Riot Games to Establish APAC Headquarters in Shanghai, NetEase Starts Construction on $710M Esports Park
For China and the rest of the world, the first half of 2020 is significant in history, as the global fight with COVID-19 rages on. Last week, the global confirmed cases of COVID-19 passed 10M.
For China, the second wave of COVID-19 remains a serious concern for people and businesses, including the esports industry. At the time of writing, Beijing, the capital of China has confirmed 328 COVID-19 local cases in the last 20 days.
Among the top stories in China’s esports industry: Game developer Riot Games signed a memorandum of understanding for a strategic partnership with Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau; Chinese game publisher NetEase started construction on its $710M USD esports park; tournament organizer ImbaTV signed a strategic partnership deal with Booming Games to explore the esports scene of Conqueror’s Blade; and esports organization Vici Gaming disbanded its PUBG division.
Riot Games Signs Memorandum of Understanding With Shanghai Government, Plans APAC Headquarters
On June 30, global game publisher Riot Games signed a memorandum of understanding for a strategic partnership deal with Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau.
According to the announcement, Riot Games plans to establish its Asia Pacific (APAC) headquarters in Shanghai, and the city will support more international tournaments by Riot Games.
In 2019 Riot Games established its China headquarters in Shanghai. With support from the Shanghai Municipal Publicity Department, Riot Games and Deputy Mayor of Shanghai Ming Zong, announced that the 2020 League of Legends World Championship will be hosted in the city.
Despite concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, Song Lin, co-CEO of TJ Sports and head of Riot Games China said that the two companies are still pushing forward with operational plans for the event. In May, the Shanghai Pudong District Propaganda confirmed that the League of Legends World Championship will begin in the district this October.
It’s not clear if Riot Games will merge its Chinese headquarters with its new APAC headquarters. TJ Sports, the joint venture of Tencent and Riot Games, is also based in Shanghai.
NetEase Starts Construction on $710M Esports Park in Shanghai Qingpu District
Also in Shanghai, Chinese game publisher NetEase began construction on its￥5B RMB ($710M) Esports Park in the Shanghai Qingpu district.
The park is around 151,000 square meters and includes a 2,000 seat esports venue, office buildings, exhibit center, and residential buildings. The facility will feature multiple technology projects, including gaming, esports, and virtual reality.
NetEase CEO Lei Ding said at a ceremony to mark the start of construction this week that the whole project only took one year, from blueprint to groundbreaking. The plan to build the NetEase Esports Park was announced one year ago at the 2019 Global Esports Conference.
NetEase is the second-largest game publisher in China behind Tencent. The company is the exclusive distributor of Blizzard Entertainment games including Hearthstone, Warcraft III, Overwatch, and Starcraft II. It also has its own esports professional tournaments: NetEase Esports X Tournament (NeXT) and NetEase Golden Series.
Imba TV Partners with Booming Games, Exploring the Esports Space of Conqueror’s Blade
On June 27 Chinese third-party tournament organizer ImbaTV announced that it had signed a strategic partnership deal with Chinese game developer Booming Games. ImbaTV will support Booming Games to find more esports spaces on its new game, Conqueror’s Blade. Other details were not disclosed.
Conqueror’s Blade is an online real-time strategy (RTS) game similar to the Command & Conquer.
ImbaTV is one of the biggest third-party esports tournament organizers in China, and also operates multiple esports-related businesses, including education and a company-branded internet cafe. On June 28, the company reopened its internet cafe, 150 days after the COVID-19 pandemic started in China.
Other Esports Business News:
- On June 25, esports organization Vici Gaming (VG) announced that the organization disbanded its PUBG division, four years after the division launched. The reasons behind why the team disbanded were not disclosed.
- On June 29, Chinese esports organization TOP Esports (TES) signed an exclusive streaming deal with DouYu. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- The Indian government has banned 59 apps in the country, and most of them are Chinese apps, including social network Tik Tok, and mobile games Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Clash of Kings.
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