Missouri eSports has scored another big win in an already successful first season. The Tigers announced a substantial gaming partnership with MSI on Oct. 1, and the company confirmed it Wednesday.
MSI (Micro-Star International) is a Taiwanese computer hardware developer and producer. It develops and makes graphics cards, PC’s, laptops, motherboards and accessories. MSI specializes in gaming and sponsors several professional eSports teams and tournaments.
Missouri head coach Kevin Reape could not comment on the dollar value of the deal.
The Tigers received several gaming laptops, PC’s and additional funds for the team to use for scholarships and facility improvements.
“We’ve been in talks with them for months for some sort of official partnership,” Reape said.
Discussions began in March and a deal was finalized in late September. Reape and Missouri officially announced the partnership Oct. 1 on Twitter.
In exchange, MSI received naming rights for the Tigers’ 5,000 square foot gaming facility located in Center Hall. The team will now officially practice in the MSI Training Facility.
Missouri will also sport MSI logos on its jerseys, though the new uniforms haven’t arrived yet.
Collegiate eSports is still in its early stages of development. MU is the first SEC school to develop an eSports team.
In continuation of its pioneering ways, the program is also one of the few to have a sponsorship. Boise State and University of California, Irvine are on the short list of teams, along with the Tigers.
“We are one of MSI’s largest collegiate partners,” Reape said. “This deal is one of the largest in the collegiate space.”
Reape also hopes the deal will help the Tigers start streaming and broadcasting eSports events sooner rather than later.
The team is also looking to establish a partnership with MU’s School of Journalism. The proposed partnership would give broadcast majors experience doing play-by-play and color commentary covering matches.
The Tigers are not yet broadcasting matches on Twitch, but that feature should be up and running soon.