The Invictus Gaming sponsorship deal will grant the bookmaker, Betway, to exclusive rights to the team for content creation. The one-year sponsorship deal will take effect starting at The International 2018 and throughout the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit.
Betway is looking to join in on the Dota 2 fun at TI8 after signing the Invictus Gaming sponsorship deal. The agreement will mostly focus on the Chinese esports organization’s Dota 2 squad, which qualified for this year’s TI via the Chinese qualifiers.
The Invictus Gaming sponsorship deal comes just as the Malterese-registered company launched their new Dota 2 channel.
The deal marks the first time Betway will invest in a professional Dota 2 team and their first outside of the European union. In the past, Betway focused their efforts exclusively on Valve’s other esports title, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. They were one of the sponsors of the recently-concluded ESL Pro League. They are also one of the sponsors for the upcoming FACEIT London Major. Additionally, they have also signed sponsorship deals with other CS:GO Teams, like Ninjas in Pyjamas and Made in Brazil (MIBR).
Invictus Gaming have not had a particularly successful time in the 2017-18 Dota Pro Circuit. However, they are a long and storied franchise. In fact, they were powerhouses as recently as a year ago; they won the 2017 Dota 2 Asia Championships. They also ended the season with a Top 6 finish at The International 2017. But, perhaps more importantly, Invictus Gaming established themselves as a household name by winning TI back in 2012.
Click here for our betting preview for Day 1 of The International 2018.
A Growing Sponsorship Trend
It’s no surprise that new sponsors are using the exposure of TI to their advantage. It is, after all, the biggest event in all of Dota 2 and has continuously broken esports prize pool records every year since its inception.
Just last year, The International 2017 made headlines by setting a record prize pool of US$24,787,916 at the end of crowd-funding and this year’s prize pool is looking to be even bigger.
Having said that, Betway are not the first bookmakers to sign deals with teams participating at this year’s TI. OpTic Gaming recently also announced a deal with VKGame, as did Virtus.Pro with Russian betting company Pari-Match. Outside of TI8, there are numerous known Dota 2 teams who have signed sponsorship deals with betting companies, such as Natus Vincere with GGbet.
Unfortunately, as betting sponsorships in both CS:GO and Dota 2 become more popular, one can’t help worry about Valve’s thoughts about it. According to recent reports, Valve have already begun discouraging organizations from signing sponsorship deals with betting companies. However, as of yet, Valve has not announced any official rules regarding the subject. Although we can’t rule out the possibility of them banning it entirely, judging by their stance on gambling in the past.
What do you think of the Invictus Gaming sponsorship deal? Do you think betting sponsorships are here to stay? Or will Valve do something about it, like they did when they shut down many skin-betting sites years ago? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.