G2 Esports Forced to Drop Sponsor, Announces New Facebook Deal
G2 Esports must adhere to rules and regulations laid out by Riot Games for the European League Championship Series (EU LCS). As a result, the popular League of Legends team is forced to part ways with one of its major sponsors.
Kinguin is primarily a key retailer that deals in Origin and Steam games, as well as in-game cosmetics for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. On the side, it also owns an European Challenger Series team in League of Legends. Should Team Kinguin qualify for the LCS, it would birth a conflict of interest as Kinguin would not only be owning a team but also fronting as a major sponsor for G2 Esports.
According to Riot Games, a single organization cannot be financially involved with two teams in the LCS. As a result, the key retailer has decided to stick with its own esports organization and will no longer be sponsoring G2 Esports.
“Kinguin believes in a balanced eSports scene and as such the company treats Riot Gaming’s conflict of interest regulations very seriously,” reads a press release. “With Team Kinguin’s advance to the EU Challenger Series it is clear to the company that changes will need to be made to ensure a fair playing field in the upcoming Spring Split.”
Elsewhere, G2 Esports is experimenting with its social media strategy by taking all of its content over to Facebook. Presently, Twitch is the main source of esports coverage for everyone. However, the European organization will begin streaming its games and content on Facebook from February 1 onward.
“One of G2’s biggest goals is to share our love of this industry with all fans by making our content as accessible as we can, while also helping lesser-known streamers looking to make a name for themselves,” said CEO Carlos “Ocelote” Rodriguez Santiago in a statement. “We pride ourselves on innovation and by leaning into Facebook as an audience platform, we see a world of new opportunities beyond what the current streaming ecosystem offers.”
It should be noted that the shift in platform is not on the basis of any exclusivity agreement with Facebook. G2 is free to show its presence on Twitch as well. However, the organization believes that the Facebook deal will help increase its reach.
The news also confirms that the social media giant is fairly interested in the growing popularity of esports. Upcoming content from G2 will also be broadcast through Facebook’s desktop gaming application Gameroom, which will be “branded content, cross-posted video, custom engagement audiences, and a host of other products”.