Bilibili announced it is teaming up with League of Legends (LoL) to become the exclusive broadcaster for three major esports tournaments in China for three years.
The partnership starts from the LoL Worlds 2020 competition, which will kick off in September in Shanghai. It also covers upcoming competitions through 2023, including the Worlds, Mid-Season Invitational, and All-Star.
Bilibili said it will also produce live-streams and relevant videos for China’s LoL esports fans.
“We are excited to reach this strategic partnership with Riot Games,” said Carly Lee, vice chairwoman and COO of Bilibili. “Bilibili will take this opportunity and help Shanghai build its leadership position in the global esports industry.”
Lee added that the number of views of esports videos on the platform reached 44 billion last year. The esports industry has developed from a niche market into a mainstream one in the past decade, Lee said, and has become one of the most popular sports among young people in China.
During the Worlds 2020 competition, Bilibili will stream videos featuring retired Chinese professional LoL players like Uzi and ClearLove who will also provide live commentary on Worlds 2020 on Bilibili’s Worlds channel.
“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the pinnacle event in League of Legends esports: Worlds,” said Leo Lin, general manager of Riot Games China. “We believe that LoL esports global tournaments will resonate with Bilibili users. We also will join hands to help our esport become a leader in the future of the sports industry in China.”
In honor of LoL’s 10-year anniversary, Bilibili, Riot Games, and TJ Sports will collectively produce a documentary featuring China’s LoL Pro League (LPL) teams. The documentary will unveil the behind-the-scenes stories of LPL teams throughout Worlds 2020, Bilibili said.
In addition, Bilibili and Riot Games China will host a series of offline esports events, such as watch parties in October, the company said.
“We continuously look to share our sport across platforms with our fans, and Bilibili will help us share the spectacle of LoL esports to more of our fans in China,” said John Needham, global head of esports at Riot Games. “Our partnership with Bilibili allows us to stream our broadcasts to new audiences and also unlocks our ability to develop fresh content and storylines around our top professional players as we move into the next decade of LoL esports.”