Retailer GAME is sponsoring the National University Esports League's (NUEL) League of Legends National Championship. And while this is fantastic news for the UK scene, NUEL founder Josh Williams is remaining modest over the announcement, promising the NUEL "won't become sellouts".
"As you can imagine, this is starting to cost quite a bit to run," Josh said. "We’ve been financing the NUEL from personal savings and small grants from university enterprise support.
"This commitment is equally matched with the number of hours our volunteer staff dedicate to making the tournament happen- some do NUEL as a full time job without pay. Unfortunately this isn’t sustainable for the long term future of the NUEL.
"We don’t want to be millionaires, we want NUEL to be successful. Of course we need money to pay the bills, but more importantly we want to improve the experience we can give you all and be able to – one day – create careers for upcoming talent in esports.
"This deal goes some way to making that happen, we’re going to be exploring other ways which we can earn money and ensure that we do so in a manner which has a positive impact on you and adds more value to your NUEL experience. We won’t become sell outs."
GAME is the first title sponsor for the NUEL, which has some 350 teams playing League of Legends across around 150 UK universities. The retailer has promised it will help the NUEL to grow.
Fred Prego, Insight & Marketing Director at GAME, added: "As a company, we are committed to delivering unique experiences that are only available at GAME. eSports is an integral part of that offering. Our sponsorship of NUEL is another step towards growing our eSports capabilities.
“As sponsors, we can ensure that NUEL continues to grow. We hope to continue the fantastic work alongside them in a way that will add value to the experience and increase the positive impact of eSports in the student community.”
Check out our chat with Josh and Derry at the League of Legends World Championship (Worlds) in London last month: