Parimatch has ended its partnership with Russian esports organisation Team Spirit, due to the country’s military conflict in Ukraine.
In collaboration since 2019, Team Spirit took part in tournaments under the firm’s support with their main triumph, being named as 1st place at The International 2021 with a prize of over $18 million.
Stepan Shulga, Head of Esports at Parimatch Tech, commented: “We have no mutual claims because all agreement terms were fulfilled throughout the partnership. But, given the difficulties of operating during the war, we consider this solution the only one possible.”
Last week, Team Spirit announced the relocation of the office to Belgrade. Due to the war in Ukraine, the club abandoned plans to expand infrastructure in Russia and began moving teams and employees to Serbia.
Prior to the war in Ukraine, the Parimatch brand built partnerships with further esports organisations and players, supported amateur tournaments, organised its own professional leagues and created content for the esports community on social media.
Now the esports development plans have been paused, and the company is focusing resources on supporting Ukraine and recently, Parimatch Tech has announced that the financial support toward Ukraine is doubled from UAH 30 million to 60 million.
Most of the budget was allocated toward purchasing equipment for the Ukrainian defenders, medicines and food, as well as organising evacuations from the hot spots across the country.
Similarly, Parimatch Tech also announced in recent weeks that it is limiting its marketing arrangements with Chelsea FC as part of its sponsorship arrangement with the club, as the team’s owner Roman Abramovic was sanctioned by the UK government.
The Russian billionaire and owner and former Director of the Premier League club was placed on a list of sanctioned business-people by British authorities due to his ties to Vladimir Putin’s regime.
Parimatch first inked a sponsorship agreement with Chelsea in August 2021, with the three-year deal including the display of the brand’s logo on LED systems at Stamford Bridge as well as granting the firm the right to leverage the club’s digital, social and logistical assets.
The international betting and gaming firm now maintains its sponsorship arrangement with Chelsea, but instead uses its LED signage to promote its volunteering and humanitarian efforts.