Media company Verizon is set to announce that it is going to significantly increase its sponsorship presence with esports game designer Riot Games.
The deal will see Verizon’s commitment to Riot Games climb considerably above eight figures and as part of the agreement, Verizon will be gaining access to additional games and products from the Riot Games selection of titles.
While the exact terms and conditions of the deal have not been revealed, what is known is that Verizon will become the official 5G wireless and network service partner for two key Riot Games titles, League of Legends and VALORANT.
The news is particularly positive for Riot Games VALORANT title, which is one of its newest esports titles and which will significantly benefit from the additional funding provided by Verizon to help increase its exposure and increase the number of tournaments for the game.
Extensive Verizon Presence In League Of Legends
The deal will also see Verizon extend its presence within the League of Legends esports genre too. The company started sponsoring the LCS North American series last year when it penned a three-year deal for those rights, plus a Wild Rift mobile event.
However, the new deal now means that they have secured the rights to major global events involving LCS teams including the Mid-Season Invitational, the All-Star Event, and perhaps most excitingly of all, the League of Legends World Championship, slated to take place in August this year.
As part of the deal for VALORANT, Verizon will now be present in both the VALORANT Champions Tour and also the VALORANT North American Challengers competitions.
Mid-Season Invitational In Reykjavik
The deal agreed between Riot Games and Verizon also means that Riot will be hosting the Mid-Season Invitational this year in May in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. The aim is for this to be one of the first in-person events possible due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last years League of Legends World Championships were held before a much smaller capacity crowd than usual in China.
The head of Global Esports Partnerships and Business Development at Riot Games, Naz Aletaha, commented about the agreement:
“There’s a lot of commonality between the two companies: Innovation and technology are at the heart of both companies. You look at their overall roster of sports sponsorships and esports…it’s a very natural next step, especially because esports is 100% operated on technology.”
Latest Move By Verizon Into The Gaming Industry
This expanded and extended sponsorship agreement with Riot Games is simply the latest attempt by Verion to expand its interest into the esports and gaming community.
The company has also recently signed a partnership agreement with the Dignitas organisation.
At the same time, Riot Games has also started to promote its VALORANT title more expansively including using marketing tools within the game itself to promote the Valorant Masters and Valorant Champions Tour tournaments.
The move is seen as an exciting one for Riot Games with Aletaha commenting:
“We really look for those best-in-class brands who share our vision and want to do right by our audience and come in and elevate the fan experience. So given it is a digital sport and our audience is digitally native, it’s really exciting to partner with Verizon.”