Last week, all 18 League of Legends overseas teams who will compete for the upcoming League of Legends World Championship (Worlds 2020), arrived in Shanghai and started their 14-day COVID-19 restriction quarantine. The competition will start on Sept. 25.
Beyond League of Legends esports, the industry also saw several partnerships and a controversy related to one of the biggest esports organizations in China.
Among the top stories in China’s esports industry: KPL Union and China Culture & Entertainment Association co-hosted the “China Esports Patriotism Education” event, with all King Pro League (KPL) players and staffs attending; betting outlet HQBet sponsored two Chinese Dota 2 teams; and pain killer brand Voltaren collaborated with former Royal Never Give-Up League of Legends player Jian ”Uzi” Zihao for a commercial.
KPL Union and CCEA Co-Host ’China Esports Patriotism Education’ Event
On Sept. 14, the China Culture Entertainment Association (CCEA) partnered with Tencent’s King Pro League (KPL) Union to co-host a training event called “China Esports Patriotism Education” in Shanghai. Around 183 players and coaches from all 16 KPL teams, and 22 official shoutcasters attended this training program, as well as the examination.
During the event, CCEA taught players that the organization would reinforce the regulations and standardization in esports competitions and live streams, and asked players to improve their ability on self-management and professional quality.
CCEA emphasized that gambling and match-fixing behaviors are strictly forbidden in the industry. Cheng Huang, secretary-general of KPL Union also stated that the union will fully partner with CCEA to prevent improper behavior, and make sure all players and related staff attend the self-management training program and examination from CCEA.
Three KPL teams, QGhappy, TTG, and Hero, were named as an ”Excellent Esports Organization,” due to their positive performance in team and player management.
China LoL Legend Jian “Uzi” Zihao Shoots Commercial for Pain Killer Voltaren
On Sept. 9, former League of Legends player Jian “Uzi” Zihao posted a 10-second commercial on his social media Weibo, featuring himself and pain killer brand Voltaren. The commercial has been viewed over 5M times, while Zihao was also featured on Voltaren’s website.
Zihao is one of the iconic players in China’s esports industry. In terms of personal esports branding, he is the first esports player to partner with global sportswear brand Nike, and is also the exclusive esports partner of alcohol brand Harbin Brewery. In June, he announced his retirement, finishing his journey as a professional League of Legends player on account of longstanding injuries and health issues.
Betting Outlet HQBET Sponsors RNG and SAG Dota 2 Squad
On Sept. 11, betting outlet HQBET signed two separate sponsorship deals with Chinese Dota 2 teams Royal Never Give-up (RNG) and SAG.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of Dota 2 competitions which relied on Valve’s Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) system have been disabled, as well as Dota 2’s annual event The International in Stockholm. The number of brands sponsoring Dota 2 teams saw a significant slowdown, while most of the team sponsorships are betting sponsorships. Last week, T1 Entertainment and Sports’ Dota 2 team also signed a sponsorship deal with Southeast Asian betting outlet Yibo.
Like T1, RNG signed the betting sponsorship deal exclusively for its Dota 2 team. The team was established in 2018, and qualified in last year’s The International Shanghai main event. Apart from HQBET, RNG’s Dota 2 team has two other sponsors: Kappa and China Citic Bank. SAG is a new Chinese team, with HQBET as its first and only sponsor.
Other Esports Business News:
- On Sept. 16, Chinese chat service company TT announced the acquisition of Chinese LPL team Dominus Esports (DMO) and secured its LPL franchise. DMO had rebranded to TT Esports. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Since last week, Chinese esports organization Edward Gaming has suffered backlash after sexual harassment allegations were made public by a former female employee. At the time of writing, the company has reached an agreement with the victim, said it will cooperate with local law enforcement, and do its best to protect her legal rights.
- On Sept. 14, Ukraine-based esports organization Natus Vincere (Navi) signed a streaming deal with the Chinese streaming platform Huya. The deal will run for two years and is exclusive to its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) division.
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