Last week, the esports industry in China went through a bit of turmoil as Typhoon In-fa passed through Shanghai and caused multiple esports competitions to be suspended, including League of Legends Pro League. Moreover, several Chinese cities are heavily affected by the new coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese city of Nanjing. Multiple offline esports competitions, such as Tencent’s Peace Elite Super Cup in Shanghai Mercedes-Benz Arena have raised its level of COVID-19 restriction.
Apart from natural force majeure, the industry saw some major partnership deals, among a historic esports organization, as well as one of the biggest names in the industry, Jian “Uzi” Zihao.
Other top stories from China’s esports industry include:
– Tencent-backed Global Esports Federation confirmed three major esports titles for the Singapore 2-21 Global Esports Games.
– Chinese Dota 2 team Team Aster donated its i-League championship prize money, ￥600 thousand yuan to Henan flood relief efforts.
– TiMi Studio Group teamed up with Hong Kong singer Deng “G.E.M” Ziqi to create an Honor of Kings-inspired theme song for the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Owner China Fosun Sports Invests in Evil Geniuses
Fosun Sports Group, the sports branch of Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company Fosun International Limited, announced on Wednesday that the company has acquired a minority stake in the Seattle-based esports organization Evil Geniuses (EG), valuing the team at $255 million post-investment.
The agreement led to a strategic partnership between Fosun’s English Premier League team Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) and EG. The two team logos will be featured on both team jerseys. In addition, Wolves and Fosun stated that they would pledge a training house and local facilities for EG in China “if the team qualifies for the League of Legends World Championship later this year in China.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but both teams have agreed on creating both English and Mandarin content for the Asian esports market, as well as working together on sponsorships and co-branded merchandise.
Founded in 1877, Wolves is one of the historic soccer teams in England. The team was fully acquired by Fosun Sports Group in 2016, and returned to the Premier League in 2018 as one of the regular teams.
EG was founded in 1999 and has competed in multiple esports titles in the world, including League of Legends, Dota 2, and CS:GO. The organization won the 2015 Dota 2’s $18.4M The International and has a franchising slot in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), the North American top League of Legends competition.
Uzi and Cheng Cheng Fan Establish League of Legends Wild Rift Team ‘Uzi Fan Gaming’
On July 25, Jian “Uzi” Zihao, one of the best League of Legends players in the world, announced that he has partnered with Chinese singer Chengcheng Fan to establish an esports organization called Uzi Fan Gaming (UFG). The organization will take place at Shanghai Minhang District, and enter Riot Games’ mobile esports title League of Legends: Wild Rift as its first step.
Chengcheng Fan is the younger brother of China’s one of the richest actresses, Bingbing Fan. He is also a member of the Chinese boy band NEXT, and has over 25 million followers on Weibo.
Following the Chinese leading smartphone maker OPPO signed a two-year strategic partnership deal with TJ Sports for China’s Wild Rift esports scene, multiple Chinese esports organizations have established their Wild Rift divisions, including FunPlus Phoenix, Edward Gaming, Victory Five, and TOP Esports. OPPO’s Reno 6 Pro+ will serve as the official equipment for China’s top Wild Rift competition, the Wild Rift Pro League (WPL).
Wild Rift developer Riot Games is fully owned by Tencent. On July 28, Sensor Tower reported that Riot Games has generated over $100 million in revenue from its mobile titles, Wild Rift, Teamfight Tactics, and Legends of Runeterra. Wild Rift has been downloaded 46.3 million times worldwide with over $64.7 million estimated income for Riot Games.
Other Esports Business News:
- On July 25, Chinese Dota 2 team Team Aster won the i-League championship in Shanghai. Though the competition canceled the offline event with live audience due to Typhoon In-fa, the team quickly donated its￥600,000 yuan ($92,500) prize money to Henan province flood relief. In total, Team Aster donated ￥800,000 ($12,300) to Henan.
- On July 27, Tencent-backed Global Esports Federation announced that its Singapore 2021 Esports Games will feature three esports titles, Valve’s Dota 2, Konami’s eFootball PES 2021, and Capcom’s Street Fighter V. Tencent’s mobile titles and League of Legends were not on the list.
On July 27, Hong Kong singer Deng “G.E.M” unveiled her partnership with TiMi Studio Group’s Honor of Kings that she will create an esports-inspired theme song for the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup. The competition will feature ￥50 million ($7.74 million) in prize money and the finals will take place in Beijing National Olympic Sports Center on Aug. 26.