ONE Championship is a relatively new name in the field of sports. ONE is a combination of sports, including Singapore-based mixed martial arts (MMA), Muay Thai, judo, kickboxing, boxing, and grappling, launched in July 2011 by the entrepreneur and ESPN Star Sports veteran Victor Cui.
Now backed by sponsors like Sequoia Capital, GIC, Temasek Holdings, and others, the ONE Championship was proud to announce its first-ever esports event. According to a couple of prominent media outlets, including Forbes, the ONE Championship is the largest global sports media property in Asia.
As such, the fact that they hosted their first-ever esports event attracted a lot of people in the online casino industry and allowed them to bet on their favorite players. Even though the first ONE Championship was in Singapore on 3 September 2011, the latest edition included the organization’s intent to dive into the world of esports.
With this announcement, ONE Championship also announced that the organization would invest up to $50 million alongside other partners in the new esports and competitive gaming arm. This move surprised a lot of fans and was news that signaled a bright future is coming.
What’s also interesting as ONE Championship hosts the first esports event is that their former UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson, has been named chief brand ambassador of ONE Esports. The plans now are to get the ball rolling by hosting events in countries like Japan, Singapore, and Indonesia in 2020.
The first two events, which are already known to many online casino and betting fans, are the ONE TEKKEN Tokyo Invitational and ONE Street Fighter Tokyo Challenge. These events took place in Tokyo on October 5 and 6 in 2019, and observers expect the matches will repeat in 2020 as well.
The first significant event was the ONE Dota 2 Singapore World Pro Invitational, something that gathered a lot of fans in the Singapore Indoor Stadium to watch the best Dota players out there in a single competition. The December 2019 event was very popular in the online casino industry, too, and packed the Singapore arena in full as teams were competing for a prize pool of $500,000.
Invented as a hybrid mix of martial arts and martial esports, the ONE Championship is now a serious player in the field of esports and martial arts. An upcoming event to watch out for now is the ONE Esports Dota 2 Invitational, which will be in April 2020 in Jakarta (Indonesia), along with many other amazing events that will invite martial arts and gaming fans in Asia.
To sum things up, while there is no direct link between martial arts and esports, the popularity of both sports types is why ONE Championship decided to put them under one umbrella. Online casino stores such as sbobet did the same and presented odds on both the esports and martial arts matches.
There is a real natural crossover between gaming fans and martial arts fans in Asia as the CEO of ONE Championship noted, stating that the organization remains committed to bringing the brand of a large-scale event, marketing, production, and distribution to ONE Esports.