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Over the past week, the esports industry in China has begun to cool down as 2019 draws to a close. Nevertheless, there were a number of partnerships worth nothing this week.
Among the top stories: Fast food brand KFC partnered with four League of Legends World Championship winners to promote coffee; Tencent Esports partnered with China Media Group for tournament hosting and content creation; esports organization LGD Gaming rebranded for its 10th year anniversary; and betting company Mr. Cat partnered with Chinese livestreaming company Huomao, and signed on to sponsor Blast Pro Series, CS Summit, and EPICENTER.
Every week The Esports Observer presents the biggest esports business news in China including investments, acquisitions, sponsorships, and other major news from the region.
KFC Partners with Past and Present League of Legends World Championship Winners for Coffee Commercial
On Dec. 9, global fast-food brand KFC posted a coffee commercial on Chinese social media Weibo, featuring four League of Legends World Championship winners: Gao “Tian” Tianliang and Liu “Crisp” Qingsong from esports organization FunPlus Phoenix (FPX), and Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok and Yu “JackeyLove” Wenbo from esports organization Invictus Gaming (IG). The partnership is to promote KFC’s new coffee brand “K Coffee,” and each player has his own exclusive coffee cup design. KFC will sell in a limited run 18.96M cups of the branded coffee in China.
The FPX and IG players are from China’s top League of Legends Pro League (LPL) and won 2019 and 2018 League of Legends World Championships. KFC is one of the partners of LPL and a sponsor of esports organization Royal Never Give-Up.
Tencent Signs Strategic Partnership with China Media Group
On Dec. 6, Tencent Esports announced that it signed a strategic partnership with the Chinese government-backed media company China Media Group (CMG). Cheng “Edward” Wu, vice president of Tencent, and CEO of Tencent Pictures, represented the company at an official signing ceremony.
According to the announcement, Tencent will “deeply cooperate” with CMG’s subsidiary International Media Port Culture Development Co., Ltd. The deal includes tournament hosting and esports content design and creation in Shanghai.
In June, Wu highlighted the impact of esports on Chinese culture at the Tencent Global Esports Summit. “Esports is a vehicle for expanding Chinese Culture to the world,” he said at the time.
LGD Gaming Rebrands, Celebrates 10th Anniversary
During the event, Pan “Ruru” Jie, the founder of LGD Gaming, announced the new logo and brand culture for LGD Gaming. “L” represents “Legend,” “G” represents “Gladiator,” and “D” represents “Dedicate.”
It’s not clear if LGD Gaming’s Dota 2 team PSG.LGD will also update with the new logo. The Esports Observer has reached out to LGD Gaming and will update this article when more details are confirmed.
In 2009, Jie founded LGD Gaming, which has become one of the most recognized esports organizations in China. The organization competes in League of Legends, Dota 2, FIFA Online 4, PUBG, Clash Royale and Honor of Kings. For Dota 2, LGD Gaming partnered with the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to jointly own the team PSG.LGD, which is considered the best Dota 2 team in China, winning the runner-up spot at The International 2018, and third place at The International 2019.
Other Esports Business News:
On Dec. 10, Southeast Asia betting company Mr. Cat announced that it has partnered with Chinese livestreaming platform Huomao, and will sponsor the Blast Pro Series CS:GO tournaments, CS Summit, and Dota 2 tournaments from EPICENTER. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Mr. Cat is the sponsor of the Russian esports organization Virtus.pro.