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Major League Baseball announces Chinese esports league

Major League Baseball (MLB ) has announced the launch of its first esports league, MLB China eSports League, in seven Chinese cities.

The MLB China eSports League will run on MLB: The Show for three months, divided into a regular season and playoffs. The former will be held in Chongqing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Beijing, Hangzhou, and Suzhou, and the latter will be hosted in Shanghai.

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MLB also revealed that the league will partner with eight esports organizations to appeal to esports fans and will have a recruitment channel on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.

Besides the esports league, MLB will host an MLB Experience carnival to help players who can’t join the esports league to experience baseball culture in China. MLB also revealed that the carnival will invite yet-to-be-announced esports guests to interact with fans.

China’s MLB operations team commented on the league: “Although we have seen many examples of the combination of esports and cities, it is not common to see the combination of esports and traditional sports and cities. For MLB China eSports League, we are going to integrate these three elements together, and the traditional fans of MLB will witness our next-level development. We believe that more young people will be attracted to enjoy MLB events by launching this esports league.”

Esports Insider says: It’s apparent that MLB is following in the footsteps of other traditional sports leagues by trying to expand into esports. MLB’s first venture into the esports scene will be a tough test since China’s market is not overly keen on baseball culture. As there are not too many details announced so far, we look forward to seeing how things develop.
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North enters a global partnership with Pinnacle

Danish organisation North has announced a global partnership with Curaçao-based sports and esports betting provider Pinnacle.

Pinnacle will act as a jersey sponsor and collaborate with North on content throughout the 18-month duration of the deal.

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Jonas Gundersen, CCO at North commented on the deal in an announcement: “Partnering up with Pinnacle really is underlining the journey we are on with North. It feels great that we are able to continue the next phase of the journey together with such a well-respected and household name that shares our ambition of narrating the esports story as it develops. Our passion for gaming is very strong, and Pinnacle really understands our aim of expanding even further.”

Pinnacle appears to have replaced another esports bookmaker, GG.BET, as a new major partner and jersey sponsor of North. The partnership with GG.BET was established at the top of 2018, making it North’s principal title sponsor at the time.

Marco Blume, Trading Director at Pinnacle added: “This is a massive deal for us. We have waited so long for a team partnership because we wanted to make sure we signed with an organization that matched our ambition and desire to take esports to the next level. North certainly ticked all the boxes and we’re really excited to start working together to enhance the experience for esports fans around the world.”

North is also partnered with SteelSeries, Capgemini, and Shark Gaming. It was founded by both football club F.C. København and media company Nordisk Film, and competes in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Pinnacle partnered with UK-based charity SpecialEffect last month for the remainder of 2019. It’s also the official betting partner of FACEIT’s ECS for its seventh and eighth seasons.

Esports Insider says: It’s clear that North is going in a different direction with its sponsors, replacing both GG.BET and adidas. Pinnacle is doing a good job at building a presence in esports beyond the markets it provides!
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FaZe Clan receives investment from Offset

North American organisation FaZe Clan has added Kiari Kendrell Cephus, better known as rapper Offset, to its ownership group.

The amount that Offset invested in the organisation was not disclosed in the release.

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Offset commented on the venture in a release: “I love gaming and esports is the future. These two facts make it only right that I be a part of the biggest esports organization with some of the best players in the world.”

FaZe Clan and Offset’s relationship is described as “mutually beneficial,” though terms of the deal beyond the investment are yet to be announced. The release dubs the rapper as ‘FaZe Offset,’ potentially teasing that he could feature in content alongside the organisation’s personalities and creators.

Lee Trink, CEO of FaZe Clan added: “FaZe Clan goes beyond gaming and esports – we’re leading a transformation in culture and entertainment. Offset represents a new generation of cultural leaders who understand that shift. FaZe Clan is redefining what it means to be an iconic entertainment brand and working with a visionary like Offset is another step towards the future – we not only dominate in competitive gaming we are setting new trends across content, merchandise, brand partnerships, and beyond.”

Offset is the latest in a long line of rappers that have entered the esports industry as of late. Wiz Khalifa partnered with Pittsburgh Knights in July, Drake has invested in both 100 Thieves and Players’ Lounge, Tory Lanez invested in Luminosity Gaming in April, and Diddy invested in PlayVS last November.
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This is really great move for Faze
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