Earlier this month, Chinese esports organization Nova Esports (NV-XQF) won the PUBG Mobile Global Championship (PMGC) Finals in Dubai, taking home $700K USD of the $1.2M total prize pool. Meanwhile, another Chinese PUBG Mobile (Chinese version: Peacekeeper Elite) team, Four Angry Men (4AM), won second place in the competition, taking home $200K in prize money.
Hosted by Tencent, PUBG Corporation, and Chinese tournament organizer VSPN, PMGC was the top esports competition in PUBG Mobile esports. The competition was sponsored by Qualcomm, Mountain Dew, smartphone OnePlus, and NimoTV. International esports organizations such as Team Secret, Natus Vincere (NaVi) also participated.
Among the top stories in China’s esports industry: Chinese Honor of Kings team DYG relocated to Shenzhen, where its King Pro League home venue will be located; Tencent Games confirmed that Chinese live streaming platform Huya has invested in Nanjing-based esports organization Nanjing Hero; and VSPN closed a $60M Series B+ funding round led by Prospect Avenue Capital (PAC).
KPL Team DYG Sets Home Venue in Shenzhen
On Jan. 23, Chinese esports organization DYG announced that the company plans to set up its King Pro League (KPL) home venue in Shenzhen. DYG made the announcement at Tencent’s “2021 TiMi Studios Esports Strategy Press Conference” in Shenzhen. Yijia Zhang, president of KPL confirmed the figure at the conference.
The name of the city (Shenzhen) will be added to DYG branding (Shenzhen DYG). DYG is the 11th Chinese KPL team to be renamed to include a Chinese city name. Other teams that have rebranded their KPL teams based on location include Nanjing Hero, Chengdu All Gamers, and Wuhan eStar.Pro.
In addition, Honor of Kings developer TiMi Studios also confirmed that the company will invest ￥1B RMB ($154M) in the 2021 Honor of Kings esports ecosystem. The new KPL 2021 seasons will feature ￥5.8M total prize pool money, while the game’s top global competition, the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup (KCC), will feature $7.7M, which is a 56% increase from the previous year’s prize pool. ￥32M ($4.9M).
Huya Invests in KPL Team Nanjing Hero
During the conference, Tencent also confirmed that its live streaming subsidiary Huya has invested in KPL team Nanjing Hero, owning an undisclosed amount of shares of Hero. Hero is currently recognized as the best Honor of Kings team due to its win at the Honor of Kings Winter Champion Cup on Saturday, taking home ￥1.6M ($250K) of ￥3.4M ($526K) of the total prize pool money.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hero was acquired by Chinese company Chang Ao Sports (CAS) in 2018 after the team won the year’s KPL Spring Split. CAS is well known in the sports industry of the Chinese province of Jiangsu; it owns Hero, Kunshan F.C, as well as Jiangsu Zhongtian Women’s Volleyball team. In September of 2020, Hero signed an exclusive apparel partnership deal with the U.S. streetwear brand Skechers.
Alongside Huya’s investment, several Chinese digital platforms have entered the Honor of Kings esports ecosystem. In August of 2020, Chinese social media company Weibo acquired KPL team TS Gaming, while short-form video company Kuaishou acquired KPL team YTG for an initial bid price of ￥61M ($9.43M).
Other Esports Business News:
- On Jan. 28, Chinese live streaming platform Huya announced that it signed a strategic partnership deal with Zhuhai Policy Office to prevent live streaming fraud. The deal will focus on data mining, warning services, and live streaming criminal research.
- On Jan. 21, Chinese esports solution provider VSPN announced that it closed a $60M Series B+ funding round, led by Prospect Avenue Capital (PAC). Further investors participating in the round include Guotai Junan International and Nan Fung Group. In October of 2020, VSPN raised close to $100M in a Series B funding round led by Tencent Holdings.
- On Jan. 25, sportswear brand PUMA announced that it signed an exclusive apparel sponsorship deal with Tencent for the KPL. PUMA will provide exclusive co-branded team jerseys for KPL players. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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