G2 Esports has made a dramatic move into Dota 2 with the signing of a partnership with iG. We asked KBBQ about the partnership:
G2 Esports has been making significant moves in the past few weeks: After entering a strategic partnership with Version1 that gave G2 operating rights to the Call of Duty League’s Minnesota Røkkr, the organization revealed another two partnerships. One with Stride Esports for a Rocket League tournament series, and perhaps most dramatically, a partnership with Chinese organization Invictus Gaming that would bring G2 into Dota 2.
In the wake of the dramatic announcement, esports.gg reached out to ask Jack "KBBQ" Chen, Dota 2 personality and new manager of G2.iG, a few questions about just what the new partnership entailed.
Why iG as G2’s Dota 2 partner?
First of all, why partner with iG? G2 Esports is a European team, with roots in the region. While China is definitely a strong region (despite shaky moments in early 2022), wouldn’t it have made more sense to partner with a team in the WEU region?
“One of our major goals at G2 is global expansion, through new regions and new esports titles. One of our main target markets is China, and we’ve been steadily growing our presence there and building a huge fanbase despite not having a local team for our fans to support. We’re actually now the most popular foreign team on Weibo and we’ve been focused on finding a way to enter the market, but wanted to do it with a partner that made sense, which is why we’ve held off until now.”
“Our partnership with IG not only allows us to finally launch a team in China, but we are also entering Dota for the first time, which is also a title that we’ve been really interested in. iG really made sense for us because they have the same values as us and above all they like to have fun and do things differently. They have been such an incredible partner to work with and are fully aligned with our creative goals when it comes to content and social media.”
Why Dota 2, though?
“Dota 2 is a title we’ve wanted to be a part of for a long time, but wanted to find the right way to get involved in its rich and passionate ecosystem. We also understand the legacy of organizations in Dota 2 and creating a G2 team without a partner who already has a strong foundation in the scene didn’t feel like the right approach.
Our partnership with iG allows us to approach Dota 2 in the right way, with people who have been working in the scene for a long time - they already have an Aegis so what better qualifications do you need?
We want to bring our energy, the G2 way to Dota 2 with a partner who truly understands the landscape, so we can create the best experience for our fans, and work with them to secure another Aegis - that’s the goal!”
What exactly does the partnership entail?
One of the biggest questions about the G2/iG deal comes from the nature of the partnership. With G2 entering multiple partnerships in a short span of time, each with a different scope, it's hard to gauge exactly what “partnership” means in each situation. With Version1 and the Minnesota Røkkr, for example, G2 effectively has control over the Minnesota Røkkr, while Version1 retains ownership. KBBQ was able to explain how the partnership will work:
“We’re [G2] working together with them to combine our audiences and cross-promote on our EN and CN channels. It’s truly a partnership, so we’re in this together when it comes to team management and marketing. We’ve also got big ambitions together to do more for our fans in China and will definitely be joining forces to create activations and experiences for our local fans.”
What does this mean to KBBQ?
Finally, We asked KBBQ if he could give us a quote on importance of the G2 and iG partnership: “Well... it's a bit more personal for me. I've always been fascinated by the Chinese Dota scene, it's been a goal and passion of mine for the longest time to be a part of building championship teams, and this is an amazing opportunity for both!”
G2.iG are currently participating in ESL One Kuala Lumpur, which runs until Dec. 17. Stick with esports.gg for more Dota 2 esports news and info!