Last week, the Chinese Dota 2 esports scene welcomed its second offline event of 2020 with limited live audiences, the China Dota 2 Pro Cup Season 2, which was hosted by Chinese production company Imba TV in Shanghai. Eventually, the Chinese team Elephant took down PSG.LGD, EHOME, and Team Aster, to take home ￥200K RMB ($30.3K USD) in prize money, the lion’s share of a ￥600K ($91.4K) total prize pool.
In addition, League of Legends esports also broke a record last week. The U.S. esports organization Team SoloMid (TSM) signed a two-year player contract deal with Taiwanese player Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh for a reported $6M, making him the highest-paid player in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). Shuo-Chieh was the support player on the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) team Suning Gaming who won runner-up at the 2020 League of Legends World Championship.
Among the top stories in China’s esports industry: TOP Esports (TES) parent company TOP Sports reported nearly $6M in esports revenue from February to August; Chinese authorities announced that the national esports professionals’ regulation will be released soon; Guangzhou city will host the 2020 League of Legends Demacia Cup; and French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain renewed its partnership with LGD Gaming’s Dota 2 team.
TOP Sports Reports $5.9 in Esports Revenue for H1 2020
Hong Kong-based sportswear retailer TOP Sports, the parent company of Chinese esports organization TOP Esports (TES), released its financial results for the first half of 2020 (Feb.29 to Aug.31). The company generated ￥15.7B ($2.4B) in total revenue, which marks a 7% decline compared to the same period in 2019. The reason behind the decline was due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the announcement.
The report also pointed out that its esports business was the only division to see increasing revenue, generating ￥39.2M ($5.9M), accounting for more than 0.2% of total revenue. In contrast, the company’s esports revenue for the whole year of 2019 was ￥30.4M ($4.64M), and only 0.1% of total revenue.
It should be noted that the revenue did not include multiple sponsorship deals that TES signed during the League of Legends World Championship from September to the end of October. As sponsorship is one of the major incomes for any sport, TES signed multiple non-endemic sponsorships during the Worlds 2020, including diary brand An Mu Xi, apparel company PUMA, Apple’s Beats By Dre, and carmaker FAW-Audi, whose logo placed on the left chest of TES team jersey.
In addition, It’s also hard to evaluate how much potential income was generated by winning the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) Summer Split, in terms of how it impacted TOP Sports’ offline retailers and e-commerce platform.
TES star player Yu “Jackeylove” Wenbo also brought a large number of commercial value to the organization as he is the first LPL player to partner with luxury brand Dior as a “friend of brand.”
China Authorities to Release Esports Professionals’ Regulation
On Nov.30, the Chinese Cultural Management Association hosted a private conference, the“National Esports Professional Skills Regulation Final Evaluation,” in Beijing.
During the conference, writers and editors reported to China’s authorities about how they set up the regulation, as well as existing issues. The conference means that the drafting process of the regulation has almost completed and will be released very soon, according to China Communist Party-owned publication Xinhua Net.
In January of 2019, China first recognized two new professions, “esports professional,” and “esports operator” in the country. At the beginning of this year, China added “esports team manager,” and named “esports operator” into “esports tournament operator,” as three official esports professions.
Guangzhou to Host League of Legends Demacia Cup
On Nov. 28, the Guangzhou government announced that the city had partnered with Tencent to host the 2020 League of Legends Demacia Cup in its Huangpu District with a limited live audience, from Dec. 21-27. The competition will feature 17 LPL teams, three League of Legends Development (LDL) teams, and four teams from open qualifiers.
In addition, the government also announced its supportive plan for developing esports, as awarding ￥10M ($1.5M) in a maximum allowance for esports companies who take place in the city.
Other Esports Business News:
- On Dec.1, Chinese esports organization LGD Gaming announced that its Dota 2 division renewed the partnership deal with the French soccer team Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), with the financial terms of the deal undisclosed. LGD Gaming told The Esports Observer that more details will release next week.
- On Dec. 2, South Korean esports organization DragonX (DRX) named former T1 Entertainment & Sports (T1) head coach Choi “cCarter” Choi Byoung as its new general manager.