SINGAPORE - Singapore-based martial arts organisation One Championship on Wednesday (Nov 7) said it intends to lead a plan to invest up to US$50 million (S$68.65 million) alongside key partners, including Singapore companies Razer and Singtel, to create Asia's largest global e-sports championship series - One eSports.
One Championship and Dentsu, Japan's largest global advertising agency, have agreed to launch One eSports as a joint venture together in 2019. Razer, Singtel and other top industry players have also entered into partnership memoranda of understanding with One eSports to lead Asia's e-sports industry together.
One eSports will feature multiple blockbuster game titles across Asia, and hold a number of e-sports events held alongside One Championship martial arts events in 2019.
"One Championship is committed to bringing its same brand of large-scale event production and live broadcast capabilities, unique world-class content production, global media distribution, storytelling expertise, and marketing experience to One eSports," said One Championship chairman and chief executive Chatri Sityodtong.
"Our mission is to celebrate Asia's e-sports heroes on the global stage."
Earlier this year, One Championship announced a 30-event schedule for 2019 for its global scale martial arts events across iconic Asian cities including Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul, Jakarta, Shanghai, Beijing, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City. One eSports will piggyback off this master event schedule in select cities, it said.
In addition, One eSports will also produce and broadcast dedicated e-sports content in the form of live event broadcasts, documentaries, reality shows, weekly magazine shows, highlights, video blogs and other unique content across its global media broadcast platform in 138 countries.
Recently-signed One Championship athlete and pound-for-pound mixed martial arts king Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson will help to lead the One eSports efforts as its chief brand ambassador.
Dentsu, as the marketing partner of the Japan eSports Union (JeSU), will help to harvest Japanese game developers' desire to expand in e-sports across Asia via One eSports. Dentsu will help to lead One eSports' efforts to hold events across Japan, and One eSports will also leverage Dentsu and Dentsu Aegis as its preferred marketing agencies for strategic marketing formulation and sponsorships around the world.
"We recognise good synergy between martial arts and e-sports, making this a fantastic opportunity for both One Championship and Dentsu to participate in this growing segment in Asia, as well as leverage multiple content platforms for additional sales and business opportunities," said Shuntaro Tanaka, director of Dentsu's content business design centre.
One eSports will also work with Razer to leverage its ecosystem of hardware, software and services. Razer will provide its expertise in the e-sports industry to develop, manage and organise an e-sports tournament or series in partnership with One eSports.
eSports Mogul, a Razer portfolio company, will provide the technical know-how and innovation for the development of an online platform to organise and stage online eSports events and tournaments. Razer Pay will serve as the payment platform for the ticketing of One eSports tournaments, as well as for the online sale of related merchandise and content.
One eSports and Razer will also explore joint marketing opportunities using Team Razer eSports athletes as well as One Championship athletes to drive communication and engagement to all martial arts fans and gamers across Asia.
The optimism is shared by Razer's co-founder and chief executive Tan Min-Liang. He said: "Like Razer, One Championship is at the forefront of a new digital entertainment revolution that delivers the sporting content that millennials hunger for, whether online or offline. This partnership will see us combining our respective areas of expertise and deliver unmatched cross-boundary experiences to our fans."
One eSports will also explore working with Singtel further. The collaboration across Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and India will potentially include joint e-sports marketing efforts, production and distribution of e-sports content through Singtel's platforms, as well as telco data bundle plans and online and offline payment services through direct carrier billing and telco wallets.
This is an extension of One Championship's ongoing collaboration with the Singtel Group in its mixed martial arts events, it said.
"We are pleased to take this collaboration into e-sports. With the success of our PVP eSports Championship in October, we look to further engage with the gaming community through this partnership and increase our involvement in e-sports," said Arthur Lang, Singtel's chief executive, international.