Pictured: Xiang “Condi” Renjie. Credit: LGD Gaming
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The esports industry in China did not see many sponsorships and partnerships in the last week, but there were still some key developments, including political esports tournaments, game development, and the punishment of a team for alleged wrongdoing.
Among the top stories: TJ Sports fined LGD Gaming players, team manager, and a coach for match-fixing, while LGD fired related staff; Valve released the test version of its own auto battler genre game called “Dota Underlords” on Steam; esports organization Game Show partnered with Fujian Both Sides of Straits Channel and Taiwanese esports organization ESPONE to host its first “Both Sides of Straits” multi-game esports tournament; and esports organization EHOME signed a sponsorship deal with gaming chair brand Victorage.
Every week The Esports Observer presents the biggest esports business news in China, including investments, acquisitions, sponsorships, and other major news from the region.
TJ Sports Punishes LGD Gaming Players and Staff for Match Fixing
Credit: LGD Gaming
On June 18, TJ Sports posted an official punishment announcement on social media Weibo, against four LGD Gaming players and staff involved in “Unfair Misconduct Play” (or match-fixing).
According to the announcement, the incident was first reported by LGD Gaming itself, and a later investigation was handled by LGD Gaming and the League of Legends Union Discipline Management Team (LOL UDMT). After the investigation, LOL UDMT confirmed that the allegations were correct and punished related players and staff based on the League of Legends Global Penalty Index.
- LGD Gaming League of Legends player Xiang “Condi” Renjie, was involved in unfair misconduct/behavior during 2019 League of Legends Pro League (LPL) matches, and tried to manipulate match results. He was given 18-month global ban, with an expiration date of Dec 18, 2020.
- LGD Gaming League of Legends team manager Song Ziyang, also involved in unfair misconduct behavior in 2019, tried to manipulate match results by using his position. Official Fine: a global lifetime ban. (i.e. he cannot be involved in any League of Legends business).
- LGD Gaming League of Legends reserve player Fu “Fdy” Dingyuan and coach Tang “1ntruder” Sheng, were also involved in unfair misconduct in 2019. Official Fine: a 10-month global ban, with an expiration date of April 18, 2020.
After the TJ Sports’ announcement was posted on Weibo, LGD Gaming also posted an official announcement that the organization had fired Xiang, Song, Fu, and Tang. In addition, the stage host of LGD Gaming’s home venue, Chen “Nara” Siqi, was also fired for her involvement in match-fixing. The two companies, TJ Sports and LGD Gaming, show zero tolerance on match-fixing, the announcement noted.
Sources close to the LPL told The Esports Observer:
“Right now, the Union is really sensitive on match-fixing and betting. As long as you are in the [LoL esports] industry, you are not allowed to bet in any way and with any role .”
Valve Releases Test Version of Dota Underlords, Open Beta Coming This Week
Credit: Valve Corporation
On June 14, game publisher Valve Corporation officially released the test version of its own standalone auto battler game, “Dota Underlords.” The first testing users will be the Dota 2 The International Battle Pass owners. On June 20, Valve announced on its Dota Underlords official Twitter account that the open beta will come this week for free. During the open beta period, Battle Pass owners will receive three Dota Underlords Preview CD Keys, which can be given to other players.
It should be noted that the game will not only be distributed through Steam, Valve’s own game marketplace platform, but also via iOS and Android—making this the first mobile game Valve has ever released. Valve also claimed that the game can also be played on Mac and Linux systems, and will support cross-platform play.
The hype behind the auto battler genre continued to grow this week. On June 19, Drodo Studio, the Chinese developer of original Dota Auto Chess , announced that its own mobile game Auto Chess, has already been listed on the Apple app store. In addition, for Riot Games’ own auto battler game – Teamfight Tactics, the game has officially opened its own channel on streaming platform Twitch, and also changed its official Chinese name, from “英雄战棋” (Legends Chess) to “云顶之弈” (Game on the Cloud).
Tournament Between Taiwan and Mainland China Announced, with $144.8K USD Prize Pool
Credit: Game Show
On June 16, Chinese esports organization Game Show announced it had partnered with Fujian Both Sides of Straits Channel and Taiwanese esports organization ESPONE to host a multi-game esports tournament. The event will be called “Both Sides of Straits Esports Invitational,” and will feature a ¥1M RMB ($144.8K) total prize pool. The multi-game tournament includes Apex Legends , Dota Auto Chess/Auto Chess, Overwatch , Hearthstone , WarCraft III, StarCraft II , and CS:GO , and will be hosted with 100 days online and 16 days offline in mainland China and Taiwan, from June to November.
Sources close to esports organizer Game Show told The Esports Observer, “the goal of this tournament is to improve the developing relationship between Mainland China and Taiwan.” and “first Apex Legends online tournament has opened on June 19.”
Other Esports Business News:
Credit: LGD Gaming
- On June 16, esports organization Esports 8 announced that it will run a 13-day League of Legends training camp for esports enthusiasts. The participants will train in the Chinese cities of Chengdu and Shanghai, with professional coaches from LPL team OMG and SDG. Chen “Starcy” Yuan, marketing vice president of Esports 8 told The Esports Observer:
“The goal of this camp is to make every esports enthusiast experience the life of a Chinese professional player, and also understand the career opportunities in the Chinese esports industry.”
- On June 17, esports organization EHOME signed a sponsorship deal with Chinese gaming chair brand Victorage, with financial details undisclosed at the time of writing. EHOME has a long history in China: it won second place in Dota 2’s The International in 2011.
- June 16, a new Chinese online shopping festival was held:“616 Shopping Day,” which was designed by multiple Chinese e-commerce companies. Two of the major e-commerce companies, Suning and JingDong, each host League of Legends teams in the LPL, and were competing with each other on the day of the festival. During the matches, audiences received multiple bonuses including shopping vouchers and gifts from JingDong and Suning.
- On June 19, Tencent announced that it will shut down Warcraft III services on Tencent BattleNet, starting July 18. The game will no longer be playable on Tencent’s platform.
- On June 14, the Shanghai Esports Association added Honor of Kings and Clash Royale into its “Shanghai Esports Athletes Registration Game Title” system. This system, which offers benefits to professional esports players in employment, education, and travel, has now expanded to seven titles, alongside Dota 2, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Warcraft III, and FIFA Online 4.