The Seattle-based organization is investing in the newly formed CS:GO team Berlin International Gaming (BIG). This will be the company’s first big investment into an esports team.
Giving the new team room to grow
While Unikrn will provide financial backing and help in business development, the company is not planning to interfere in the team’s daily operations.
“We want to create value for the team, but at the same time, we are completely hands-off when it comes to the daily operation or anything roster related,” said Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood. “We support them through financial backing and business development.”
While this will be the company’s first partnership with an esports team, Unikrn has apparently been approached about such investments in the past. But talks of potential sponsorships never worked out in the end. The story with BIG is different.
“Initially we were approached by BIG, asking for a sponsorship,” Sood said. “We immediately fell in love with the idea of supporting a German all-star team. We were discussing sponsorships for multiple teams in the recent past, but somehow it never felt right. We even discussed the possibility of team ownership with some of our star investors.”
Investing in esports teams has been a pretty popular move of late. Many traditional sports organizations became involved with various esports teams last year. And it’s not just sports teams.
Betway, for example, also recently partnered with Ninjas in Pyjamas, joining the esports band wagon.
A team of former pro players
Even though the German squad is newly formed, it includes some familiar faces from the pro scene.
The team was formed by players coming from known organizations, like mousesports, Alternate aTTaX, and NRG. Next to Fatih “gob b” Dayik, the team includes Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninic, Johannes “nex” Maget, Kevin “keev” Bartholomäus, and Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz. (tabseN is currently considered one of the top German CS:GO players.)
Unikrn expands its presence in the industry
Unikrn’s name appeared often in the 2016 headlines. Besides launching new products and services, the company also dug into the integrity aspect of the industry. Its virtual currency, Unikoin, was a massive success on its already-popular betting platform.
As if this wasn’t enough success already, the company also launched an initiative aiming to bridge the gap between esports betting and live casinos.
With the acquisition of BIG, the betting company is making sure its presence in the growing esports scene continues.