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Last week, the esports industry in China saw some new non-endemic brands and organizations enter the scene, including the first Chinese Super League (CSL) soccer club establishing its own FIFA 4 Online team. Meanwhile, a Chinese electric automobile brand signed a sponsorship deal with NetEase for its NetEase Esports X Tournament (NeXT).

Among the top stories: Chinese Super League soccer club Shandong Luneng Taishan F.C. (LNTS) partnered with esports organization Yingshuang SC to set up a FIFA 4 Online esports team; esports organization Team Liquid and Mousesports both announced that they will be absent from IEM Beijing-Haidian; Chinese electric automobile brand Nio signed an exclusive automobile sponsorship deal with NetEase for the NeXT; and Huya signed a three-year deal with Riot Games to broadcast the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK).

Every week The Esports Observer presents the biggest esports business news in China including investments, acquisitions, sponsorships, and other major news from the region.

Chinese Super League Club Shandong Luneng Taishan F.C. Sets Up FIFA 4 Online Team

 

Credit: Shandong Luneng Taishan

On Oct. 24, Chinese Super League (CSL) club Shandong Luneng Taishan F.C. (LNTS) signed a partnership deal with esports organization Yingshuang SC to establish its first esports division team Luneng Taishan SC for participating in FIFA 4 Online esports professional tournaments in China. 

According to the announcement, this will be the first time that a CSL soccer club has set up a FIFA esports team in China. Zengshuai, the vice general manager of Luneng Sports Culture, stated that LNTS and Yingshuang SC will both apply their advantages in the business model  of “traditional sports + esports.” 

It should be noted that there are a number of European soccer clubs that have already established their esports divisions for professional FIFA esports tournaments, such as French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, English soccer club Liverpool F.C., Manchester City F.C., and Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.

Team Liquid, Mousesports Absent from IEM Beijing-Haidian 

Credit: ESL

Last week was probably disappointing for most of Chinese CS:GO fans and tournament organizer ESL Gaming. Two high-profile esports organizations, Team Liquid and Mousesports (Mouz), announced that they will be absent from IEM Beijing-Haidian due to an exhausting schedule and visa issues. 

On Oct. 22, North American esports organization Team Liquid announced that it will no longer be attending IEM Beijing-Haidian due to the exhausting schedule and the players’ need for a break. ESL announced that Finnish esports organization ENCE will replace Team Liquid at the event. On Oct. 29, European esports organization Mousesports also announced that it will be absent from the event due to visa issues, and the team will be replaced by North American esports organization Renegades

The IEM Beijing-Haidian is a significant esports event not only for the ESL but also the Chinese CS:GO scene. From 2013-2018, the IEM CS:GO has always been hosted at the China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference (simply as ChinaJoy). In 2019, the $250K USD IEM Beijing-Haidian will be hosted at the 4,200 seat capacity Beijing University Sports Stadium from Nov. 9-10. This will be the ESL’s first stadium-level esports tournament in China since 2013. 

Electric Automobile Brand Nio Signs Sponsorship Deal with NetEase for NeXT 

Credit: Nio/NeXT

On Oct. 30, Chinese electric automobile brand Nio (sometimes referred to as the “Tesla of China”) signed a sponsorship deal with game publisher NetEase for the NetEase Esports X Tournament (NeXT) 2019 Autumn Season. Acting as the exclusive automobile sponsor for this tournament, the deal is meant to promote Nio’s new SUV brand, “Nio ES6.”

In addition to Nio, the NeXT Autumn Season is sponsored by the e-commerce platform Gome, China UnionPay, and Agricultural Bank of China. The tournament will also partner with Chinese phone brand Honor, Huawei, Razer, Alienware, and DxRacer.

Other Esports Business News:

Credit: VSPN
  • On Oct. 24, Chinese live streaming platform Huya signed a three-year deal with Riot Games to broadcast LCK matches and to represent the LCK in all potential partnerships/sponsorship negotiations for the league’s Chinese streams. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • On Oct. 28, Chinese tournament organizer VSPN announced that the Peacekeeper Elite League (PEL) will be hosted by the company in the Chinese city of Xi’an at the VSPN esports complex. The PEL will start from Oct. 31 and feature 50 teams. The total prize pool of the tournament has not been disclosed. 

 

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