Last week, the Chinese esports industry experienced some early summer heat that brought new changes to the scene, witnessing some significant esports announcements from the Beijing government.
Among the top stories in China’s esports industry: The $7.7 million Honor of Kings World Champion Cup 2021 will take place at Beijing Olympic Sports Center on Aug. 28; Huya and Douyu published their Q1 financial results of 2021, generating combined revenues of $740 million; the CEO of Elephant Bgoose Culture Yuxiao Dou was reportedly taken into custody; and Chinese esports organization Evolution Power Gaming renewed the sponsorship with AutoFull.
Beijing to Host $7.7M Honor of Kings World Champion Cup At Olympic Sports Center
The finals for the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup (KCC) 2021 will take place on Aug. 28, 2021, at the Beijing Olympic Sports Center. The director of the State-owned Cultural Assets Management Center Shaojian Liu announced the decision at a press conference hosted by the Beijing Municipality. As one of the significant esports events of the “Esports Beijing 2021” initiative, the KCC 2021 will be hosted and operated by Tencent and tournament organizer VSPN, and featuring a ¥50M RMB ($7.77M USD) total prize pool, the highest prize money in Honor of Kings history, as well as the mobile esports.
As one of the biggest mobile esports events in China, the KCC 2020 was the first esports event to defy the pandemic and brought in live audiences despite a limited capacity. The KCC 2020 witnessed TS Gaming pulling off a thrilling come-back beating Dynamite Gaming 4-3 in the finals at Beijing’s Cadillac Center. The champion team took home ¥13.4M RMB ($1.9M USD) lion’s share of a ¥32M RMB ($2.9M USD) prize pool. The international version of the Honor of Kings, Arena of Valor, also unveiled a $500 thousand prize pool for its 2021 World Cup.
In addition to KCC 2021, Mr. Liu also announced that a total of 32 esports events at different levels will also land in Beijing as a part of the “Esports Beijing 2021,” including Tencent’s Call of Duty Masters Season 2 Finals, Perfect World’s Dota 2 and CS: GO Perfect World League (PWL), ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters (IEM), and VR Esports International Championship to name a few. More details will be disclosed in the coming months.
On May 18, Chinese live streaming platforms Huya and Douyu announced their financial results for the first quarter of 2021. A comparison of key financial indicators suggested that Huya once again outperformed Douyu in the first quarter. Specifically, Huya registered an 8% year-on-year increase with net revenue of ¥2.60 billion ($397 million), compared to that of 2020 which was ¥2.42 billion ($371 million). Douyu generated net revenue of ¥2.15 billion ($328 million) in the first quarter of 2021 with a 5.7% year-on-year increase compared to ¥2.28 billion ($349 million) in 2020, yet recording a net loss of ￥70.7 million ($10.8 million), compared with an adjusted net income of ¥296.9 million ($45 million) in the same period of 2020.
Douyu’s net loss is worth noting as the platform has been embroiled in a series of controversies and scandals. The poor performance has also taken a toll on Douyu’s stock price which has fallen over the past few weeks on the report that China’s antitrust regulator may block Tencent, which owns stakes in Huya and Douyu, to merge the two platforms.
Other Esports Business News:
- Yuxiao Dou, the CEO of Chinese top Multi Channel Network (MCN) Elephant Bgoose Culture, was reportedly under custody for his involvement in opening casinos, as well as arranging gambling activities since all forms of gambling are illegal under Chinese law. Elephant Bgoose Culture is a major MCN that focuses on gaming live streaming kols. Due to this sensitive incident, Liu “PDD” Mou, former League of Legends professional player, and one of the MCN’s shareholders may once again suspend his stream on Douyu. PDD temporarily stopped streaming last month due to match-fixing accusations. He soon resumed streaming as no evidence had been found to substantiate the allegations.
- Chinese esports organization Evolution Power Gaming (EP Gaming) renewed its sponsorship deal with Chinese gaming chair brand AutoFull. EP Gaming primarily competes in CrossFire. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.