Bell just insured the fingers of the Toronto Ultra’s athletes for $1,000,000 per player. The entire team (assuming they have all their fingers intact) is now worth $5,000,000.
Toronto Ultra is a Canadian esports team of professional Call of Duty players. In 2021, the team’s owner, OverActive Media, announced plans to build an esports venue for all its teams. OverActive Media also agreed to partner with Bell until 2025.
The move to insure the players’ fingers comes before the Call of Duty Major V Tournament, sponsored by Bell. It will be held from May 25th to the 28th at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto. Toronto Ultra won the championship at the Major III Tournament in March and placed fifth at the Major IV Tournament in April.
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
“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,” a Bell spokesperson told MobileSyrup. “Many of the world’s top athletes have insured their most prized body parts, including star baseball pitchers insuring their arms and soccer players insuring their legs. By insuring esports players’ fingers up to $1 million each, Bell is reinforcing the legitimacy of esports as a professional sport and demonstrating the potential for growth and investment in the industry.”
This is being joked about and shared online as an (admittedly drastic) publicity stunt, which Bell is undoubtedly leaning into. However, it’s hard to argue with the fact that an esports athlete would be just as affected by breaking their finger as a professional soccer player would if they broke a leg. A major corporation like Bell investing in these athletes might encourage more teams to spring up, not just more investors.
On the other hand, if Fortnite appearing in the Olympics doesn’t already prove esports’ ‘legitimacy,’ I don’t know what does.
Image credit: Telus