Rivalry and Blacklist International Extend Partnership in Dota 2-Focused Venture

Published: Feb 14, 2024

Sports betting and media company Rivalry has extended its partnership with esports organization Blacklist International, as the pair of companies look to focus on storytelling and fan-focused activations in 2024. The renewed partnership was unveiled by release on Feb. 13, with both sides committing to an expanded level of collaboration.

Rivalry first partnered with Blacklist International Dota 2 in 2022 under the banner Blacklist Rivalry as the team made its debut. The squad appeared in dozens of regional and international events, including the Bali Major, ESL Kuala Lumpur, and recently took home a win in the APAC Predator League

This partnership initially consisted of sponsorship and collaborations but will now extend to creative storytelling and fan-focused activations. This includes meet-and-greets, unique activations at Dota 2 events, and producing new episodes of its docuseries, UnRivaled. The series, which began last year, follows Blacklist Rivalry’s competitive journey and released its fourth episode just two weeks ago.

Speaking on the collaboration, Tryke Gutierrez, CEO at Tier One Entertainment (Blacklist’s parent company), shared his excitement for the partnership: 

“Entering into our second year, we will continue building Blacklist Rivalry into a top-tier team that can rival the world’s most talented squads. As we look to maintain a culture of winning at Blacklist Rivalry, our partners at Rivalry will be focused on building deeper fandom around the team and highlighting the impactful narratives that emerge throughout their competitions. This project started out as a dream, and we will always be thankful to Rivalry for making this a reality.”

Global head of marketing at Rivalry, Grant Flannery, echoed the sentiment:

“The unique ingredient in this partnership has been marrying Blacklist International’s operational esports experience with Rivalry’s visceral storytelling and creative capabilities. Together, we’ve built a winning team wrapped in compelling narratives and entertainment that adds depth to the experience of being a Blacklist Rivalry fan.”

Blacklist Rivalry currency consists of Abed Azel “Abed” L. Yusop, Kim “Gabbi” Santos, Timothy John “Tims” Randrup, Juan “Carlo” Chua Manalo, stand-in Jinn Marrey “Palos” Lamatao, and coach Kim “DuBu” Doo-young. The team narrowly missed out on qualifying for its first two international events after a stacked qualifier season in January. The team is poised to continue competing at the highest level of Dota 2 in the SEA region.

Rivalry is a leading media, sports betting, and entertainment company focusing on Millennial and Gen Z consumers. The company is reportedly one of the most engaged sports betting brands in the world, and offers betting on all major esports, traditional sports, and casino.

Michael Hassall

Since: January 31, 2024

Michael has worked in the esports industry for five years after giving up a promising career in marketing. A professional writer for almost a decade, and a lifelong gamer, writing about esports is his one true passion, when he’s not glued to a screen playing the games he writes about.

See all articles from this author

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