved in a totally different kind of crypto-related news this week, when one player was fired and three others were punished for allegedly participating in a pump-and-dump cryptocurrency fraud. The team denied being a part of the alleged plan.

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