Munich. ‘United in Rivalry’ enters the next level in
2021. BMW is once again partner of some of the top Esports teams in
the world this season. Cloud 9, FNATIC, FunPlus Phoenix, G2 Esports
and T1 will be competing in the classic League of Legends game in BMW
colours, where they will regularly do battle for wins and titles. On
Wednesday, OG Esports – a world-leading team in Dota 2 and on other
platforms – was announced as new ‘United in Rivalry’ partner team,
thus BMW will also play an important role in Esports outside the
League of Legends cosmos. Now the teams are off on a very special
journey together; in Japanese artist Acky Bright’s manga, they are the
heroes in a fantasy world. They can only make it through the
adventures that await them there as one, despite being rivals – making
them ‘United in Rivalry’.

“The superheroes in our manga not only develop great power in their
adventure, but they also inspire the imagination of every single
person,” said Stefan Ponikva, Vice President Brand Experience BMW.
“There is something magical about manga; it touches peoples’ hearts.
That is the crux of the matter. Manga follows our goal of wrapping
brand messages in emotions – with great finesse for images, language
and symbols – and entertaining people. In pop culture like the Esports
scene, this is far more effective than another display ad. Through
manga, we are communicating on the same wavelength with a target group
that does not actually respond positively to advertising, and we are
there, where they are – on their mobile devices. With Heroes of
Rivalry we are initiating the next stage and not just fuelling the
Esports hype, but getting actively involved. I am really looking
forward to BMW’s second year in Esports.”

The BMW Esports teams’ story is set in the well-known manga genre of
Isekai, in which real-world heroes master challenges in a parallel
fantasy environment and have to survive fictional dangers. The manga
art form that originated in Japan and Korea – where it’s called
‘manhwa’ – is experiencing a global boom. The fan base is growing
rapidly, and leading streaming services are investing heavily in the
manga related anime market. Manga are very different from western
comics, with one difference being the opposite reading direction of
the 100-or-so-page magazines, which is from right to left. Many manga
are published as episodes in periodical magazines before being bundled
together as a standalone volume. There are eight episodes of ‘Heroes
of Rivalry’ in total that will be released on the BMW Esports social
media channels and on www.bmw.com/heroesofrivalry.

The concept and the storyline for ‘Heroes of Rivalry’ came from Jung
von Matt based in Hamburg, while the artwork came courtesy of popular
Japanese illustrator and manga artist Acky Bright. Bright started out
as a graphic designer and developed his own unique design,
illustration, livepaint and manga style, which made him stand out from
other mangaka, and has earned him a loyal fanbase. He founded his own
studio, Brightworks, for design and ad campaigns and is a partner in
cool-Japan art company Tokyo Direct, which co-produces manga, licenses
work internationally, arranges artist events such as live-painting and
engages social networking activities.

OG Esports celebrates debut in ‘Heroes of Rivalry’
manga.
BMW Esports presented its sixth partner team OG
Esports to fans as part of the ‘Heroes of Rivalry’ campaign. The
European team will fly the BMW colours in the game Dota 2. OG Esports
was founded in 2015 and won ‘The International’, the most important
and most lucrative tournament of the season, in both 2018 and 2019.
The team was awarded a total cash prize of around 27 million US
dollars for those two victories at the Dota 2 world championship. In
addition to Dota 2, OG Esports is represented by strong teams in other
games – including Valorant.

“OG Esports is giving the United in Rivalry family another boost,”
said Ponikva. “As well as League of Legends, we are now also involved
in Dota 2 – and with an absolutely top team. This is another step
towards realising our vision of immersing ourselves deep in the pop
culture of Esports and expanding our involvement in this unique scene
with a very specific language, and specific references and symbols.”

“I grew up with a poster of a BMW motorcycle on my wall… Many years
later… being able to work with them, it’s a dream come true,” said
JMR Luna, CEO of OG Esports. “BMW is a wonderful brand and company,
and they entered Esports partnering with five of the biggest Esports
orgs in the world and it is an honour for us to be part of this
prestigious group now. Once again thank you to our fans for continuing
to believe and support us, and OG and BMW will now work hard to bring
many more incredible moments to you all.”

Dota 2, like League of Legends, is a multiplayer online battle arena
(MOBA) game and the successor of the popular ‘Defense of the Ancients’
modification of the strategic game ‘Warcraft 3’. The game was released
as a free-to-play title on 9th July 2013. Dota 2 had more
than 11 million monthly active users around the world in January 2019.
OG Esports was the first team to win four major titles in Dota 2 back
in 2017, and the first team to defend their World Championship title
in ‘The International’ in 2019.

About BMW Esports.

BMW has been collaborating with five of the world’s best teams
as a partner in the classic League of Legends game since 2020. Cloud
9, FNATIC, FunPlus Phoenix, G2 Esports and T1 fly the BMW colours in
the biggest events in the industry. The highlight of the first
collaborative season in 2020 was the Worlds, in which G2 esports and
FNATIC made it to the knock-out stage of the finals in the battle of
the world’s best teams. G2 Esports even made it to the semi-final. The
Dota 2 specialists OG Esports are a new addition to the ‘United in
Rivalry’ squad as of April 2021. The involvement in Esports gives BMW
completely new touch points with a dynamic, rapidly growing community;
making Esports an important future field for BMW marketing activities.
BMW has prominent representatives in sim racing as well, and has
integrated BMW SIM Racing into its racing programme as a standalone
pillar. The BMW SIM Cups attract the world’s best sim racers, who do
battle for wins, titles and attractive cash prizes in virtual BMW
racing cars. BMW SIM Racing teams are taking part for the first time
in 2021. BS+COMPETITION, G2 Esports, Team GB and Team Redline
represent BMW on various simulation platforms.

This content was originally published here.