Malta-based Betway has partnered with Chinese Dota 2 team Invictus Gaming in time for the game's top championship, The International 8.
Historic Chinese esports giant Invictus Gaming has signed a partnership with sports betting company Betway.
The one-year sponsorship deal will see the Betway brand appear on Invictus Gaming jerseys. In addition, Betway will produce exclusive videos and other media content starring players from the Invictus Gaming Dota 2 team.
Anthony Werkman, Betway CEO, said:
“A strong brand with a rich history in esports, Invictus Gaming are one of the few teams to win the International, and we are extremely proud to bring them into the Betway family. After seeing incredible success in CS:GO, we can’t wait to replicate our market leading content in Dota 2 through this landmark partnership.”
Invictus Gaming is one of the most storied brands in the Chinese esports scene. The organization won The International 2012—the second iteration of Dota 2’s annual premier tournament. They also won the Dota 2 Asia Championships in 2017.
Composed of Sun “Agressif” Zheng, Lin “Xxs” Jung, Sun “Srf” Runfa, Fu “Q” Bin, and Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao, Invictus Gaming will look to regain its former glory by winning The International 8 in Vancouver later this August. Fans can expect Betway to release exclusive content detailing IG’s journey in Canada.
Dota 2-Sportsbooks Deals
The Betway-Invictus Gaming deal is the third partnership announced in August between a TI8-qualified team and a betting company.
The top ranking Dota 2 team as of the moment, on the other hand, also partnered with one of Russia’s leading betting companies. Parimatch, a partner of AffPapa, has become the official partner of Polish esports group Virtus.pro until the end of 2019. The betting site’s logo will appear on the Virtus.pro’s Dota 2 shirts and social media channels.
Anatoly Merezhko, CEO of BC Parimatch, said:
“Currently, esports is the most dynamically developing sports in the world. Parimatch betting company has always closely monitored this direction – we were among the first to provide the possibility to bet on cybersport events… We are certain this partnership will allow both parties to strengthen their positions and create new opportunities for development.”
On August 9, American esports team OpTic Gaming signed an agreement with esports betting platform VKGaming. With the deal closed, VKGaming’s logos and other branding materials will appear in OpTic’s Dota 2 jerseys, players’ streams, and other public-facing materials. The deal also allows VKGaming to use OpTic’s brand and players’ likeness to promote the site to its Southeast Asian market.
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No More Dota 2 Betting?
However, these partnerships with betting companies could mean trouble to Dota 2 organizations. Reports emerged that game developer Valve has warned teams from accepting sponsorship from online gambling sites for next year’s Dota 2 pro circuit.
The news reportedly worried involved organizations as the recently signed contracts last for around a year. Nonetheless, Valve has not yet released the exact rules regarding the supposed banning of betting sponsorships.
VPEsports, an online news outlet, wrote:
“[As] many of the teams have already signed long terms contracts with such companies, it is unsure when and how these contracts must be ended. The contracts issue was raised by one of the team managers today at the meeting, but it was said that more detailed discussion on this topic will be held ‘later.’”
Fans can watch Invictus Gaming, OpTic Gaming, Virtus.pro, and more of the best Dota 2 teams compete for the scene’s most prestigious tournament in The International 8, held on August 15 to 25, 2018, at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada. With the event fast approaching, bettors can place a stake on different online gambling sites offering odds on esports matches.