Tencent Esports on Drawing All-Field Blueprint of Esports, Details Partnerships With Tim Hortons, Shangri-La Group, IKEA, and IEEE – The Esports Observer

Mars Hou, vice president of Tencent Games and general manager of Tencent Esports, gave a presentation called “Drawing an all-fields developing blueprint of esports” to start the afternoon agenda of the Tencent Esports Global Summit. 

Hou revealed Tencent Esports’ new business and commercial plan – “partnering with all-field market leaders, and co-build[ing] a new solid economic engine.” Simply, the plan will focus on an esports hotel (tourist economy),  internet cafe (entertainment economy), esports coffee bar (food and restaurant), and esports home products. 

During the esports coffee bar segment, Tencent Esports announced the signing of a partnership deal with Canadian fast-food restaurant chain Tim Hortons at last year’s summit. Hou revealed Friday that the two companies will remain in the partnership, and build more coffee bars in Chinese cities, as well as a co-branded flagship store in Shenzhen, alongside Tencent Holdings headquarters. Yongchen Lu, Tim Hortons China CEO said at the summit that customers can not only watch esports competitions in the flagship store but also attend esports competitions. 

For new partnerships in esports hotel and esports home stuff, Tencent Esports signed partnership deals with Hong Kong-based luxury hotel group Shangri-La, and Swedish home furniture IKEA, respectively. Tencent Esports and IKEA will provide co-branded home furniture, such as gaming chairs, hardware storage walls, and desks. 

Pancy Xu, vice president of sales and marketing of Shangri-La Group said at the summit that the first co-branded hotel rooms will be produced in 13 Shangri-La hotels, around five Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Chengdu, and Haikou.

A Shangri-La representative told The Esports Observer at the “esports hotel” booth that Shangri-La Haikou hotel has first released five esports rooms in the hotel, with each room price at ¥1,588 RMB ($246 USD) per day. Hou also revealed that more hotel brands have shown interest in the business, including HYATT, Wanda, ASCOTT, among others. 

All four companies hosted their own booths alongside the main stage of the event. 

In addition, Hou confirmed that Tencent Esports signed a partnership deal with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), the world’s largest electrical and electronic association. The two will design the standard draft for “Esports Broadcasting,” and “Esports Fairness.”

“With regards to esports, we can see that the industry is rapidly evolving… but as a sport played in a virtual distributed environment there are unique technical challenges,” Robby Robson, chair of IEEE computer society standards activity board standards committee explained why the standards in technology are important in esports and the challenges at the summit. “These include internet latency and connectivity preventing digital cheating using what might be called performance-enhancing software providing an engaging spectator experience in a purely online environment and creating policies that protect younger esports athletes and environmental sustainability. This is where standards come in.”

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