Cyberathlete and ReadyUp today announced the “Esports for Ukraine” fundraiser, which will aim to donate up to $250,000 to support those impacted by the Ukraine War through a partnership with World Central Kitchen (WCK). Both organizations spearheading this campaign recognize the influence and power behind the gaming industry and those involved in reaching a wide audience through platforms such as Twitch or Discord. Cyberathlete is primarily hosting the campaign while ReadyUp is providing an easy-to-use Twitch extension that will enable communities to persistently discover new “Esports for Ukraine” content. T-shirts can be purchased here to support the campaign.
“Cyberathlete started with a belief that the video games community was bigger and had more influence in the world than anyone could imagine. This year, the 25th anniversary of our founding, the video game, esports and influencer industries top $200 billion dollars. While people want to step up and support the innocent people affected by this war, many are unsure how to get involved, especially companies with offices and people still in Russia. That’s why we’ve launched this campaign to help everyone contribute meaningfully by working together and partnering with WCK to feed people,” said Scott Valencia, CEO of Cyberathelete.
Cyberathlete is one of the oldest professional esports brands and tournament operators, pioneers in the esports industry with a role in helping to grow the gaming scene into the billion-dollar industry it is today. Companies wanting to participate in donating can do so by sponsoring Cyberathlete’s 25th-anniversary global esports collegiate event. Esports teams or influencers with a bigger following can play a part by contacting Cyberathlete to create custom t-shirts made for their audience. The credit for the donation to WCK is given to the influencers. These art costs will be covered by Cyberathlete. Any content creator can use the ReadyUp widget on their Twitch or Discord accounts to promote a “Call to Action” of buying a t-shirt or donating to the Esports for Ukraine campaign.
WCK was founded by Chef José Andrés and began serving hot, nursing meals within hours of the initial invasion in Ukraine on February 24th. Now in addition to Ukraine, WCK is set up in Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and serves more than 180,000 hot meals per day. In addition to serving meals, MCK is distributing bulk food products including produce and dry goods to restaurant partners in Ukraine to supplement the strained food supply chain. With the growing crisis, WCK needs as much support as it can get. “To continue scaling our response as this humanitarian disaster unfolds, we’re relying on our partnerships with local restaurants, caterers, and food trucks, as well as critical donations from the community, to fund and provide nourishing meals at border crossing, shelters, and other refugee locations,” said Chef Andrés. “We appreciate all that Scott and the teams at Cyberathlete and ReadyUp are doing to drive awareness and contributions towards the WCK program in support of Ukraine.”
Just a few weeks ago, some of the people consuming video game streams, involved in esports tournaments, or just playing games for fun were subjected to merciless targeting by Russian forces and forced to flee their homes. Cyberathlete has set a minimum goal of $10,000 per week and will be immediately sent to WCK.
There are many within the gaming community already hoping to utilize the huge network of gamers to provide support to Ukraine, including Necrosoft Games’ incredibly successful game bundle fundraiser and companies such as Nintendo and Playstation ending video game shipments to Russia. Game developer GSC Game World even changed the title of their upcoming game because of the invasion.