In a press release, Max Brown, chairman of the board of directors for Events DC, said that the partnership aimed to ensure a future in esports for the district.
"Through collaborations with organizations like NRG, we are actively working to position ourselves for the future and in the next five to eight years, DC will be positioned to be the capital of esports,” he said.
The goal, according to the press release, is "to position [D.C.] as a thought-leader that attracts future industries, new revenue and visitors from around the globe.” Part of that tourism and revenue strategy is a $65-million arena, slated to open in late 2018, that Brown told Mashable will be "Fully tailored and wired for esports."
Though the move brings to mind the city-based approach that will be part of the Overwatch League, NRG co-founder Andy Miller told Mashable that the move wasn't necessarily connected.
"One — we want to make sure we’re in the Overwatch League. Two — if it’s Washington D.C., that would be great. We have a wonderfully exciting team that we want to keep together and we want to keep growing and we have a fanbase and we’ve been in it for a while and we’ve been carrying the torch for Overwatch for a while now," Miller told Mashable. "I do think this [sponsorship] is a validation for the city-based approach that they’re trying to put together."
Miller further said that, though the sponsorship means that NRG will be spending more time in D.C. and bootcamping there, the organization is "not the D.C. NRG."
Events D.C. will hold a panel on March 12, where they will talk about the esports ecosystem generally, and how their focus on esports can serve to create economic development. A Rocket League show match between NRG and Team Liquid will follow the event.
Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.