ONE Championship, a Singapore-based mixed martial arts promotion, is entering esports by launching competitive esports series in Asia.
ONE eSports will be Asia’s largest global esports championship series and will start with an investment of $50 million.
Bringing martial arts and gaming fans together
The esports competitions will be a part of the company’s already announced MMA events scheduled to take place across various Asian cities in 2019. This way, ONE Championship will leverage its in-place events to introduce and promote the newly announced esports series. While no specific games have been announced yet, the press release states the events “will feature multiple blockbuster game titles.”
“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,” said ONE Championship CEO and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong.
ONE eSports will also create and broadcast esports content. According to the announcement, this will come in various ways, including documentaries, reality shows, weekly magazine shows, highlights, and video blogs. The company has partnered with Japanese international marketing firm Dentsu for marketing strategies and sponsorships.
“We are pleased to announce this partnership with ONE Championship as we look to further develop the rapidly growing eSports industry in Japan and the rest of Asia,” commented Dentsu Content Business Design Center Director Shuntaro Tanaka. “We recognize 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. ONE Championship has been a terrific partner, and Dentsu is happy to move forward with ONE in this eSports venture.”
More partnerships to help support growth
ONE eSports has also signed partnerships with gaming gear company Razer and Singaporean telecommunications company Singtel Group.
Razer should provide support for matters like esports event organization and exploration of joint marketing opportunities. Moreover, eSports Mogul, a company Razer invested in recently, should provide the technical know-how for the development of an online platform where upcoming events will run.
“Like Razer, ONE Championship is at the forefront of a new digital entertainment revolution that delivers the sporting content that millennials hunger for, whether online or offline,” said Razer CEO and co-founder Min-Liang Tan. “This partnership will see us combining our respective areas of expertise and deliver unmatched cross-boundary experiences to our fans.”
Singtel Group, on the other hand, will work with ONE eSports on projects like production and distribution of content, online and offline payment services, and others. The collaboration is an extension between the two entities for MMA events.
“We have had a great partnership with ONE Championship since the joint launch of its app in May this year and other marketing collaborations across our regional footprint,” said Singtel CEO International Arthur Lang. “We are pleased to take this collaboration into eSports. 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.”