Brazilian League of Legends Championship adds Mastercard Sponsorship, Plans Move to Franchise Model 

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Mastercard has expanded its global League of Legends sponsorship strategy to Brazil’s top pro league, CBLoL. Similar to its deals with other LoL tournament products, activations will include content creation, pro player meet and greets, and experience giveaways for cardholders.

According to a release, there are an estimated 66M Brazilian esports players with League of Legends as the most played game. The release also states that 42% of that total are between 17 and 20 years old.

Earlier this week, Riot Games Brazil announced that the CBLoL would be transitioning to a franchise model similar to the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). This structure removes the relegation system whereby poorly performing teams are replaced by semi-pro challengers at the end of each season. Instead, a select group of teams are given long-term partnerships with the league and share in league revenues.

Also this week, 2019 CBLoL champion Flamengo Esports, the esports division of Brazilian soccer team Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, has come under new management. Esports team ownership group and gaming center operator Simplicity Esports has signed a licensing agreement with the soccer club to take over management of Flamengo Esports. 

This has been a common move for team owners heading into a franchise system – to have their esports operations managed by a company more familiar with running an esports team. Typically, however, the ownership is newer to esports, where Flamengo has been in operation since 2017.

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