It’s a tale as old as time. The latest insert-desirable-object-here causes crazed fans to wait hours to get their grubby little hands on said desirable. From shoes to concert tickets, it’s a familiar process. However in 2021, with the internet, the pandemic, and the context of esports and gaming, it’s often relatively easy to shop online; in most cases, waiting in line is a thing of the past. However, if access to the most coveted of items has changed with the times, the demand for those items is still the same. In fact, when G2 Esports recently debuted their 2021 uniform, demand was so high, their website crashed and, in a return to form, fans were forced to— you guessed it— wait in line.
This past week, on January 15th, G2 Esports officially revealed the design for their new uniforms. The uniforms in question are the result of a collaboration between G2 and Adidas. Fans can purchase a jersey of their own for the price of $96. The fact that this is one of the most expensive esports jerseys out there wasn’t a deterrent for the thousands upon thousands of fans clambering to place their orders. In fact, so many fans rushed to purchase the black, white, and red sportswear that, within five minutes of the jersey’s debut, the website crashed. According to an article from Win.gg, “Five hours after the launch, over 100,000 people had visited G2’s site.” With the jersey yet to officially appear in competition, some fans are likely going to receive theirs before an actual G2 player dons their own while gaming.
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as such a surprise that the jersey reveal was met with such a high volume of interest. G2 is one of the more popular esports organizations in the world. They have teams playing in virtually all of the major leagues: Rocket League, League of Legends, CSGO, Fortnite, among others. Considering the fact that the org’s LoL team is prepping to head into the 2021 LEC Spring Split—and according to Win.gg, “is already the favorite to take the title,”— fans have plenty of reason to be excited. No wonder G2 owner Carlos “Ocelote” Rodríguez included a picture of his own face on the jersey’s tag: there’s no better way to celebrate your team’s hotly anticipated success than to sell a couple thousand selfies for 96 bucks a pop.
The jersey is set to make its first appearance in competition this week, on January 22nd, in the opening game of the League of Legends European Championship. G2 will be facing off against MAD Lions. Win.gg reports that “During the offseason, the team signed Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson, one of the biggest roster moves of the year. With Rekkles on its ranks, G2 should feel comfortable enough to take on a new season.” It will be interesting to see how the MAD Lions hold up against G2’s formidable new line-up.
As far as the new merch goes, the partnership with Adidas seems to be paying off. For their part, Adidas partners with a number of esports organizations in a similar way to how they have sponsored various teams in the traditional sports market. While the collaborations would seem similar if not the same, it’s interesting to note that the sportswear juggernaut approaches them differently. While Adidas may ‘sponsor’ an athletic team when they design their uniforms, they ‘partner’ with esports orgs in the same way that they might handle a brand partnership with a media company or celebrity.
Call it what you will, at the end of the day G2 is making a significant profit off the sales of their new jersey. Even if the high demand caused fans to wait in the digital queue for a few hours, in terms of economics, the rules of supply and demand would deem such an inconvenience a small price to pay for the success of their popular new merch.