Since 2021, Santander has sponsored Garena’s official mobile battle royale Brazilian esports championship, and it will now appear in the LBFF’s 2023 season.
As a result, Santander maintains its cooperation with two of Brazil’s most influential esports leagues, as well as sponsoring the Brazilian League of Legends Championship (CBLOL).
Its main rival for the headline of “gamers’ bank” is Ita, which also heavily supports the state’s scene. Santander took five consumers to Bangkok to attend the latest Free Fire World Series, and in collaboration with jewellery brand Vivara, Santander granted players from the LBFF’s team of the season a ring.
Garena’s decision to renew a major LBFF sponsor sends an important message to the Brazilian Free Fire esports community. Lately, teams in the country expressed concern about the publisher’s lack of information about the next LBFF season, with some even refusing to confirm whether their teams would play in 2023.
As a result, rumours in the scene suggested that Free Fire’s biggest rival in Brazil was coming to an end. Nevertheless, the renewal with Santander includes assurances from some of the country’s leading organisations, including Keyd Stars and Fluxo.
Questions were raised earlier this year when Garena laid off employees worldwide, including in Brazil, due to a drop in the number of players after covid-19 restrictions were lifted. The audience was also impacted, which resulted in the closure of Garena’s streaming platform BOOYAH! and a substantial drop in viewership at the major competition Free Fire World Series.
Free Fire is still one of Brazil’s most popular esports scenes, with the LBFF appearing on both broadcast TV via RedeTV! and pay TV via Warner Bros. Discovery’s SPACE channel. According to Garena, the LBFF 8, which will take place in the second half of 2022, will have over 1 million simultaneous viewers across TV and social media channels.