My friends and family still don’t quite understand the thrill of esports, but software firm SAP appears to.

The company has just announced a three year sponsorship deal with esports organisation Team Liquid.

SAP says it will assist the team by co-developing software that can be used to analyse performance in-game.

“The SAP HANA business data platform will serve as the core technology for co-development. Additional components such as SAP Cloud Platform, the SAP Leonardo digital innovation system as well as the Internet of Things (IoT) and predictive and machine learning functionalities will be evaluated as part of the co-innovation process,” they explained.

This is very big news because SAP isn’t exactly aligned with anything to do with gaming. While it’s not uncommon to see the logos of big tech firms on the jerseys of esports players, SAP is strange in the same way that you wouldn’t expect a tech firm to sponsor the Great British Bake Off.

“For SAP, esports opens us up to a tech-savvy and highly skilled young audience and potential new talent for SAP. As a global, innovative and forward-looking technology company, SAP provides a high brand fit to the esports ecosystem,” SAP chief human resources officer Stefan Ries said in a statement.

Team Liquid has spent years carving out a name for itself in the esports scene. That hard work paid off last year when they came from behind to clinch Dota 2’s The International tournament – arguably one of the largest esport prize pools in the world.

“For Team Liquid, competitive performance is key – and smart technology and data give us the best possible tools to analyze and improve. As a technology company at the cutting edge of innovation and with sponsorship experience across sports and entertainment, SAP is the perfect partner to collaborate with Team Liquid to create tools and solutions to fuel our competitive journey,” co-chief executive officer for Team Liquid Victor Goossens said.

Team Liquid participates in Starcraft 2, League of Legends, CS:GO, Hearthstone, Dota 2 and FIFA among other esports titles.

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.