From sponsorships to industry-wide announcements, Insider Sport has you covered when it comes to the world of esports.

This edition takes a look at Munster Rugby joining esports, Atalanta enhancing its divisions, eMLS’s deal with FOX Sports, and Riot Games’ first official Teamfight Tactics tournament.

eMLS footballer/esports hybrid tournament to be aired on FOX Sports

FOX Sports and Major League Soccer (MLS) has announced that the eMLS Tournament Special, an esports and professional footballer FIFA competition, will be broadcast live on the network beginning on April 19th.

The competition will see 12 MLS franchises participate in a five-week tournament in which a footballer from the club will be partnered with a professional FIFA player. 

Camilo Durana, Vice President of Properties and Events for MLS, commented: “The eMLS Tournament Special represents the spirit of MLS Unites by entertaining fans and giving back to our communities. We’re thrilled many of the league’s top players are joining our eMLS participants to compete and also provide benefit for those on the front lines.

“We are also thankful to FOX Sports and all of our partners for their collaboration on the innovative series that will be both fun to watch and make a difference.”

As Durana alluded to, after the conclusion of each week MLS and FOX will provide donations to Feeding America, whilst also supporting Food Banks Canada during the initiative.

The MLS has also revealed that the competition will be presented by Coca-Cola and PlayStation with the competition being aired live on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes.

Munster Rugby joins the esports landscape

Two time Heineken Champions Cup winners Munster Rugby has merged with Irish esports organisation Phelan Gaming, creating the rugby union sides first esports division.

The esports team, now going by the name Munster Rugby Gaming, has previously competed in Riot Games’ UKLC tournament, the official League of Legends competition for the United Kingdom and Ireland. 

Ian Flanagan, CEO of Munster Rugby, stated: “Esports is a fast-growing sports market that attracts a multitude of supporters of all ages. In seeking new ways to bring Munster Rugby to a wider audience at home and abroad, we identified the strong performances of Phelan Gaming and we’re excited to be able to partner with them and feel there is a great potential for all involved.”

As part of the rebranding, Munster Rugby Gaming has revealed the appointment of Valgard Media’s Jonas V. Schurmann as its chief marketing officer in order to help the esports organisation enhance its brand from a regional to global scale.

Ciarán Walsh, Owner of Munster Rugby Gaming, added: “We’re incredibly proud to announce this partnership to bring our own esports efforts to the next level while also partnering with a well-established Irish Rugby team, giving us the opportunity to further develop our talent and furthermore engage Munster’s passionate fans.”

Atalanta enhances its esports division with Logitech deal

Atalanta BC’s esports organisation has continued to develop itself as a brand with its latest partnership with Logitech G.

Atalanta Esports was specifically created to compete in Serie A’s FIFA20 league, the eSerie A, in February but has since also been involved with PES as the club attempts to solidify itself in eFootball.

This ambition has become more apparent after securing Logitech G as an official partner, with the peripherals company also aligned with G2 Esports and T1, two of League of Legends’ most popular teams. 

As part of the deal, Logitech G equipment such as PRO X gaming headphones and ASTRO C40TR controllers will be used by Atalanta Esports players during the club’s competitions.

The Serie A side’s esports organisation, like most football clubs in the sector, is a collaborative effort with Atalanta Esports partnering with gaming tournament space Esport Palace and Milan-based PC outlet, Ak Informatica

Both of Atalanta’s esports teams are based out of Esport Palace, where the team’s FIFA and PES divisions compete in competitions. The organisation is also looking to create meet and great opportunities with its players when the COVID-19 virus is safely dealt with.

Riot Games reveals first official Teamfight Tactics tournament

After hosting various invitationals, Riot Games has announced its first official Teamfight Tactics competition, in which the world’s best auto battlers will compete for $200,000.

The Teamfight Tactics: Galaxies Championship, named after the games’ set three release, will include regional qualifiers across Brazil, China, Europe, Latin America, North America, and South Korea.

Whalen Rozelle, Director of Global Esports at Riot Games, emphasised: “With the Teamfight Tactics: Galaxies Championship, we want to reward all of the players who dedicate their time to mastering Teamfight Tactics and provide an additional goal that exists beyond reaching the top of the ladder. To support this, we are creating a clear path to the Championship that will be globally accessible through both the in-game ladder and online tournaments.”

Each region will be given a specific number of qualification spots based on how popular the game is in each region, with this in mind China will gain three spots due to the Asian market demand. 

Teamfight Tactic is part of Riot Games’ expansion as a global esports tournament organisation, with the studio already being the creators of League of Legends and it’s esports variants. 

The auto battler is expected to be one of many new game titles in development to emphasise on esports, with the developers new shooter game Valorant also looking likely to follow in the same footsteps as LoL and TFT. 

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