Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Every day we hear about the newest partnerships in Esports and while it’s exciting, it usually feels like brand exposure and rarely like a worthwhile move that actively benefits gamers. And recently IMC, a technology-driven trading firm, announced a multi-year partnership with Team Liquid. But, what does this partnership mean for the average gamer and the future of esports and gaming? We were able to speak with Global Head of Marketing at IMC, Steven Biester to find out what this really means for you as a gamer.

“At its most basic level, our collaboration with Team Liquid is an important one for the average gamer and the future of esports and gaming because it demonstrates a new approach to partnerships. The industry already benefits from the investment of many high-quality brands. We separate ourselves by providing a different type of value,” Biester said.

“There is a crossover of skills between competitive gamers and market traders and software engineers. We want to use that to recruit for our talent pool. Our plan is to show these talented, young individuals wider career opportunities that suit their skills – including some they may not have considered before.”

On top of their overall goal of widening career opportunities, IMC and Team Liquid are working together on several events, tournaments, and initiatives:

“Since we announced the partnership earlier this year, we’ve already co-produced IMC College Clash, a series of college tournaments created to celebrate young talent. Over 1500 players across three global regions, North America, Asia, and Europe applied and competed in League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics to win a variety of prizes. When Team Liquid hosted its PrideMakers hackathon in June, we also provided judges and sponsorship,” Biester said.

It doesn’t end there. In September IMC is hosting their annual Room to Read charity event raising money to improve literacy and gender equality in education in low-income communities. Team Liquid’s inclusion in this event will continue to strengthen this effort. Plus, there are more conversations around college tournaments and exploring how IMC’s technology can support the wider gaming community.

IMC has a vested interest in college esports, but college esports is still new territory and heavily fractured, where there is very little consistency from school to school. But, with the expanding interest from students and companies like IMC, there is room to make it bigger, better, and more profitable for schools and college players.

In addition to our independent efforts, we’re working closely with Team Liquid to establish ways to engage younger and collegiate gamers, promote the space and provide meaningful resources and programming,” Biester said.

We have already started to facilitate smaller competitions, as well as evaluate the way we operate internally. As we support our employees who do game, we intend to make IMC a preferred destination for post-graduate gamers looking to expand their skill-sets or enter another field. There are plenty of untapped or lesser prioritized areas in esports, and our efforts will facilitate growth there, elevating the space overall.

This is good news for college esports. With the backing of large esports organizations like Team Liquid and innovative companies like IMC, we will hopefully see a welcome expansion in college esports.

Quote from Steven Biester, Global Head of Marketing at IMC:

“Our partnership with Team Liquid has always been about putting the valuable gaming community front and center. This is a truly talented group of people who possess the type of skills we want at IMC Trading and in abundance! In only a few short months we’ve already co-hosted multiple activations, but we’re here for the long term and we’re committed to exploring ways to engage and nurture their raw talent!” 

Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images