Both Bandai Namco and NetherRealm Studios have announced that they are ending their partnerships with the esports platform WePlay. While neither company has explicitly stated why they have ended the partnerships, it is likely due to WePlay’s recent deal with notorious betting site 1XBet. The site has been a subject of investigation previously. In 2019, The Times found that the betting site allowed people to place bets on children’s sports, advertised on illegal sites, and had casinos where the staff were topless. The site was also investigated by the Gambling Commission, and since then the site has been unavailable in the UK.
— NetherRealm (@NetherRealm) April 30, 2021
— Bandai Namco Esports (@BNEesports) April 30, 2021
As you can see from the Tweets above, both NetherRealm and Bandai Namco cited things like differences in vision and professional standards. WePlay has posted a response to the news about the two companies pulling out. In a statement on Twitter the esports company wrote:
WePlay has always strived to raise the standards in every tournament we put together by delivering the highest quality events, using
innovative production techniques, and providing the best conditions for players and talents alike. With WUFL Season 1, we put together one of the most memorable FGC tournaments to date, approved by both Bandai and NRS. Our goal was always and still is to provide the community with a world-class event that everyone can enjoy.
The news received today caught us by surprise. Since WUFL began and after the event finished, we tried to discuss the future seasons, go over feedback, and address the first season with both NRS and Bandai but have had no response. Our vision and dedication to the FGC have not changed, and we will continue to move forward by making amazing events and content
that the community deserves.
It may be unlikely that Bandai Namco and NetherRealm Studios revive the partnerships with WePlay unless changes are made.