Bumble launches into esports with new initiative

There is no obvious link between esports and dating apps when comparing the two. However, since 2018, many companies in the space, such as Bumble and Tinder, have entered the esports industry.

Many of these collaborations included exclusive content, events, and incentives for gamers and esports fans who use dating apps. Even if the potential exists, why are we doing this at this particular time?

It’s worth noting that Razer has announced that the Razer Invitational will feature a CSGO tournament open only to women.

It’s no surprise that, in today’s digitally connected world, people have almost entirely adopted smartphones in their daily lives. Furthermore, mobile gaming is gaining popularity as a viable alternative to traditional desktop and console gaming.

Verto Analytics conducted a study on mobile gaming and came up with some interesting findings. The average’super mobile gamer,’ according to the study, is a 39-year-old female who plays games for an average of 127 hours each month. Contrary to popular belief, Pokémon Go was the most popular gaming app among’super mobile gamer,’ who also played Candy Crush and other games.

It’s usually a toss-up between “communications and social” and “gaming” apps when trying to figure out which category is the most popular for app downloads. Datiing applications fall into the first category, so it’s clear that esports and gaming go hand in hand.

Esports Insider spoke with Julia Smith Caulfield, Head of Brand Partnerships at Bumble, and Gina Chung Lee, Chief Marketing Officer at Gen.G to learn more about the growing relationship between dating apps and esports.

Bumble’s Mark on Esports

Since Whitney Wolfe Herd founded Bumble in 2014, the company has sought to distinguish itself by becoming an empowering and secure dating platform for women. When Herd realised how ‘outdated’ dating dynamics were at the time, she fought for a female-centered dating app. It is customary for women to initiate contact with men they are attracted to on Bumble when they are in a relationship.

“When Bumble was founded in 2014, we knew that we needed to solve a significant problem: there was no safe place online built with women in mind,” Caulfield added.

It is our goal as an organisation and as individuals to bring about positive, long-term change within our organisation and in the communities we serve.

Bumble wins the championship!

After a year-long relationship, Bumble and esports organisation Gen.G teamed up to form the first all-female Fortnite team ever known as “Gen.G Empowered by Bumble” (or simply “Team Bumble”). Kristen ‘KittyPlays’ Valnicek, Madison’maddiesuun’ Mann, Tina ‘TINARAES’ Perez, Carlee ‘Carlee’ Gress, and Hannah ‘Hannah’ Reyes comprised the Fortnite-focused group.

Our goal in forming this partnership was to provide women with the resources necessary to succeed in esports. We’ve seen success across the board with the teams and competitive staff we’ve built, seeing how the general landscape for women in esports has changed since the partnership launched,” Lee said.

Even though Fortnite is one of the most popular video games in the world, no women competed in the main event of Epic Games’ first World Cup finals. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney estimated that 35% of the game’s 250 million players are female, proving that Fortnite is a top choice for that demographic.

TINARAES went on to win Twitchcon in 2019 and was named the event’s MVP. For women in esports, and for Team Bumble in particular, this was a huge win.

The ability to share successes like that is extremely motivating. “Our partnership has felt even more fruitful as we’ve seen many large brand partners, publishers like Riot, and other organisations voice their support for women in esports,” Lee said.

According to Caulfield, the multi-year Bumble-Gen.G partnership “marked the beginning of two organisations coming together with a shared mission to empower women in the gaming community and champion a safer online environment for women, especially as esports has been – and continues to be – largely male-dominated.”

For more information about how we bring our mission and values to places and industries where there is room for growth in equality and inclusivity, please contact us at [email protected]. Even though we know there’s a long way to go, our multi-year partnership with Gen.G gives more women the confidence they need to enter the professional gaming industry.”

In addition to becoming a sponsor of the team’s jersey, Bumble has added a ‘Gaming’ badge to its friend-finding feature. It allows users to express their enjoyment of video games by letting others know they’ve done so.

The ‘Intention’ badge allows Bumble users to start looking for friends to play games with. Credit for photo goes to: Bumble

Bumble BFF’s friendship mode allows users to adopt the “Intention” badge and begin looking for friends with whom to play games. Another popular addition to Bumble’s list of activities was a gaming badge. Other popular badges include “workouts,” “night-out” and “live music” (among others).

“Finding a friend to game with is one of our most popular Bumble BFF intentions two years later in 2021, based on those who adopted the ‘Intentions’ badge in America last month,” Caulfield revealed.

The dating app’s involvement in the Gen.G Foundation is a little-discussed aspect of the Gen.G and Bumble partnership. Bumble was one of the foundation’s first-year partners, and it was announced alongside Gen.donation G’s of $1 million (£727,865) to the organisation.