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Last week, China witnessed its first League of Legends Pro League (LPL) All-Star event, complete with an awards ceremony that honored the best commercial partnerships and League of Legends esports organizations. In addition, Overwatch League team the Shanghai Dragons won an exhibition $700K USD tournament, the Esports Shanghai Masters, last Sunday.
Among the top stories: The LPL All-Star 2019 featured elements from the upcoming Disney movie, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker; South Korean League of Legends player Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok was named Shanghai-Seoul Esports Ambassador during the 2019 Esports Shanghai Masters; TJ Sports announced that the 2019 Demacia Cup tournament will take place in Hangzhou, Chongqing, and Suzhou; and next year’s PUBG Mobile esports circuit will feature a $5M total prize pool.
Every week The Esports Observer presents the biggest esports business news in China including investments, acquisitions, sponsorships, and other major news from the region.
LPL All-Star 2019 Features Star Wars, RNG Wins Three Esports Business Awards
On Nov. 30, TJ Sports and Hainan Eco-software Park hosted the first-ever LPL All-Star event in the Chinese province island of Hainan. Multiple League of Legends professional players, esports professions, and leaders from the Hainan government attended the event.
During the festivities, TJ Sports unveiled the latest trailer for the Disney movie, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, with the robot BB-8 appearing on the red carpet. Disney’s official Weibo account also promoted the event on social media.
In addition, the event also featured an awards ceremony. FunPlus Pheonix (FPX) won the best esports organization of 2019; LGD Gaming won best League of Legends home venue of 2019 for its facility in Hangzhou; and Royal Never Give-Up (RNG) won three esports business-related awards: best esports commercial program, marketing brand, and business partnership case – ‘RNG X Yili Guliduo’ University Festival. Yili Guliduo is a dairy brand and an RNG sponsor. The partnership between Invictus Gaming and car brand Chevrolet was also nominated.
In addition, former RNG League of Legends professional player Yan “Letme” Junze was named as Hainan Esports Ambassador by Zhang Weiwen, vice-minister of the propaganda department of Hainan.
Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok Named Shanghai-Seoul Esports Ambassador at Esports Shanghai Masters
On Nov. 29 during the second game day of the Esports Shanghai Masters, T1 League of Legends player Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok was named as Shanghai-Seoul Esports Ambassador by the Shanghai government. Sang-hyeok will become a symbol for promoting esports communication between Shanghai and Seoul.
Sang-hyeok is considered one of the all-time most influential players in the League of Legends esports scene: he has won the League of Legends World Championships three times (2013, 2015 and 2016).
The Esports Shanghai Masters is a multiple-game tournament hosted by the Shanaghai-Jingan government in conjunction with Bilibili Esports from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1. The tournament featured esports titles Overwatch, League of Legends, Warcraft III, and Dungeon Fighter Online (DNF). Communications company Shanghai Unicom and service network KPMG served as the official partners of the event.
Tencent Announces Locations of The League of Legends Demacia Cup
On Dec. 1, TJ Sports (the Chinese joint venue of Riot Games and Tencent) announced that the League of Legends Demacia Cup 2019 will take place in Hangzhou, Chongqing, and Suzhou from Dec. 21-29. All 16 LPL teams and four League of Legends Development League (LDL) teams will compete in this event.
According to the announcement, the group stage will take place at the Hangzhou LGD Gaming home venue, and Suzhou Yangcheng International Esports Venue, with the knockout stage taking place at the Chongqing Huaxi Culture Sports Center.
The Demacia Cup is the second high-level League of Legends tournament in China, under the LPL seasonal finals. It’s also the first League of Legends professional tournament for Chinese teams, following the World Championships every year.
Other Esports Business News:
- On Dec. 4, esports organization Vici Gaming (VG) announced its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team signed a sponsorship deal with betting company Yabo. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- On Nov. 30, Chinese GO professional player Ke Jie won the Doudizhu esports competitions of the Tencent Global Esports Arena (TGA). Jie is the top 3 GO player in the world at the time of writing.
- On Dec. 1, during the $500K PUBG Mobile Open Club (PMCO) Fall Split Global Finals, Tencent committed to putting a $5M total prize pool for its PUBG Mobile global esports ecosystem in 2020. Three leagues will be added to the league structure.
- On Dec. 3, according to a report by The Beijing News, Chinese video and streaming company Bilibili (Nasdaq: BILI) will pay ¥800M RMB ($113M) to TJ Sports as part of a three-year exclusive broadcasting deal for the League of Legends World Championships. The company beat out other live streaming companies in China including Douyu, Huya, and Kuaishou.
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