Peripherals maker SteelSeries has announced an eSports partnership that goes beyond the norm, moving noted Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Winterfox into its Chicago headquarters.
For peripheral makers to cosy up to professional gamers is nothing new: any company which offers gaming-themed keyboards, mice, headsets, mouse-mats, glasses, energy drink, or any other add-on or accessory will likely sponsor a team in order to be seen by its target audience as an aspirational brand used by their heroes. Some go still further, drafting pro-gamers into the design of their products - or, at least, claiming to - in order to build upon their expertise.
SteelSeries' latest sponsorship deal, though, goes still further. In what the company is claiming is an industry first, SteelSeries has moved the Winterfox professional CS:GO team - comprised of Alex ‘LeX’ Deily, Todd ‘anger’ Williams, David ‘Xp3’ Garrido, Kyle ‘flowsicK’ Mendez, and Derek ‘desi’ Branchen, led by chief executive officer Brian Cordry - into a private suite in its Chicago headquarters, where the team will train full-time while working alongside SteelSeries staffers.
'Our core product and brand values were formed as a combination of our original company DNA and years of meeting industry demands,
' claimed Travis Hezel, SteelSeries’ global director of sponsorships, at the announcement. 'The Winterfox project addresses a multitude of those values that will progress eSports as a whole, and how sponsors like Steelseries interact with customers, bringing new product developments and more personal connections with eSports athletes.
'SteelSeries has given us everything a team could possibly want, in terms of both sponsorship stability and a world-class training facility,
' claimed Alex Deily, the team captain. 'The idea is bold, and although there were obstacles to accomplish a completely new type of partnership, we’re ready to rise to the challenge as a solidified team.
The team has recorded a video tour of its new facility, reproduced below, including the commute from the Chicago apartment its members will share for the duration.