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Last week, under the Chinese tradition that family needs to celebrate the homecoming Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese esports business news has slowed, but there were a number of partnership deals and an “Esports X City” event worth noting, as well as the League of Legends ten-year anniversary.
Among the top stories: Riot Games rebranded League of Legends for its ten-year anniversary; game publisher NetEase announced a $420K USD prize pool for NeXT Autumn Season across 16 game titles; LPL held a ceremony in Hangzhou for teams attending the League of Legends Worlds Championship; Huya signed streaming deals with four RNG players, and Huawei was announced as the mobile phone sponsor of the Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open Finals.
Every week The Esports Observer presents the biggest esports business news in China, including investments, acquisitions, sponsorships, and other major news from the region.
Riot Games Rebrands League of Legends Game Logo for Ten-year Anniversary
On Sept. 17, game publisher Riot Games announced that the company had rebranded the game logo in both Chinese and English to commemorate the League of Legends ten-year anniversary. Riot Games will hold multiple events and livestreams on Oct. 15, and release a special 10th Anniversary Edition of ‘Riot Pls.’ In this edition, Riot Games will also release details about changes in the next pre-season and content updates for Teamfight Tactics.
In addition, Riot Games also revealed that the League of Legends had eight million peak concurrent users (PCU) daily in the game as of August, ten years after the game first released in 2009.
NetEase Announces a $420K Prize Pool for NeXT Full Season
On Sept. 16, Chinese game publisher NetEase announced that the company will put ¥3M RMB ($420K) into its NetEase Esports X Tournaments (NeXT) Autumn Season from Sep. 17 to Oct. 31. The tournament series will feature 16 game titles including 11 games from NetEase: Overwatch, Hearthstone, Warcraft III, and StarCraft II from Blizzard Entertainment, as well as The King of Fighters XIV.
According to the announcement, the NeXT Autumn Season will be streamed on 21 livestreaming platforms including Douyu, Huya and YouTube. The tournament will be name sponsored by the e-commerce platform Gome. China UnionPay and Agricultural Bank of China will become the official sponsors of the tournament as well. Tournament partners include Chinese phone brand Honor, Huawei, Razer, Alienware, and DxRacer.
LPL Holds Ceremony in Hangzhou for Teams Attending League of Legends World Championship
On Sept. 11, the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) started its first stop of the “LPL Go on Worlds” international tour, hosting a ceremony for the three LPL teams– FunPlus Phoenix (FPX), Royal Never Give-Up (RNG), and Invictus Gaming (IG)– confirmed to attend the World Championship 2019. China Blue TV, video platform of Zhejiang Radio and TV Group, partnered with the LPL and featured Hangzhou West Lake and Chinese calligraphy art in the ceremony.
It should be noted that Hangzhou is one of the eight stops of this international tour. The next city will be Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Moscow, and Stuttgart, and Berlin, Germany.
According to TJ Sports, a joint venture of League of Legends publisher Riot Games and its parent company Tencent, the goal of this tour is to combine LPL culture and multiple city cultures.
Other Esports Business News:
- On Sept. 12, Chinese livestreaming platform Huya signed streaming deals with four League of Legends players from RNG, including Xie “Langx” Zhenying, Zhang “Wink” Rui, Xiao “LoveZrr” Zhi, and Shi “AmazingJ” Weihao. After signing this deal, all RNG League of Legends players have signed a streaming deal with Huya.
- On Sept. 17, global sportswear brand Adidas posted a video called “what is never-seen-before” on Chinese social media on Weibo, featuring Li “Sky” Xiaofeng, former Warcraft III player, the CEO of hardware company Taidu, and board member of Team WE.
- Chinese tech giant Huawei was announced as the official mobile phone sponsor for the Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open Grand Finals, offering its Huawei Mate 20X 5G smartphones to play on and as prizes, along with the existing prize pool of $182.6K.
- Berlin-based esports organization G2 Esports opened its official Chinese social media account on Weibo.
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