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Over the past week, the esports industry in China saw several key developments, primarily related to Beijing-Haidian government and Tencent. The company’s games division has rebranded for the first time since 2010, and the Beijing-Haidian government announced a local esports benefit-based policies. In addition, Dota 2’s MDL Chengdu Major concluded over the weekend and led to significant viewership across both English and Russian language broadcasts on Twitch.
Among the top stories: Tencent Games rebranded with a new slogan; the Beijing-Haidian government announced multiple policies for developing esports in the region; LGD Gaming partnered with Philippines esports organization Espoortsplay Gaming to co-build an international Dota 2 team; Mars Media partnered with McLaren for the MDL Chengdu Major; and musician Alan Olav Walker partnered with social media Weibo, contributing an esports theme song for PUBG tournament WEGL.
Every week The Esports Observer presents the biggest esports business news in China including investments, acquisitions, sponsorships, and other major news from the region.
Tencent Games Rebrands with New Slogan
On Nov. 21, Tencent Games, the games division of Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings, announced that it has rebranded with a new logo and slogan; changing from “Create Happiness with Heart” to ‘‘Spark More.” This is the first brand update for Tencent Games since December 2010.
According to the announcement, Tencent Games has published 480 games worldwide to-date, and served more than 800M users in 200 countries.
“We will continually partner with Riot Games, Supercell, Epic Games, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, and Nintendo.”
Ren Yuxin, the COO of Tencent Holdings, mentioned this update in a company-wide internal email:
“The update is not only just a rebrand for Tencent Games, but also a cognitive revolution for how to bring more value and visions into games.”
According to the announcement, the concept of “Spark More” is to mainly focus on additional value in the gaming industry, including cultural heritage, social responsibility, technological innovation, and cultural influences outside of China. Tencent Games concluded those values in six words: “Connect,” “Culture,” “Care,” “Responsibility,” “Technology,” and “Honor.”
It should be noted that the poster of “Honor” features the Chinese League of Legends national team winning the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games gold medals. In addition, the official rebrand video from Tencent features Chinese League of Legends professional player Jian “Uzi” Zihao and North American League of Legends player Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng.
Beijing-Haidian Government Announces Beneficial Policies to Develop Local Esports, $1.42M Maximum Funds
The Beijing-Haidian government has released multiple benefit-based policies for developing the digital culture industry in the city, including esports. According to the announcement,
Beijing-Haidian will offer a maximum ¥10M RMB ($1.42M USD) in allowances for “high-quality” Haidian-based esports companies. For Haidian-based esports teams, the allowances will be a maximum ¥2M ($280K).
For Haidian-hosted esports tournaments, the government will offer a maximum ¥5M ($710K) in allowances and a “fast pass” on approval.
Earlier this month, global esports tournament organizer ESL hosted its first-ever standalone event in China: the $250K Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Beijing-Haidian, which was held in the Beijing University Student Gymnasium. The Beijing-Haidian government was one of five sponsors in this tournament.
This year, multiple Chinese cities have released their own beneficial policies for developing esports including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi’an, and Chengdu. “Our goal is to build Haidian as a multi-billion esports center in the North of China,” Zhang Dongxu, the vice director of Beijing-Haidian media department said in an interview with People Esports, the esports division of Chinese publication People’s Daily.
LGD Gaming Partners with Esportsplay Gaming, Rebuilds Dota 2 Team LGD International
On Nov. 26, Chinese esports organization LGD Gaming announced that it has partnered with Philippines-based esports organization Esportsplay Gaming to co-build a Dota 2 team called LGD International (LGD.Int).
According to the announcement, the partnership is looking for developing esports in the South East Asia region. As part of the deal, LGD Gaming will bring its “exclusive training system” to the team. The team has not announced its roster at the time of writing.
This is not the first time that LGD Gaming has tried to build its international Dota 2 team. In 2012, LGD.Int was founded in China and mainly included on European Dota 2 players. The team disbanded in 2013. This is also not the first time that LGD Gaming partnered with a foreign company to build a new team, either. In September, the company partnered with North American esports organization Reciprocity to establish a joint esports team called LGD.REC to compete in the China CrossFire esports league.
LGD’s Chinese Dota 2 team, PSG.LGD, is considered one of the best Dota 2 teams in China. The team is a partnership with the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), and currently has ten sponsors include betting operator Betway, shampoo brand Clear, energy drink brand Monster, alcohol company Harbin Brewery, live streaming platform Douyu, and HLA Jeans.
Other Esports Business News:
- The Dota 2 MDL Chengdu Major concluded on Nov. 24. During the tournament, organizer Mars Media partnered with car brand McLaren, showcasing the company’s racing cars with MDL logos in the venue. The tournament has led to significant viewership across both English and Russian language broadcasts on Twitch.
- On Nov. 22, British musician Alan Olav Walker announced that he had partnered with Chinese social media Weibo to contribute a theme song called “Play” for Weibo’s PUBG esports tournament, WEGL.
- On Nov. 21, Korean esports organization T1 announced that its League of Legends team will come to China for a three-day trip between Nov. 29 – Dec. 2. The trip will be organized by T1’s exclusive business global partner, Lagardère Sports and Entertainment.
- On. Nov. 24, North American esports organization Team SoloMid (TSM) announced that its League of Legends team will come to Shanghai, China, for a two-month training process. Further details on this training process were not disclosed.
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