Hentai, for those not in the know, is anime and manga-themed porn. It might not seem like the greatest fit for eSports, but equally strange things have happened.
If it sounds like a joke, you’re not actually far off. Turns out, it began as one. Smash Bros pro Adam “Coastward” Hermosa explained his strange relationship with massive Hentai site Fakku (warning: definitely NSFW) to The Daily Dot:
“One day I just tweeted them asking them to sponsor me as a joke. But after they favourited that initial tweet, I kept on pushing to actually getting sponsored by them just to see if I could make it possible.”
As with most good marriages, Fakku said yes after being pestered a whole, whole lot.
But what does this actually mean for Fakku and Hermosa? Is it anything more than an elaborate marketing stunt? It’s tough to say at this point. It sounds like Fakku certainly stands to benefit, given that Hermosa will apparently be “producing more content on YouTube and Twitch associated with Fakku.” And that, Hermosa added, is only the beginning. He wouldn’t go into specifics about the rest, however.
Meanwhile, Fakku founder Jacob Grady was even less explicit about what this means for anybody, which is kinda a weird thing to say about somebody who runs a porn site. Mainly, he said “we’re definitely all about supporting players we think are awesome,” but “we’re not making a giant move into the eSports scene or anything like that.”
Hermosa elaborated further in an interview with Smashboards:
“Basically, FAKKU will be sending me some merch which I can decide what to do with, as well as promotion for any of my projects or events. Jacob really just wants to support me as a player and I don’t expect too much in return from him since sponsoring me has already been enough. There are more things in the works, including a possible FAKKU jersey, but that will be announced later in the future.”
The strangest part, however, is that there’s apparently no contract involved. Hermosa flat-out said there wasn’t one because Grady was “really relaxed so we agreed on mutual terms and requirements and that was that.” So Hermosa is willfully wading into deep waters, and there’s probably a tentacle monster lurking in there somewhere because hello there easy hentai joke.
It’s cool to see non-gaming entities of any sort get involved with eSports, but if it’s just a grab for brief publicity, well, that sucks. If nothing else, Fakku also sponsors Yoshi’s Island and Jet Set Radio speedrunner Mychal “Trihex” Jefferson, so that’s a good sign. However, other similar efforts (read: YouPorn’s eSports team) don’t seem to have gone particularly far, so it’s hard not to be at least a bit skeptical. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what comes of it all.