The dating app Bumble has signed a deal to sponsor Gen.G’s all-female Fortnite team.
The team includes four players: Madison “maddiesuun” Mann, Tina “TINARAES” Perez, Carlee “Carlee” Gress, and Hannah “Hannah” Reyes. Bumble has also partnered with a prominent Twitch streamer and Gen.G’s head of new gaming initiatives Kristen “KittyPlays” Valnicek.
What does this mean for the competitive Fortnite scene and global esports industry?
Analyzing the deal
It’s no secret Fortnite has one of the most diverse communities in gaming. In under two years of existence, the game has amassed a player base of 250 million. According to Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, 35 percent of these players are female. However, the recent Fortnite World Cup event counted zero women among its 100 finalists, leading several media outlets to question whether there’s something stopping women from playing the game at the highest level.
This question isn’t easy to answer. Unlike traditional sports, competitive video games don’t come with stiff physical requirements. Everyone has a mouse and a keyboard, and the most important thing you need to do to go pro is to know when—and how—to put them to use. The playing field seems as level as it could possibly get. Yet women are rarely seen among those competing at the top gaming events.
Team Bumble is looking to change that.
What is Bumble after?
The three-year deal involves Bumble working closely with Gen.G to create new co-branded merchandise, increase the team’s presence at gaming events, and even create a dedicated streaming room at Gen.G’s training facility in Los Angeles. Bumble will also introduce a gaming badge to its app to give users an opportunity to express their passion for video games.
Overall, this is Bumble’s first esports deal. The company has 65 million users around the world and can definitely make an impact on the gaming scene. As for Gen.G, the organization already has a strong presence in esports with professional teams competing in Overwatch, League of Legends, Call of Duty, Clash Royale, Fortnite, Apex Legends, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Ultimately, considering the strength of both brands, this partnership has all the tools to succeed.
Image courtesy of Bumble/Gen.G.