The Pittsburgh Knights are pleased to announce that hockey superstar Evgeni Malkin has invested into the company. 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. An avid gamer himself, Malkin is excited to be taking the esports ice with the Knights. Malkin has led the Penguins to three of their 5 Stanley Cup Championships. Malkin first came to Pittsburgh in 2004 when he was the second overall draft pick selected by the Penguins. His debut came in the 2006 season where he won the Calder Memorial Trophy for rookie of the year. Since then, he has remained one of the most prominent and beloved hockey players in the NHL, and has acted as an alternate captain for the Penguins since his sophomore season. When he’s not on the ice, he enjoys playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive, a popular video game and esports title. 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.
“ Our goal at the Knights is not only to be a great esports team but to build something innovative and unifying for our city,” says Knights President James O’Connor. “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 brought together major players in both Pittsburgh and the sports and entertainment industry. They 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.