Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus has signed an exclusive sponsorship deal with Suning Esports (SN), acting as the exclusive smartphone sponsor for its League of Legends team currently competing in the League of Legends Pro League Spring Split.
The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. OnePlus’ logo will be displayed on the team’s jerseys, alongside Chinese electrical brand Skyworth.
SN was considered the best Chinese League of Legends esports team in 2020, winning the runner-up place at the 2020 League of Legends World Championship.
During the event, the team signed sponsorship deals with multiple firms, including KFC, automobile brand Roewe, and China’s second-largest food delivery company Eleme. Alongside OnePlus and Skyworth, SN is also sponsored by Suning.com, Logitech G, and live streaming platform Huya. Eleme and Roewe did not renew their partnerships after the 2020 Championship.
In 2019, OnePlus made its first move into esports by signing a partnership deal with British esports organization Fnatic. The partnership included a jersey sponsorship and the integration of “Fnatic Mode,” a tool that could optimize the CPU, GPU, and RAM in OnePlus-branded phones to improve the gaming experience. Alongside OnePlus, Fnatic also cooperates with BMW and luxury brand Gucci.
It is not clear whether OnePlus will launch a “Suning Mode” for the China esports market. In July of 2020, Eric Gass, the Director of Global Brand Partnership at OnePlus stated he believed mobile gaming is the future, and OnePlus strives to equip players with the tools necessary to advance their gameplay.
Despite the League of Legends being a PC game, its mobile version – Leauge of Legends: Wild Rift – will likely be included in the Chinese market this year. Last week, Riot Games announced that the 2021 League of Legends World Championship Finals will be hosted in Shenzhen, and the company is about to get the esports ecosystem ready for Wild Rift in 2021.