Professional esports team, Toronto Ultra, have had each of their fingers individually insured for a combined estimate of $1 million per player. Based out of Ontario’s capital, the team have revealed this news in conjunction with the announcement of their partnership to media and telecom giant Bell.
From Messi’s foot to Polamalu’s hair, athletes always cover their assets. Now @Bell is covering ours for $1,000,000 💰#StrengthInTheNorth | #BetterWithBell pic.twitter.com/E8MS3Ndsl4
— Toronto Ultra (@TorontoUltra) May 16, 2023
While not a new phenomena, this is most certainly a first for an esports team in Canada. When the news broke, Bell released this statement on the seminal move in lieu of the Call of Duty League Major V Tournament :
From texting, to typing and gaming, fingers are essential to the sport, and now the team is fully covered when they compete at the end of the month at the Bell-sponsored Call of Duty League Major V Tournament
Excitingly the tournament will be held in the Ultra’s hometown of Toronto, from 25 – 28 May to veritably sold out crowds. This event will see debuts from the newly insured fingers of Jamie “Insight” Craven, Tobias “CleanX” Jønsson, Thomas “Scrap” Ernst, and Charlie “Hicksy” Hicks.
Body part insurance is far from a revelation in the world of sports and entertainment, with many notable occurrences of celebrities from a variety of industry backgrounds taking out their own policies, perhaps most notably Jennifer Lopez insuring her posterior body parts, or even 2 – time Formula world champion, Fernando Alonso insuring his thumbs.
There are a variety of reasons to be taking such precautions concerning bodily assets, most importantly considering the lucrative nature of all of these cases. The immense value that has been placed on body parts with functions related to iconic appearance or sporting advantage are significant as a result of the value derived from the industry they garner success in. In many cases whole organisations and establishments rely on such functions being guaranteed, or indeed, insured.
In this light, an insurance policy worth $13 million for Fernando Alonso’s thumbs or even $1 million for the fingers of the members from Toronto Ultra seem to be well contextualised and gives sense to their realisation.
This announcement sees the OverActive Media esports team make yet another step in taking esports to the global status akin to that of international sport. A hotly disputed topic not too long ago, esports is continuing to cement itself as a legitimate sport with an international audience and competitive potential.
Numerous sporting organisers, regulatory bodies and Olympic committees have already acknowledged the ascending importance of esports and its events, with this significant case solidifying the importance of the players and the value of their abilities and talents.
The staggeringly high valuation also suggests a tangible understanding of the reliance esports has on the capabilities as well as the bodily well being and performance required from the players in order for the competitive industry to thrive. A fact that has long been remembered and honoured by a plethora of already well established sports.
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