Cincinnati Fear partner with Starforge Systems

NACL

06/06/2024 - 5'

"Co-streaming is definitely something that we're interested in doing"

Cincinnati Fear, a prominent team in the NA Challengers League (NACL), has announced a new partnership with Starforge Systems, the PC company of the popular OTK content creation group. This co-branding initiative, titled Fear x Starforge, brings financial support, high-quality PCs, and the backing of OTK’s extensive network, marking a significant shift in the nature of partnerships within the NACL.

A Unique Collaboration

Unlike traditional NACL partnerships, which often provide only marketing benefits without direct financial support, the alliance with Starforge offers substantial monetary backing. Matt Harris, Business Development and Digital Marketing representative for Cincinnati Fear, emphasizes the transformative impact of this support. "This financial support is going to allow us to provide resources to our team and staff that otherwise would’ve been difficult for us to do," Harris stated to Sheep Esports. The direct involvement of Starforge's staff and executives will also assist Fear in various initiatives, enhancing the team's operational capabilities.

Goals and Vision

Both parties share ambitious goals for this partnership. Cincinnati Fear aims to demonstrate the viability and potential of the NACL and Tier 2 esports as a worthy investment space. Harris highlights their objective: "With the support of Starforge Systems, we hope to build a precedent for how teams and companies can uniquely navigate this space together."

For Starforge, the motivation lies in their deep-rooted passion for esports. Adam Bamonti, Creative Director for Starforge, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration while answering Sheep Esports' questions: "Esports has been very near and dear to Starforge's heart since the company's inception. When we had the opportunity to meet with Fear, we knew immediately that we were on the same wavelength. They're an awesome organization who balances both competitiveness with content, which is an important formula in today's esports landscape."

Co-Streaming and Community Engagement

A key component of the partnership is the co-streaming opportunities with OTK's popular streamers, such as Mizkif and Emiru. Bamonti shared their interest in leveraging these platforms to enhance visibility: "Co-streaming is definitely something that we're interested in doing. DisguisedToast has done an incredible job using his platform to bring eyes on DSG and the NACL as a whole, and we'd love to be able to do the same thing - and maybe even get a new rivalry out of it!"

Moreover, the collaboration plans to engage the local community through initiatives like building esports labs for high schools in the tri-state area, in partnership with Altafiber. This initiative aligns with both parties' commitment to supporting and nurturing the local esports ecosystem.

Fear x Starforge's Roster for NACL Summer 2024

Under the branding of their new collaboration, Fear x Starforge will field a strong roster for the NACL Summer 2024 split. The team includes:

Toplane: Philip "Philip" Zeng
Jungle: Lawrence Lin "eXyu" Xu
Midlane: Nicholas Antonio "Ablazeolive" Abbott
AD Carry: Tony "Instinct" Ng
Support: Juan Jose "JayJ" Guibert Seminario

The roster will still be lead by Head Coach Mateusz "Kiao" Sujdak and Assistant Coach Ian "ido" McCormick. However, James "Torok" Thomsen will be joining as positional coach following the Lionscreed situation in the NLC.

Future Plans and Events

The partnership between Cincinnati Fear and Starforge promises exclusive content and events, including a playoff bootcamp in Cincinnati powered by Starforge Systems. This event will not only provide a competitive edge by bringing the team together in person but also facilitate content creation, enhancing fan engagement and team visibility.

Looking ahead, both Cincinnati Fear and Starforge envision a long-term collaboration that evolves organically based on shared values and emerging opportunities. As Harris noted, "There is no perfect game plan for these types of partnerships so we will let the opportunities develop naturally and work collaboratively to capitalize on them."

Conclusion

The Fear x Starforge partnership represents a pioneering step in the NACL, combining financial support and community engagement. By setting a new standard for how teams and companies can collaborate, Cincinnati Fear and Starforge are poised to make a lasting impact on the NA Challengers landscape.

- Brieuc "LEC Wooloo" Seeger -