Fnatic Signs Global Esports Partnership With Smartphone-Maker OnePlus

London-based esports organization Fnatic has signed a global sponsorship deal with Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus. The sponsorship was announced Sunday during Legends of Action Live, a live-streamed League of Legends-based series hosted on Twitch.

During the event, Fnatic unveiled its new jerseys for the 2019 season. The front-center of each jersey features the OnePlus logo, taking over the spot that previously showed Fnatic’s logo. Terms of the new sponsorship were not announced but Fnatic described the partnership as “long term” in a press release. OnePlus and Fnatic have partnered with each other on a smaller scale since 2017.

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“Gaming has always been central to OnePlus and working with Fnatic was, from the beginning, a natural partnership born from friendship: two like-minded organizations looking to push the boundaries. We’re excited for this to be our first-ever global sponsorship in esports,” said Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus, in the press release.

In addition to League of Legends, Fnatic fields teams in popular gaming titles such as CS:GO, Dota 2, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege, Rocket League, FIFA, Clash Royale, and Street Fighter V. Fnatic will wear its new OnePlus-branded playing jerseys during the inaugural season of the European League of Legends Championship Series, which begins Jan. 18. According to Fnatic’s press release, the League of Legends World Championship finals match between Fnatic and Invictus Gaming held in November 2018 was viewed by more than 200 million people worldwide.

SportTechie Takeaway

Fnatic’s extended partnership with OnePlus is the latest of a slew of major deals in the world of esports. Last September, MasterCard became the first global sponsor of the League of Legends esports franchise, while the Overwatch League signed a multiyear merchandising deal with e-commerce site Fanatics in December. OnePlus smartphones are also designed for mobile gaming and so this partnership may be seen as a first step in boosting mobile esports.