Mentioned in this article
- Wuhan-based esports organization eStar will join China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL) as the 17th team.
- eStar has investments by former Chinese player Liu “pdd” Mou and the Wuhan Tourism Development Investment Group, with over ¥100M RMB ($14.3M USD) in funding.
- eStar will establish its home venue in Wuhan in 2020. The organization also competes in Honor of Kings’ King Pro League and the CrossFire franchised league.
On Dec. 12, Wuhan-based esports organization eStar announced that the company has passed the bidding process for China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL) from TJ Sports. The eStar League of Legends team will officially join the LPL, beginning at the 2020 Spring Split.
According to the announcement, the team has received investments from former Chinese Invictus Gaming League of Legends player Liu “pdd” Mou and the Wuhan Tourism Development Investment Group, with over ¥100M ($14.3M) in funding.
In August, eStar signed multiple partnerships with Wuhan-based companies, including esports hardware company NINGMEI, local bank Hankou Bank, and car-hailing brand Dongfeng Travel. The organization also announced that it will establish its home venue and headquarters in the city. The home venue mascot will be the Yangtze finless porpoise.
eStar was founded by former Chinese Warcraft III player Sun “xiaOt” Liwei in 2014. eStar’s Honor of Kings team, eStarPro, is one of the best-performing in China, having won the first ¥32M ($4.58M) prize pool Honor of Kings World Cup, taking home $1.9M in prize money. This victory alone made them the 7th team in TEO’s top esports teams by prize money in Q3 2019. The organization also competes in the CrossFire franchised league in China.
This is the first new franchised spot announced for the 2020 LPL season. In June, TJ Sports announced that it would open bids for one to two new spots for the league. While it’s not fully confirmed that there will be a second spot announced before the LPL Spring Split begins, in an interview with TEO, head of global League of Legends esports John Needham stated that the LPL would expand to 18 teams in 2020.
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