Last week, China’s esports industry saw a number of partnerships and sponsorships between Chinese and Western esports organizations, as well as an accusation that Chinese esports organization Newbee withheld $100K USD in prize money from former Fornite players.
In terms of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in China, the country has reported an increase of 335 new coronavirus cases since June 11, and the Chinese city of Dalian reported 57 new cases, becoming the center of the second wave in the last week.
Among the top stories in China’s esports industry: the Beijing government confirmed it would host the “Esports Beijing 2020 Series Events” in mid-August, including the Honor of Kings World Cup Final; NetEase hosted the Hearthstone Gold Club World Cup with F.C. Barcelona as a participant; League of Legends Pro League partner Suning became the exclusive Chinese e-commerce partner of the League of Legends World Championships; and TJ Sports punished two players for using toxic language.
Beijing Government Confirms City to Host ‘Esports Beijing 2020 Series Events’
The Beijing government hosted its 162nd press conference Wednesday on prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the conference, Shaojian Liu, managing director of Beijing Cultural Assets Management, stated that the “Esports Beijing 2020 Series Events” is scheduled to be hosted in the city.
According to the report by state-owned publication China Central Television (CCTV), there are three series events, including an esports business conference, an esports exhibition, and a competition – the $4.6M Honor of Kings World Champion Cup Final. Shaojian said that the final will be hosted on Aug. 16, at Beijing Cadillac Center. The government expects that this competition can be a symbol to express and highlight Chinese culture.
This new information dispels the rumor that the final of the competition will move away from the city due to concern about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beijing was at the center of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in China. Even today, the city reported one new case that was potentially infected by people from Dalian.
LPL Partner Suning Becomes Exclusive Chinese E-Commerce Partner of League of Legends World Championships
On Wednesday Chinese e-commerce company Suning announced that it has become the exclusive Chinese e-commerce partner of the 2020 League of Legends World Championships. Suning is the official partner of China’s top League of Legends competition, the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), and also owns League of Legends team Suning Esports.
The partnership is an indication that TJ Sports and Riot Games are still preparing for the 2020 League of Legends World Championships, even under the shadow of the Chinese government’s plan to cancel all international sporting events in the country.
It is still unclear how the government edict on live sporting events will affect the League of Legends World Championships. The Esports Observer has reached out to TJ Sports for further details.
TJ Sports Issues Penalty to EDG and RYL Players for Toxic Language
Following our latest China Recap, TJ Sports continues to issue strict punishments to players who use toxic language.
On July 28 TJ Sports issued a statement on Weibo that Edward Gaming (EDG) player Zhao “Aodi” Aodi and Royal Youth (RYL) player Xie “XMJ” Mingjing violated LPL regulations by using toxic and abusive language against their teammates during public-matches on a South Korean server.
Chinese esports organization EDG was given a ￥20K ($2.85K) fine, and Aodi was given a one-match ban. Mingjing was given a two-match ban and a ￥10K ($1.4K) personal fine for using toxic language and engaging in “regional discrimination.” RYL was also given an extra ￥10K ($1.4K) fine by TJ Sports.
“The [LPL] players should always watch their language and behavior in either LPL matches or public matches,” TJ Sports Head of Branding and Marketing Eric Feng told The Esports Observer.
NetEase and Blizzard to Co-Host Hearthstone Gold Club World Cup
Chinese game publisher NetEase announced on July 24 that the company has partnered with Blizzard Entertainment to co-host a Hearthstone competition called Gold Club World Cup between July 27 – Aug. 2.
There are 11 Chinese and Western esports teams competing in this competition for more than ￥1M RMB ($140K) in prize pool money, according to the announcement. The participating teams include T1, Team Liquid, G2 Esports, Invictus Gaming, Royal Never Give-Up, Suning, and F.C. Barcelona.. It should be noted that the competition is F.C. Barcelona’s first official Hearthstone esports competition.
Other Esports Business News:
- Chinese esports organization Newbee was accused of not paying $100K in prize money from the 2019 Fortnite World Cup to its former Fortnite players Hu “xMende” Wenchen and Li “XXM” Ming. The Esports Observer has interviewed Ming and Wenchen, and will have more on this story soon.
- U.S.-based mixed martial arts league Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) signed a partnership deal with Chinese game publisher Tencent for China’s top Peacekeeper Elite competition – Peace Elite League (PEL). This is the first time that the UFC has partnered with an esports competition in China.
- U.S. esports organization Dignitas signed a streaming partnership deal with Chinese live streaming platform Huya. Three of Dignitas’ Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) players will start streaming on Huya beginning Aug.1.