China’s esports industry has seen several significant partnerships and sponsorships in the last week. The Chinese Honor of Kings and Peacekeeper Elite competitive scene attracted investments from traditional media and entertainment industries.
Among the top stories in China’s esports industry, the Chinese traditional sports media Titan Sports Media Group acquired Chinese Peacekeeper Elite team GM5 and rebranded to Titan Esports Club (TEC) for attending the upcoming 2021 Peace Elite League (PEL); Foshan-based Honor of Kings team GK Gaming appointed Chinese singer and actor Huang Zitao as its Co-CEO and partner.
Chinese Traditional Sports Media Titan Sports Joins Peace Elite League 2021
Last week, Titan Sports Media Group, one of the most influential sports media in China, announced that its subsidiary Hunan Titan Sports acquired Chinese Peacekeeper Elite team GM5 and rebranded to Titan Esports Club (TEC). TEC will compete in the upcoming PEL 2021 Season 1.
Founded in 1988, Titan Sports Media Group’s Titan Sports was the most circulated sports newspaper in China. It also owns Chinese magazines such as Football Weekly, All Sports, Slam, Auto Bild and MiLK.
PEL is China’s top Peacekeeper Elite (Chinese version of PUBG Mobile) professional competition operated by Tencent Games and Chinese esports company VSPN. According to VSPN, the upcoming PEL 2021 Season 1 will feature a ￥200 million ($30 million) total prize pool. In addition, during the year 2020, PEL accumulated over 26 million daily independent viewers and 14.1 billion total views of esports content. This is the first time that PEL attracted traditional sports media giants in China.
K-Pop Star Z.Tao Joins GK Gaming as Co-CEO
On March 9, Foshan-based esports organization GK Gaming (GK) announced that the organization appointed Chinese singer and actor Zitao Huang as its Co-CEO and partner. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2016, GK is one of 18 teams that compete in China’s top Honor of Kings franchise competition, the King Pro League (KPL). It also owns a home venue in the Chinese city of Foshan.
Huang Zitao is a celebrity and popular singer, rapper, actor and model in China that ranked 37th in Forbes China Celebrity 100 list in 2020. Celebrities are no strangers to the gaming community. Back in 2017, Singapore-born Mandopop singer JJ Lin founded his esports organization the Still Moving Under Gunfire (SMG) and competed in PUBG and PUBG Mobile. In addition, Jackson Wang, a Hong Kong rapper, singer and dancer also invested in the Chinese esports organization Victory Five (V5) in 2020.
Other Esports Business News:
- Chinese esports organization LGD Gaming announced that it signed a sponsorship deal with LG Electronic for its League of Legends team. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The partnership aims to improve players’ gaming experience and promote engagement with the LGD team through the LG products.
- On March 11, European esports organization Fnatic announced that its two-year partnership deal with Chinese smartphone brand OnePlus has officially ended. Users will still have access to the same features and capacities while the new name is “Pro Gaming Mode” instead of “Fnatic Mode.” OnePlus is also the sponsor of Chinese esports organization Suning Gaming (SN).