The great chasm between traditional sports and professional gaming has narrowed once more.
NBA team Miami Heat has acquired a stake in eSports organization Misfits. The partnership was announced on Jan. 11 (via ESPN) and will see the basketball franchise assisting with marketing, branding, promotion, and sponsorship activation.
Misfits started in June 2016 after acquiring European League of Legends team Renegades: Banditos, an LCS-level (Legends Championship Series) competitor. Three months later, their Overwatch team placed first in the ELeague Overwatch Open, only to do it again at DreamHack Winter 2016.
Their reach now includes Heroes of the Storm, Super Smash Brothers, and Hearthstone.
“The Miami Heat pride ourselves on being innovative in all aspects of sports and business,” said Heat chief executive officer Nick Arison in the announcement. “For us, it made perfect sense to partner with Misfits, a young and ambitious franchise in a sport that is blazing a trail in terms of 21st century recreational competition amongst Millennials.”
New jerseys sporting Heat’s trademark black and red have since arrived. Ben Spoont, Misfits CEO and co-founder, Tweeted this photo of Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun and Lee “KaKAO” Byung-kwon, the support and jungler of Misfit’s LoL team.
— Ben Spoont (@benspoont) January 11, 2017
And if sponsors are looking, may we point out Singapore’s very own Team Faceless?