ONE Championship, Dentsu and Singtel launch Asian eSports series
ONE Championship, the Singapore-based mixed martial arts series, has teamed up with Dentsu, the Japanese advertising giant heavily involved in sports marketing, to launch an eSports series.
Singtel, the Singapore-based telecoms and pay-TV operator, and Razer, the global gaming hardware manufacturing company, have also entered into memorandums of understanding with ONE eSports to expand the series throughout Asia.
The stakeholders will invest up to $50 million in a bid to create Asia's "largest global eSports Championships Series."
ONE eSports will launch next year, featuring multiple game titles across and will be staged simultaneously in some of the major cities where ONE Championship will host events, such as Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul, Jakarta, Shanghai, Beijing, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City.
ONE eSports will produce and broadcast dedicated eSports content in the form of live event broadcasts, documentaries, reality shows, weekly magazine shows, highlights and video blogs.
Recently-signed ONE Championship athlete Demetrious 'Mighty Mouse' Johnson, an avid gamer, will be the chief brand ambassador of the eSports push.
Chatri Sityodtong, chairman and chief executive ONE Championship, said: “We see a natural crossover between martial arts and gaming fans in Asia and an opportunity to bring them together under Asia's home of millennial live sports. ONE Championship is committed to bringing its same brand of large-scale event production and live broadcast capabilities, unique world-class content production, global media distribution, storytelling expertise, and marketing experience to ONE eSports.”
Dentsu is already the dedicated marketing partner of the Japan eSports Union, and will be responsible for helping Japanese game developers expand in eSports across Asia via ONE eSports and organise ONE eSports events in Japan.
In addition, Dentsu will be the preferred sponsorship agency for the series.
Shuntaro Tanaka, director of content business design centre at Dentsu, said: “We recognise good synergy between martial arts and eSports, making this a fantastic opportunity for both ONE Championship and Dentsu to participate in this growing segment in Asia, as well as leverage multiple content platforms for additional sales and business opportunities.”
Razer will develop, manage and organise an eSports tournament or series in partnership with ONE eSports, while eSports Mogul, a Razer company, will provide the technical know-how and innovation for the development of an online platform to organise, manage and stage online eSports events and tournaments.
The Razer Pay system will serve as the payment platform for the ticketing of ONE eSports tournaments, as well as for the online sale of related merchandise and content.
Finally, Singtel, which has a combined mobile customer base of over 700 million, of which it claims 200 million play video games on a regular basis., will distribute the eSports content through its platforms.
Arthur Lang, chief executive of international, Singtel, added: “With the success of our PVP Esports Championship in October, we look to further engage with the gaming community through this partnership and increase our involvement in eSports.”
The inaugural PVP Esports Championship took place in Singapore from 5 to 7 October, and attracted over 3,600 teams competing in the Dota 2 and Arena of Valor games for prize money totalling $300,000. It was broadcast in seven languages (English, Bahasa Indonesian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Tagalog and Thai).
Following the success of that event, Singtel and five regional affiliates signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the gaming and eSports landscape in Asia and Oceania.
The signatories included Singtel-backed companies Airtel (India), AIS (Thailand), Globe (The Philippines), Telkomsel (Indonesia) and Optus (Australia).