Esports is becoming more and more popular around the world, countries are recognizing it as an official sport, while more and more companies, including sports betting ones, are striving to enter the business as sponsors.
Dániel Hodozsán, COO of Esport1 CEE, goes through some of the most important CEE eSports news from 2022.
Last year, the Slovenian Olympic Committee accepted the Esports Federation of Slovenia (EŠZS) as its member. The exact benefits of being a member of the Olympic Committee are still unclear for the local esports community, but getting governmental recognition will help in the further development of the scene.
Despite being a country with a population of around 2 million people, Slovenia has already produced some world-class esports players, such as Mihael ‘Mikyx’ Mehle, current support player for G2 Esports in the LEC, and Tai ‘TaySon’ Starčič, an 18-year-old professional Fortnite player who has already won close to $900,000 on various Fortnite competitions.
Slovenia is also the home to Jernej Simončič, who won the first-ever Sim Racing World Cup in Monaco in October 2022.
In recent years, more and more betting companies got involved with the esports industry, and the CEE region is no exception.
In Hungary, the national lottery company Szerencsejáték Zrt. became the naming partner of TippmixPro CS:GO Masters, Hungarian National CS:GO Championship.
In 2022 the company also announced a strategic partnership with the Hungarian Esports Federation. Szerencsejáték Zrt. is the main partner of the Hungarian National Team for the European and World Championships organized by the GEF, IeSF, and the EEF.
In its turn, last year, Tipsport betting company also became the naming partner of the Czech National CS:GO Championship. Its involvement helped to increase the prize pool, general viewership, and the number of offline events in the country.
It is clear that betting companies are a valuable addition to the esports sponsorship portfolio in CEE countries.
Another important development that took place in the region over the past year, according to Hodozsán, was Deutsche Telekom’s partnerships with a number of esports events.
Deutsche Telekom is one of the biggest telecommunication companies in Europe and the world, with subsidiaries in most European countries. Seeing competitors like Vodafone sponsoring major esport events and teams, it was only a matter of time before Telekom also entered the space.
2022 was the year when the company became more active in Central Europe. The eSport Cup powered by Telekom had three LAN events in late November in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.
Almost in parallel, also in November, Telekom eSports Championship SEE gathered the best teams from North Macedonia, Croatia, and Montenegro.
Both events provided tens of thousands of euros in prizes and showed that Telekom has become an important partner for esports.
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