Once relegated to the sidelines of professional sports, now esports is beginning to be taken more seriously, especially given the prize pools that some events having been commanding of late.
Adding credence to the esports scene is Nike, with the apparel maker giving its clout in the form of new jerseys designed for League of Legends Pro League (LPL) players in China.
The company designed the jerseys for a handful of teams during the final day of the LPL Summer Gauntlet, which is a competition designed to determine seedings for teams who will take part in the World Championships taking place next month.
According to Engadget, FunPlus Phoenix, Royal Never Give Up and Invictus Gaming (featured in the header) will be the first to don the jerseys, with all 16 Pro League teams sporting the swoosh come the Spring Split tournament next year.
As is the go-to strategy that Nike adopts for new football jerseys at the beginning of each season, there is a template design, with a V across the chest, and different colour combinations, along with logos depending on the team. There’s also a badge of authenticity sewn to the bottom left front of the jersey, as well as the LPL logo.
These are the first interesting pieces that Nike has revealed since announcing a partnership with LPL at the beginning of the year.
That deal is over four years, so it will be intriguing to see what else the company has planned moving forward. With Nike having a long history of leveraging its athlete star power in order to sell clothing and equipment, we’re assuming the same is planned here.
Should it prove a worthwhile venture, we could even see the company sponsor more leagues in future. We could also see other sporting brands move into the arena.
While this move isn’t a game changer, it does at least show that big non-tech and non-gaming companies are taking esports more seriously, which is a good thing right?
Either way, while we don’t have an affiliation with any of the LPL teams, these Nike jerseys look good.