Honkai: Star Rail is officially sponsoring Azure Ray for TI12, the first time a video game is financing a esports team
In a groundbreaking announcement that has sent ripples throughout the esports community, the up-and-coming Dota 2 powerhouse, Azure Ray, has revealed its exciting partnership with Honkai: Star Rail, a popular role-playing gacha game developed by miHoYo, as its official financier for The International 2023 (TI 12). This collaboration marks a significant milestone for the organization and the esports industry, as it represents the first time a video game has sponsored a Dota 2 team.
Azure Ray to Journey to the Stars
Azure Ray, a relatively new entrant in the competitive Dota 2 scene, has rapidly gained recognition for its stellar performance. The team's journey to The International 2023 began earlier this year when they secured a remarkable 4th-place finish in the Dota Pro Circuit China (DPC CN) 2023 Tour 3: Division I tournament. This achievement earned them a coveted spot at The International 12 through the rigorous regional qualifiers.
The announcement of Honkai as the official financier for the Chinese team has taken the Dota 2 esports world by storm. While specific details of the partnership have not been disclosed, it is anticipated that Honkai will prominently feature on the jerseys of the team's players as they compete on the grand stage of TI 12.
“Board Astral Express to Seattle with us and show off your skills this summer! May this journey lead us starward!,” exclaimed the organization in their Weibo post, reflecting the excitement and anticipation surrounding this collaboration.
Their journey to The International initially faced uncertainty due to visa complications. However, the organization's unwavering determination and meticulous efforts have paid off, as all five of the team's players have successfully obtained their visas. This ensures their participation in the highly anticipated Dota 2 extravaganza scheduled to take place in Seattle, Washington, from October 12th to October 29th, 2023.
The roster of Azure Ray boasts a talented lineup:
- Lou “Lou” Zhen
- Lu “Somunus” Yao
- Yang “chalice” Shenyi
- Xu “fy” Linsen
- Jiang “天命” An
The team is guided by the experienced and renowned Dota 2 veteran, Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng, who serves as their coach. With their roster locked in and strengthened by the support of Honkai, the team is well-positioned to make a significant impact on the global Dota 2 esports stage at The International 2023.
Azure Ray and Honkai: Star Rail
The Dota 2 team and Honkai partnership elevates the team's image and resources while highlighting the increasing impact of HoYoverse games in esports. Honkai, launched on April 26, 2023, has swiftly gained recognition in the gaming world, marking a significant crossover between gaming and esports.
AR announced that Honkai: Star Rail will be their official sponsor at TI12. pic.twitter.com/GeDkRKehN7
— CN Dota In A Nutshell (@Tr1H4rd3rDota2) October 2, 2023
This partnership also demonstrates the adaptability and collaboration potential within esports. While traditional sponsors are common, having a video game title as a financier opens new avenues for promotion and community engagement. It underscores the evolving nature of esports, fostering innovative partnerships. With three legendary players in their lineup, they are set to compete at the highest level, vying for the coveted Aegis of Champions. Dota 2 enthusiasts worldwide eagerly await their performance at TI 12, where they will join 19 other top-tier teams in an anticipated competition.
In conclusion, the partnership between the Dota 2 team and Honkai represents a significant moment in the esports industry, solidifying the esport organization's global presence and highlighting the growing prominence of HoYoverse games in esports. As TI12 approaches, all eyes will be on them as they embark on their journey with Honkai, aiming to leave a lasting mark on Dota 2 history.