Nike signs endorsement deal with first esports player - Dexerto

Nike signs endorsement deal with first esports player

Published: 19/Oct/2018 20:22 Updated: 19/Oct/2018 22:08

by Mitch Reames


Nike, the largest apparel and sports equipment company in the world, has just signed Jian ‘Uzi’ Zihao, a League of Legends player for Royal Never Give Up.

This is the first sponsorship of an esports player for Nike and marks a major step in the company’s esports initiatives.


The partnership is to promote LeBron James’ new documentary “Shut Up & Dribble,” which covers the intersection of sports and social issues.

Joining Uzi and James in the ad is Chinese actor Bai Jingting. At the time it is unclear if this is just a one-off sponsorship to promote the documentary in Asia or part of a larger esports push for the brand.


Nike has been involved in gaming but their previous initiatives were centered around in-game activations with the sports simulation titles like NBA 2K, Fifa and Madden.

Those initiatives were basically a given as those games represent physical leagues with large Nike presences. The games would feel weird if the brand wasn’t included in some way.

A partnership with a League of Legends player is a step towards future partnerships with esports athletes in the most popular esports that aren’t as naturally intertwined with the brand.


Esports apparel is an interesting, largely unexplored frontier. Adidas has a couple partnerships with esports organizations including Team Vitality and FC Copenhagen esports.

Esports has a large sneaker culture and custom fan-made Nikes have gained a lot of traction on social media.

Whether this represents an opening of floodgates for major apparel brands in esports or is just a one-off partnership still remains to be seen.

Call of Duty

CoD streamers slam Warzone star WarsZ for “pathetic” K/D tanking

Published: 8/Oct/2020 1:16

by Theo Salaun


Call of Duty: Warzone stars continue to call each other out – this time Tommey is joined by HusKerrs and others in critiquing multi-event champion, WarsZ, for manipulating tournament Kill-Death Ratio (K/D) caps by tanking his account.

With more and more money being piled into Warzone tournaments, the stakes are higher than ever and competitors are understandably adamant about integrity. Many of these competitions have turned to K/D caps, as a way to limit good players from forming super squads that’ll end up dominating the opposition.


Following earlier condemnations from top streamers like NICKMERCS and Aydan about others gaming the K/D cap limits, Tommey has exposed WarsZ in particular for allegedly partaking in the unfair practice.

Tommey, a former Call of Duty League player and multi-time Warzone champion, did not hesitate to single out WarsZ for a suspicious drop in his kill-death ration just ahead of this week’s leg of the $210,000 Vikkstar Warzone Showdown. 


Although the caps have been instituted in tournaments to provide for better parity among teams, they can also be manipulated by purposefully delivering uncharacteristically poor performances.

WarsZ has won six Warzone championships across different tournaments, so Tommey’s linked image of the streamer having double-digit zero-kill matches in the past few days is particularly damning.

“People seem to be scared of the repercussions but I’m fed up with the bulls**t,” Tommey tweeted, tagging the rival competitor directly while calling the alleged tanking “pathetic.”


As for WarsZ’s response, it was not well-received. Suggesting that this notable drop in K/D was spurred by having his “girl” play on his account, a variety of notable Warzone competitors slammed the excuse. Among those wast renowned multi-time champion, HusKerrs, who replied simply, “Brother, c’mon now… nobody is buying that.”

Popular streamer DougisRaw also chimed in, mocking the excuse for how obviously the screenshot goes against the idea of letting an inexperienced player drop in for some games: “Damn, your girl plays solo squads. She’s cracked.”


While none of the allegations can be proven, many seem dissatisfied with WarsZ’s excuse and believes it is unfair to competitors like Jukeyz and others who were unable to snag tournament spots because of their high K/D.


It must be noted, as Tommey mentioned in the tweet above, that Vikkstar’s tournament technically doesn’t prohibit such a tactic, so while WarsZ isn’t breaking any rules, it’s fair to say that the rest of the big-name competitors don’t think too highly of it.

It remains to be seen if other tournaments will begin following NICKMERCS in the way he runs his MFAM Gauntlets, monitoring participants’ past in-game performances to make sure that they’re not trying to circumvent the K/D cap.