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Hockey superstar Evgeni Malkin, who is an avid gamer, has invested in the Pittsburgh Knights, an esports company that was founded in 2017. This partnership exemplifies the Knights business model of taking the best practices from traditional sports and translating them into esports. As a professional athlete, Malkin offers a unique understanding of the similarities between the two.

Malkin, a center and alternate captain for the Pittsburgh Penguins, has been a top player in the National Hockey League for 13 seasons — all of which have been played as a Penguin. When he’s not on the ice, he enjoys playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

“Our goal at the Knights is not only to be a great esports team but to build something innovative and unifying for our city,” Knights President James O’Connor said, in a statement. “We know that, as a Pittsburgh organization, we have an amazing sports and entertainment legacy to live up to and we’re really excited for the team we’ve put together behind the scenes, first with the Steelers and Wiz Khalifa, and now with Malkin. His work with the Pittsburgh Penguins has shown the whole world what a smart and dedicated athlete he is and we’re thrilled to have his support.”

The Knights have partnered with six-time Super Bowl champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018, and, this past summer, announced Pittsburgh native Wiz Khalifa as a strategic partner. Their sponsors include Sheetz, Smile Direct Club, HyperX and Zoomph.