Williams Formula 1 team and Resolve, a UK-based esports organization, have teamed up to enter the world of Rocket League together, with the team set to join in Season XI. The move brings one of the oldest and most famous UK sporting brands into a growing esport, with a degree of synergy between the two parties that is rarely present with this sort of moves.
Williams is a historic, but not hugely successful F1 team, founded by legendary owner Frank Williams and made great by Patrick Head, and last year saw the ownership of the group change hands. The new owners are Dorilton Capital, an investment group that in part specializes in investments in the technology sector, among other things.
Tim Hunt, Chief Marketing Officer at Williams Racing, has clearly been following the esport for a while. “Rocket League has been a topic of discussion around the team for a while now; our people play it; their kids play it – it’s huge. Regardless of whether it’s on track or off it, Williams Racing has an imperative to race and compete, and this is what we’ll be doing with Resolve as we enter the Rocket League Championship Series Season XI.”
Hunt also spoke of expanding Williams’ reach beyond traditional racing, something many brands in sports have looked to do over the past few years. For Resolve, this represents a huge coup, with the team mainly involved in Rocket League and League of Legends, although it remains to be seen if the world of esports is impressed by the association with a legacy sports brand most famous in the UK.
Resolve CEO Ilias Pajoheshfar, added: “We’re delighted to work with such an iconic brand. Williams Racing is a big, big name in racing and Formula One and we’re huge motorsport fans. The discussions that led to this partnership revealed that we have more common ground than we could have imagined. We share a similar vision and this deal will not only see this partnership enter Rocket League but will also align our mutual values of promoting talent, health, wellbeing and performance.
The group will hope to see more success in Rocket League than Williams has enjoyed in F1 in recent years, despite Pajoheshfar describing them as "winners". It has certainly excited esports fans who enjoy F1, with the sport increasing in popularity in esports in part due to a number of young drivers streaming during lockdown and the signing of a few NA talents to F1 teams.
We spoke to Williams fan and esports meme extraordinaire Ryan Friend, of RushB media fame, about the news his favorite team is entering esports: “I think it’s incredibly cool to see modern sports like F1 continue to embrace esports through Rocket League. Obviously the crossover makes sense and bringing more fans together is great for everyone involved. For me seeing Williams joining Rocket League, I know that I will pay more attention to the esport because I’m already a supporter of the F1 team.”