Esports betting specialist Unikrn has invested in Berlin based CS:GO outfit BIG (Berlin International Gaming).
This is the second such team investment the company has made. Back in late 2015 it launched an all-female pro team in CounterStrike with Sood a keen advocate of gender equality in esports.
At the time, Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood said: “The time is now for a women’s professional gaming team to take center stage, and we have the team to do it. At Unikrn, we’re big advocates for women in tech, and specifically women in esports, and we’re thrilled to see Team Unikrn take the world of CS:GO by storm.”
This latest move into Berlin based org BIG surprised some as Unikrn do not currently hold a gambling licence to operate in Germany, but perhaps this is a sign of things to come. Following the announcement of this partnership BIG enjoyed an excellent weekend at Dreamhack Leipzig, and only just missed out on leaving as champions after they were undone by FlipSid3 Tactics in the final.
Few expected such a performance from BIG and they’re now being seen as one to watch in 2017. Unikrn’s backing should ensure they can continue to grow and expand their brand too.
— Michael Decker (@followteaser) January 15, 2017
Of the decision to invest in BIG, Sood commented: “Initially we were approached by BIG, asking for a sponsorship. We immediately fell in love with the idea of supporting a German allstar team.
“We were discussing sponsorships for multiple teams in the recent past, but somehow it never felt right. We even discussed the possibility of team ownership with some of our star investors. We met this dream half way with BIG. We are not only partnering up with BIG, we are actually investing in them! We want to create value for the team but at the same time we are completely hands-off when it comes to the daily operation or anything roster related. We support them through financial backing and business development.”
Expect to see more involvement from the world of betting in esports this year. GG.Bet is another esports focused operator which has sponsored a number of teams including Fnatic, Na’Vi, Luminosity and more whilst Betway signed a six figure partnership with Ninjas in Pyjamas late last year.