DHL and ESL have extended their successful partnership pertaining to ESL One. As part of this cooperation, DHL will continue to be involved in one of the most engaging esports series in the world as sponsor and logistics partner in 2020. In this season, ESL One is featuring several top-class tournaments on four continents that will thrill millions of esports fans all around the world. In addition, this year, the "ESL Academy - delivered by DHL" is offering talented Dota 2 amateurs the chance to get into professional esports.

Through its involvement in esports, DHL is active in an important market particularly popular with young people, 78% of whom are aged between 10 and 35. "With this partnership, we are very successfully addressing a young target group that can hardly be reached through traditional marketing channels," says Arjan Sissing, Head of Brand Marketing at Deutsche Post DHL Group. "As digital natives, esports fans naturally have a strong affinity for e-commerce, and for us as a logistics operator, e-commerce is a mainstay of our business. However, they are attractive to us not only as customers, but also as potential employees," Sissing adds.

Bootcamps for budding esports pros

An additional component of the partnership is the "ESL Academy - delivered by DHL", which was established jointly by DHL, ESL and Dotabuff Reach in 2019. The goal of the "ESL Academy delivered by DHL" is to develop, promote and elevate young Dota 2 talent on the verge of going pro. In a live draft at the ESL One tournament in Los Angeles (March 20 through 22) four coaches - former pros - will select the Academy talent for the first season of 2020 from competitors who previously qualified online. The players selected in the draft are then put into teams for online training and the DHL Bootcamp, which will run prior to ESL One tournaments - with logistics support provided by DHL. At the end of the season, the teams will play against each other in the "ESL Academy delivered by DHL" Grand Finals for a prize pool of US$240,000. "The top athletes in esports have long been able to compete with athletes in traditional sports in terms of commitment, performance and popularity," says Arjan Sissing. "We are proud to be able to help support up-and-coming esports talents on their ambitious journey with the ESL Academy and the DHL Bootcamp."

The partnership between ESL and DHL has been in place since 2018. ESL, headquartered in Cologne, is the world's largest esports company. In the ESL One Series, top teams compete against each other in high-level esports disciplines. In 2020, ESL One tournaments will take in several stops around the world, including Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Birmingham and Cologne. On-site, in the stadiums and arenas, well over 10,000 spectators share the excitement each day throughout the entire weekend, with over 90 million fans following the action via streaming platforms such as Twitch. "We host competitions across the globe and deliver first-class entertainment to millions of esports fans, both at the tournaments on-site and via our live broadcasts," says Ralf Reichert, CEO at ESL. "Organizing these tournaments is a major undertaking and very challenging, so we're happy to have DHL on our team. They bring the logistics expertise we need and share our passion for esports."

As official logistics partner, DHL is responsible for the event logistics at all ESL One competitions. This includes the transport of around 660 tons of stage equipment, 900 ergonomic gaming chairs and around 3,840 square meters of monitors. For competitions in 2020, a total distance of over 31,000 kilometers has to be covered, and all while DHL takes care to ensure that its services are rendered as sustainably as possible.

In addition to the partnership with ESL, DHL has a number of other top-class partners in the areas of sports, lifestyle and culture. These include Formula 1 and Formula E, soccer clubs such as Manchester United, several fashion weeks and Leipzig's Gewandhausorchester. DHL has also been official partner of the F1 Esports Series since 2018.

Source: Deutsche Post DHL