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Washington D.C. gets behind esports team

The US capital of Washington D.C. has reached an agreement to sponsor the NRG Esports team in what is being termed the first deal of its kind for the sector.

As part of the deal, Washington D.C. will have its logos appear on the teams’ jerseys, as well as on players’ streams and on the NRG website.

Max Brown, chairman of Events D.C., the district of Columbia’s official convention and sports authority, confirmed the partnership in an interview with the Mashable website.

Washington D.C. will also host NRG bootcamps as part of the agreement, and the city plans on building a new 4,200-seat arena that will stage esports events.

“We have a bunch of universities here in Washington,” Brown told Mashable. “There are lots of younger kids who are here and are coming here every year through our universities so we think it makes a lot of sense for us as a city to plant a flag (for esports), and ultimately be the capital of esports like we’re the capital of the United States.”

NRG co-founder Andy Miller added: “We’re really excited about it. I think it’s definitely a first for esports and a great validation of NRG but also the esports space and how big and interesting it’s becoming to the point that now you have really forward-thinking folks like Events D.C. taking a look and actually wading into the waters here and putting time and money behind it.”

Brown said the new $65m (€61m) arena would open in late 2018 or early 2019. The facility will also serve as the home of Women’s National Basketball Association team the Washington Mystics and host other events such as music concerts and boxing matches.