Red Bull has signed UK esports player Ryan Pessoa onto its books.
By signing to the energy drink brand, Ryan has technically become Red Bull’s first grassroots esports athlete from the UK.
He joins the likes of other British athletes sponsored by Red Bull, including moto GP’s Bradley Smith, surfer Andrew Cotton, and more, as well as Red Bull’s non-UK esports athletes such as Olivier “Luffy” Hay and Daigo Umehara.
Ryan will continue to play FIFA for Hashtag United – the Red Bull partnership is a sponsorship deal.
Ryan is a promosing UK FIFA player, having taken part in the FIFA Interactive World Cup last year, during which Esports News UK video interviewed him alongside fellow UK players Shellzz and Thee Bullock.
He will be taking part in the upcoming Gfinity Elite Series, after Gfinity moved into FIFA and brought Hashtag United on board.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Red Bull does not usually announce its individual sponsorship deals – it instead seemingly prefers to produce content over time with each athlete.
Red Bull has already worked with a few esports players over the years, including sponsoring the likes of League of Legends Spanish mid-laner xPeke, and signing a League of Legends team including UK support player KaSing.
A sign of things to come for Red Bull’s UK studio?
The news comes as Red Bull opens its first Gaming Sphere.
The centre has opened in Tokyo and looks like it’s the first of several that could be cropping up from the drinks brand.
Last year, Red Bull revealed it was planning to open its own esports space in London, and a job ad for a studio manager mentions ‘making the Gaming Sphere the home of gaming and esports in the UK’.
Red Bull’s Tokyo Gaming Sphere was mentioned in a tweet earlier this month, and there’s more pictures on the Red Bull website.
— Red Bull Gaming JP (@RedBullGamingJP) February 2, 2018
Could this hint at what we can expect to see from Red Bull’s London Gaming Sphere?
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.