This week, things are moving in esports business. At a time where China is about to welcome Fortnite, partnerships and investments keep raining. Here’s Smartcast choice of the four big news to notice.
Tencent to launch Fortnite on Chinese live servers
Last week, Chinese giant Tencent announced that the very popular Fortnite Battle Royale would be expanding to China. As a reminder, Tencent owns the licenses of Fortnite’s most famous rival, PUBG, and of the world’s most popular MOBA, League of Legends.
The Chinese organisation plans to invest 15.8 million dollars for multiple features including marketing, infrastructures and competitions related to the game. According to Tencent, Fortnite will shape around “regional and global professional leagues”.
In the meantime, PUBG just announced its first major tournament. The PUBG Global Invitational 2018 will take place July 25-29 in Berlin, Germany, and will be pitting 20 professional teams against each other for a $2 million prize pool.
ESL signs major partnership with Vodafone
The Electronic Sports League (or ESL) signed a partnership with Vodafone. The British company is the third mobile operator in the world. Vodafone therefore becomes the “premium” partner of IEM, ESL One and ESL Pro League. This partnership confirms Vodafone’s step in esports. Both structures will work on how to promote diversity and women’s participation in esports, with ESL Women’s Sydney Open as a first test. Vodafone expands its influence as a sponsor, already being mousesports’ partner in Germany and Giants’ partner in Spain. They were already the major sponsor of Katowice’s IEM earlier this year.
ESL, MTGx’s digital, online games and esports division, saw a 226% increase in sales – with esports sales up 32%, driven by over 70% growth in ESL’s event revenues.
North to sign adidas’ sponsorship
Danish structure North signed a sponsorship agreement with sportswear leader adidas. It confirms a pre-existing deal between both organisations, as adidas’ logo could already be seen on the shirts of North’s CS:GO team (its leading one). As of now, the partnership runs until the end of the year, but both parts are expressing the will to keep it going. This announcement doesn’t seem so surprising, considering North’s close links with Copenhagen Football Club, already sponsored by adidas.
The German giant can also be seen on Vitality’s shirts since January 2017.
Splyce finds new funds
Esports structure Splyce found a new investor: The Ledger Group, a Canadian company specialized in targeted investment. The Ledger Group will enter with a 1.5 million dollar donation. Splyce couldn’t have hoped for more, as a franchise system will soon rule the LCS. Starting with the Summer Split, clubs willing to participate are required to pay between 8 and 10,5 million euros to enter the competition.
Moreover, The Ledger Group decided to rebrand as OverActive Media to better reflect their focus on esports. The company looks to ensure a good spot on esports franchises’ market. This strikes as the first big move from The Ledger Group in its attempt to enter the world of esports, after its investments in gaming company Askott Entertainment and in esports media Enthusiast Gaming Inc.
Crédits photo : fortune.com