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Bait Makes Inroads Into Esports With Overwatch League Partnership

Esports continues to make inroads in the world of sneakers.

Renowned boutique Bait has teamed up with international esports organization Overwatch League for an atypical partnership, a sneaker-based incentive program that is reminiscent of pro sports performance bonuses.

Overwatch League pro players who hit stat-based achievements will win sneakers from the retailer’s online store. The lineup of sneakers available will be curated by the Bait team and the retailer’s CMO, Eric Phan.

There are several “triggers” that lead to a bonus, for example, a Fleta Deadlift, which is when a player accounts for 50% or more of a team’s eliminations in a map his or her team wins. After one of these marks is achieved the player will be notified by the league, and then he or she will coordinate with Phan or someone at Bait to select a sneaker.

“Gaming and sneakers cultures have always had a passionate, shared community. You can see it on display through some of the collabs that have dropped recently like the Xbox Jordans and the PlayStation PG2s. So, there is no better time than now for Overwatch League and Bait to partner to create sneaker bonuses,” Phan said in a statement. “Esports pros are definitely part of the shared gaming and sneaker culture and will appreciate what we are putting together.”

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The sneaker and streetwear connection to esports — and specifically the Overwatch League — is not new. For example, legendary designer and collaborator Jeff Staple created this season’s team kits for the league.

Outside of Overwatch League, brands including Puma, Adidas, K-Swiss and Nike have ventured into esports through product creation, collaborations and organization sponsorships.

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