Southeast Asian Dota 2 squad Fnatic entered a sponsorship deal with London-based esports betting site Rivalry.gg earlier today, right ahead of The International 8.
The news was reported earlier today by The Esports Observer, some time before the TI8 group stage kicked off.
The primary goal of the deal is to produce a series of “educational content” about responsible esports betting, according to the report. Both parties have plans to further expand the series later on, with additional content already in the works.
The terms of the sponsorship dictate that each player on Fnatic must have the Rivalry.gg name on their in-game handles, making them a title sponsor. In addition, Rivalry.gg will have a pop-up store at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada, where the TI8 main event will take place. Called “The Offlane Shop,” the store will have Fnatic merchandise available, as well as merchandise from Evil Geniuses and OG.
All three of these teams are currently present in Vancouver to participate in the world championship tournament.
Rivalry.gg launched earlier this year, registering itself with the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission. This is not the first time that a gambling company has sponsored a professional Dota 2 team, though, with Chinese site VPGAME being the title sponsor for Russian/Ukranian club Virtus Pro.
Rivalry.gg is a real-money betting site, however, as opposed to VPGAME which only deals in Dota 2 skins.