giving back

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Giving Back on a Grand Scale

Esports fans are known for their passion. We’ve seen mainstream consumer brands closing major sponsorship deals in 2019 precisely because audiences are motivated to do things (like buy products) if they are connected thoughtfully to esports. In 2019, esports team organizations started to wield their tremendous influence to support humanity at large in new ways, not just improve their bottom line.

Team Liquid’s CS:GO team wore blood red jerseys in support of the BCA’s blood drive. Source: Team Liquid.

On World Blood Donor Day, Team Liquid and Blood Centers of America launched the Heal for Real campaign to encourage esports fans to donate blood — a crucial initiative to reach the 20- to 34-year-old population that’s severely underrepresented among donors at a time when blood donations are needed more than ever. Team Liquid threw its entire weight behind the campaign, launching limited edition red jerseys for donors and hosting blood donation buses at esports tournaments across the USA. Liquid will continue to host blood donation trucks at their events next year.

Likewise, Misfits Gaming and its Overwatch team, the Florida Mayhem, partnered with The Gift of Life Marrow Registry to increase the number of younger bone marrow and stem cell donors to help those affected by blood cancer. Together, they hosted swab drives at colleges and universities across Florida as well as online, resulting in almost 200 new potential donors and over 10,000 viewers and attendees of the events who now better understand the Gift of Life’s important mission.

Team Liquid and Misfits weren’t the only ones to give back in a big way this year — not by a long shot. We also saw individual pro players, speedrunners, esports legends, internet celebrities, and even amateur gamers put their skills and their platforms to use and raise money for charity, from all corners of the world. Some highlights: in France, a group of gamers held a 54-hour marathon stream that raised over 3.5 million euros for the Pasteur Institute for Science. In Las Vegas, Rick Fox was joined by League of Legends stars in his Champions for Charity livestream, supporting the Bahamas Relief Foundation. And in a Hilton hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota, the Games Done Quick speedrunning charity marathon raised more than $3 million for Doctors Without Borders, a new record for the nine-year-old event.