Thursday, June 20, 2024

Blacklist Int’l expands to Dota 2, activates merch and apparel venture 

Homegrown e-sports and gaming entertainment agency Tier One has entered into a joint business agreement with e-sports betting platform Rivalry to create Blacklist Rivalry – a newly forged team anticipated to compete in the upcoming season of the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC).  

In the Dota Pro Circuit, the top ranking teams after a year-long Valve-sponsored series of tournaments will be invited to “The International”, the premier Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) 2 world championship first hosted in 2011 at Gamescom. 

With TNC Predator stepping out of contention this year from its DPC 2023 campaign, all eyes are on Tier One’s Blacklist Rivalry who acquired the slot from RSG, a Singapore-based e-sports organization. The Blacklist Rivalry roster includes Carlo “Kuku” Palad, Timothy “Tims” Randrup, Marc Polo “Raven” Fausto, Nico “eyyou” Barcelon, and Karl “Karl” Baldovino.  

Tier One’s foray into Dota 2 is backed by Acer’s Predator Gaming who will be its official major sponsor, as the latter’s reinvigorated efforts to deliver support for the local esports scenes – from the grassroots level all the way to the professional leagues.  

“We’re very honored to work with Tier One Entertainment and Blacklist International as they finally expand to Dota 2,” said Acer Philippines general manager Sue Ong-Lim.

Meanwhile, Acer Philippines senior marketing manager Princess Laosantos described the Blacklist Rivalry venture as an epic partnership between Acer and Blacklist International.  

“At Predator Gaming, we are happy to bear witness to where our partnership with Tier One Entertainment and Blacklist International will go and what greatness will be achieved by the players, who are all Predator League champions,” she said. 

Within the partnership, Blacklist International will be combining its expertise in managing e-sports teams to Rivalry’s content production and creative resources geared towards building team fandom and awareness. 

The Toronto-based Rivalry recently reported its best quarter ever at Q3 2022, up by 93% versus the same period the previous year, at $5.2 million of revenue. This figure is bolstered by an aggressive gross profits hike to the company’s record high $1.5 million just for the quarter, 263% higher than 2021.  

Rivalry CEO Steven Salz shared his expectations with the company’s collaboration alongside Blacklist International’s team division, as well as plans to develop premium content for fans, and preparing the team for championship performance.  

“Our joint venture with Tier One represents another meaningful opportunity to support and engage with the Dota 2 community in Southeast Asia,” he added.  

To put focus on team communication during matches and plays, Tier One Entertainment co-founder Tryke Gutierrez said that the company decided to go for a full Filipino squad, with each player having an established history of wins in the game.  

“Tier One has always believed that talents in South East Asia are capable of competing globally regardless of which country. Assembling a decorated team like this won’t guarantee us a win. There is still a lot of work to be done for sure but for us in Blacklist, we’re just happy that we’ll get to compete against the best in the world with this roster,” he concluded.  

Until December 18, the DPC 2023 will be holding the Open Qualifiers across all six competing regions, followed by the Division 1 and Division 2 leagues slated for early January. 

With the Blacklist Rivalry announcement as a prelude, Tier One Entertainment also introduced its official apparel and merchandise division “BLCKBOX,” first released as a limited collection called “First Drop” back in the Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) 2019. The flagship store for BLCKBOX can be found on Lazada or Shopee.  

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