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In the past week, the esports industry in China officially entered its 17th year since becoming an officially recognized sport in China. Also this past week, China, Japan, and South Korean governmental federations took a major step to improve the development of national esports teams in Asia.
Among the top stories: China, Japan, and South Korea will co-host esports tournaments beginning in 2020, with the first host city in South Korea; Tencent and Ubisoft announced that they are waiting for the Chinese government to release game approval for Rainbow Six Siege; the LPL All-Star event will feature awards for 2019 best business partnership and home venue; Alibaba Sports signed an exclusive Chinese streaming deal with Douyu for WESG; esports organization EHOME signed a sponsorship deal with betting company TLCBET; and Team Aster signed a long-term streaming deal with Huya.
Every week The Esports Observer presents the biggest esports business news in China including investments, acquisitions, sponsorships, and other major news from the region.
China, Japan, and South Korea to Co-Host Esports Tournaments Beginning in 2020
On Nov. 15, the Korea e-Sports Association (KeSPA), China Culture & Entertainment Industry Association (CCEA), and Japan Esports Union (JeSU) signed a partnership deal at the 12th Trilateral Cultural Content Industry Forum, jointly issuing a statement that the three countries will co-host esports tournaments in 2020, and that the first host city will be in South Korea.
The forum was hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of The People’s Republic of China; Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea (MCST); and the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. The Trilateral Cultural Content Industry Forum is a vital platform for the three countries to discuss partnerships in the cultural industry.
According to CCTV, China’s state-owned broadcaster, the tournament will feature only national teams. The goal of the partnership deal is to build a recognized esports tournament standard for the three countries, and to improve the development of esports in Asia.
In the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games esports was featured as a demonstration sports event. For this event, China, Japan, and South Korea each recruited their own national teams, winning a combined four gold medals and two silver medals. Six esports titles were featured in the event: League of Legends, Arena of Valor, Clash Royale, Hearthstone, Starcraft II, and Pro Evolution Soccer.
Tencent and Ubisoft to Distribute Rainbow Six: Siege in China, Waiting for Approval
On Nov. 17, Ubisoft’s EMEA esports director Francois-Xavier Deniele made a statement that Ubisoft is currently working with Tencent Games to distribute Rainbow Six: Siege in China. Both games publishers are still waiting for the game to receive approval for release from the Chinese government.
Quoted in the Chinese publication Global Times, Daniele said, “We’re working right now with our partner Tencent to publish the game in China. We’re waiting for approval from the government right now and hoping to get that sorted.”
In 2018, Ubisoft received significant negative feedback and criticism from the Rainbow Six community after it was revealed that it would remove skulls, gambling-style minigames, and some blood effects in order to receive game approval in China. These changes were eventually added back into the game by Ubisoft.
“We need to be careful to not destroy everything we are doing with Rainbow Six: Siege along the way [to bringing the game to China], so a lot of all of our jobs right now is working on how we will get the Chinese market into the scene, not just for the game, but also into our esports plans.”
First LPL All-Star Event to Feature Award Ceremony
On Nov. 19, TJ Sports announced the list of nominees for the 2019 League of Legends Pro League (LPL) Award Ceremony. The event will be part of this year’s LPL All-Star event in Hainan, China.
According to the list, the award ceremony will not only recognize the best players and teams, but also the best commercial partnerships and home venues.
The 2019 LPL best business partnerships nominees are: Bilibili Gaming (BLG) and coffee brand Tongyi Yaha Coffee; Royal Never Give-Up (RNG) and dairy brand Yili Guliduo; and Invictus Gaming (IG) and car brand Chevrolet.
For the best home venue award, TJ Sports nominated RNG in Beijing, LGD Gaming in Hangzhou, and Team WE in Xi’an.
It should be noted that LPL is the only region in League of Legends where teams play games out of home markets. At the time of writing, six LPL teams have already built home venues in five cities. Esports organization Victory 5 and Edward Gaming are also planning to develop their own home venues in China.
Other Esports Business News:
- On Nov. 15, the Chinese Dota 2 team EHOME signed a one-year sponsorship deal with betting website TLCBET. The website’s logo will appear on the team jersey. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. EHOME is currently competing in the first Dota 2 Chengdu Major.
- On Nov. 15, the Chinese Dota 2 team Team Aster signed a long-term streaming deal with live streaming platform Huya. Players will stream on Huya, and the Huya logo will appear on the team jersey. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- On Nov. 20, tournament organizer Alibaba Sports announced that it signed an exclusive Chinese streaming deal with Douyu for the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) 2019-20120 season. In addition, Alibaba Sports and Douyu will co-host the WESG Douyu online qualifier. The winning teams and players can also be qualified for WESG China Qualifier.
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