TNL Esports Brand Tracker 013: KFC

ESforce has announced the start of a cooperation with KFC on launching a new season of KFC BATTLE, an international youth project, with an esports element this year.

KFC BATTLE is a large-scale sports, cultural, and educational project aimed at young people. Its previous season brought together 250,000 participants and visitors, who will be joined this year by thousands more young people from Russia and the CIS. With its diverse range of activities involved, KFC BATTLE is a project that opens paths to multifaceted personal growth in sports and creativity.

This year, competitions in various disciplines will be hosted by 27 Russian and CIS cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Support for the participants will be provided by genuine professionals in their respective fields, people who have already made the journey ahead of the young players, performing artists, and bloggers.

This year, KFC BATTLE will for the first time include a KFC Esports Championship in Dota 2, with famous player and RuHub analyst Yaroslav “NS” Kuznetsov as mentor. Commentating and analysis studio RuHub will also take charge of livestreaming the KFC Esports Championship.

The championship is open to any team from Russia and the CIS consisting of players aged 14 or over and participation in the championship is free. The qualifying stage will consist of two online qualifiers to determine the 4 strongest teams that will be invited to compete in the concluding round, the Superfinal in Moscow on July 21–22.

The winning team of the KFC Esports Championship will earn a quota in the Dota 2 finals of the 2018 Russian Esports Cup, held by the Russian Esports Federation. 

Darya Martynova, Project Leader, KFC BATTLE stated: “Our project works with trends among the young. These days, esports is a full-fledged sport with a great number of young enthusiasts around the world. Branching into esports is an important step in KFC BATTLE’s development as a project. We are faced with an interesting task: to organize an international Dota 2 Championship with a spectacular final in Moscow. We are confident that, with a major holding like ESforce as our partner, we will be able to hold a truly large-scale, professionally organized tournament”


In partnership with Esports Marketing Blog

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 022: Pepsi Adrenaline Rush and Virtus.Pro


Roman Dvoryankin (GM, and Anatoly Gordeev (Pepsi, Director of Marketing: Energy Drinks) (Photo:

Roman Dvoryankin (GM, and Anatoly Gordeev (Pepsi, Director of Marketing: Energy Drinks) (Photo:

TNL Take: Normally energy drinks (Red Bull, Monster) have been excluded as they've been in the "Endemic" category since starting TNL Brand Tracker. However this deal is unique for a few reasons.

First the deal itself: Pepsi's Adrenaline Rush brand signed a partnership with ESforce Holding, which owns Russian eSports team  The 1-year deal includes the usual jersey logo across their teams and athletes in Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Hearthstone and Dota 2.

Adrenaline Rush Gamer Branded Drink (Photo: Adrenaline Rush)

Adrenaline Rush Gamer Branded Drink (Photo: Adrenaline Rush) will also provide content marketing for both the team's and Adrenaline Rush's social channels as well as participate in brand marketing events. 

Here's why this particular deal is interesting:

  • Adrenaline Rush has been moving heavily into eSports recently: In 2016, the brand organized the nationwide Adrenaline Open Cyber Cup as well as the Adrenaline Cyber League for Pro's. 
Adrenaline Cyber League (Photo: Adrenaline Rush)

Adrenaline Cyber League (Photo: Adrenaline Rush)

  • It also has Brand targeted specifically to Gamers and eSports fans called Adrenaline Game Fuel
  • Pepsi's continues its support of eSports across a wide variety of products and sponsorships of teams, leagues, and events - more on this Soon™
  • The biggest one: Recently Red Bull announced their own League of Legends Challenger team.  Red Bull also sponsors different eSports teams as well as individual Athletes. What happens if hypothetically League of Legends announces that Monster Energy is the official league drink? What happens to the Red Bull team? What happens to Red Bull's eSports team deals? What happens to this deal with


As eSports league's become more formalized and start to slowly resemble traditional sports infrastructure, brand deals and revenue sharing will soon start becoming a bigger part of the conversation.