On Tuesday, Chinese Dota 2 teams LGD Gaming and AzureRay (AR) jointly announced that they had received sponsorships from miHoYo’s role-playing game Honkai:Star Rail for The International 2023, which takes place in Seattle from Oct. 12-29. The Honkai:Star Rail logo will be featured on both team’s jerseys.
Financial terms of these deals were not disclosed.
Sources close to miHoYo told The Esports Advocate that the motivation of this sponsorship was that the Chinese Dota 2 National Team won a gold medal at the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games against Mongolia on Oct. 2. In addition, four players from the Chinese Dota 2 National teams are former LGD Gaming players, and two players—Lu “Maybe” Yao and Yang “Charlice” Shenyi—will also attend The International 2023 as core players from AR.
These sponsorships represent the first time a game has sponsored another game’s esports team. Dota 2 is developed by Valve, and Honkai:Star Rail is developed by miHoYo, the company behind Genshin Impact, which has generated over $4B USD since the game was published in 2020, according to Sensor Tower data for January.
Though miHoYo has become one of the richest game developers in China, the company shows low interests in esports, save small events here and there. Both games Honkai:Star Rail and Genshin Impact are considered non-competitive games. miHoYo’s HoYoverse did recently sign a partnership deal with UK-based National Student Esports (NSE) for the UK university student market.