Update: Li-Ning and RNG Dota 2 Team Confirm Partnership

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  Update: Chinese sporting goods brand Li-Ning has officially announced its partnership with Royal Never Give-Up (RNG)’s Dota 2 team, and will produce ‘RNG X Li-Ning’ exclusive apparel. On Dec. 28, RNG held a ‘RNG six years ceremony’ at RNG Beijing Esports Center, showcasing a Li-Ning and RNG branded hoodie. According to the announcement post on Chinese social media platform Weibo, the partnership will only include the organization’s Dota 2 team.

  This announcement confirms a partnership that was on public display Dec. 16, when members of RNG’s Dota 2 team attended the ‘Perfect Award Ceremony’ in Shanghai wearing Li-Ning branded apparel.

  Original story:

  During the recent Perfect World Ceremony, all members of Royal Never Give-Up (RNG)’s Dota 2 team wore Li-Ning brand apparel.

  The organization has not publicly announced a partnership yet, and has declined to comment.

  Li-Ning is currently in a sponsorship deal with Edward Gaming (EDG), having recently released an exclusive apparel set for the team organization.

  On Dec. 16, game publisher Perfect World held its ‘Perfect Award Ceremony’ in the Chinese city of Shanghai. At the event, RNG’s professional Dota 2? team made an appearance wearing Li-Ning branded apparel, suggesting a partnership with the Chinese sportswear company. The Esports Observer reached out to RNG to confirm this deal, however it has declined to comment as of the time of publication.

  Li-Ning, one of China’s highest valued sporting goods brands, has already made steps into the esports industry. In October, Li-Ning signed a sponsorship deal with Chinese esports organization Edward Gaming??(EDG). In early December, Li-Ning started selling the “Li-Ning X EDG” apparel line at its retail store in Shanghai’s Daning shopping complex. Products in the collection include hoodies, jackets, tracksuits, and shoes.

  The Perfect World ceremony is an annual award show hosted by the publisher. This year’s event was sponsored by Chinese PC brand Lenovo, hardware brands AMD and Steelseries, and tech company Samsung. Several Chinese Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive? (CS:GO) professional teams attended the ceremony, including PSG, LGD, Newbee, VG, EHOME, Team Aster, Tyloo, and RNG, along with esports casters and community content creators.

  In October, RNG League of Legends? player Jian “Uzi” Zihao appeared in a Nike campaign alongside LeBron James, to promote the basketball star’s documentary Shut Up & Dribble. As reported by The Esports Observer last month, Nike is also currently negotiating with Tencent over a potential competition sponsorship deal for the League of Legends Pro League (LPL). At the time, sources said that the exclusivity conditions of the deal would prevent LPL teams from seeking other clothing sponsorships—however it is possible that the Li-ning partnership with RNG may only involve the organization’s Dota 2 team.