Aker’s sponsorship forms part of Heroic’s preparations for the upcoming global tournament PGL Major Stockholm, which runs until 7 Nov, where the team will play with the Aker BioMarine logo on their player jerseys.
"The esports industry has experienced a massive growth in recent years and is an incredibly exciting domain for us to enter,” comments Matts Johansen, CEO at Aker BioMarine, who admits the firm has been looking to enter the esports industry for a while now.
“We know that omega-3 from krill is important for a strong and healthy brain, and we look forward to focusing on this together with Heroic and to investigate the possibility of developing a new and unique product."
PGL Major Stockholm 2021
Heroic, a Danish esports organisation was acquired by Omaken Sports, a Norwegian gaming investment company back in February 2021.
One of the world’s best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams, Heroic is one of 24 teams participating in the PGL Major Stockholm.
The tournament is one of the first majors to welcome back spectators following the pandemic, and sees the team pit their skills for a slice of the prize pool worth €1.7m ($2m), the largest ever.
“During the game, the athletes must make rapid and calculated decisions, which demands a sharpened brain,” explains Joachim Haraldsen, founder of Omaken Sports and CEO of Heroic.
“We haven’t become the best in the world by just sitting in front of the screen. Instead, we must think holistically about physical exercise, diet, sleep, and social life.
“Aker BioMarine is an exciting company that has invested heavily in science and R&D and has ambitions of improving public health without compromising the planet. This fits well with our mindset about a healthy balance when developing top-level athletes.”
Esports and nutrition
The deal is the latest in a long line of agreements between esports and nutrition firms. Last year supplement brand XP Sports entered into a sponsorship agreement with esports team Lazarus.
The agreement sees XP supply team members with products that boost energy, focus, performance and eye health support amongst others.
Meanwhile back in 2019, British esports team, Vexed Gaming partnered with nutrition solution company Runtime.GG as the organisation’s official nutrition partner.
Other recent nutrition brands that have struck sponsorship deals with eSport clubs include Bio-Synergy, which renewed its partnership with LDN UTD and the dietary supplement brand Herbalife Nutrition partnered with the pro Overwatch team Guangzhou Charge.
“Heroic represents a new and unique target group with solid preferences, especially when it comes to finding their entertainment and buying their products,” adds Johansen.
To reach this target group, we must think and act differently and choose the rights partners."
“esports requires a lot of mental capacity, and we have identified an opportunity to communicate the importance of a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically, for this target group.”
EPA and DPA
Omega-3, such as krill oil, is essential for brain health, containing the essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that are important for brain function and structure.
Since the body does not produce a sufficient amount of omega-3 by itself, it must be obtained through the diet.
There have been strong suggestions of krill oil’s prominent role in cognitive health, as far back as 2013, where animal models given krill oil displayed enhanced learning and working memory as well as display antidepressant-like effects.
More recently, Chinese scientists put forward a number of krill oil benefits for brain ageing that bought into play the role of the gut microbiota, alleviating gut microbiota dysbiosis and increasing short-chain fatty acid producers.