China Esports Weekly: Esports-Related Companies and Individuals Support Henan in Countering Floods, Tencent to Buy Sumo Group for $1.27B

While last week saw several key competitions and the unveiling of new plans across China’s esports industry, the country is currently in a state of grief and resistance in the wake of a shocking natural disaster. The Dota 2’s i-League has started in Shanghai, featuring 1.2 million yuan ($185,000) in total prize money. In the meantime, however, a record-breaking rainstorm struck in the central Chinese province of Henan and its capital city of Zhengzhou.

“Zhengzhou received more rainfall in four days than it would in an average year. This is extremely serious,” the World Meteorological Organization said. A range of esports-related companies and individuals collectively offered millions of yuan to support the province of Henan as it overcomes the traumatic rainstorms and flooding.

Other top stories from China’s esports industry include:

Tencent announced that it would buy British video game studio Sumo Group for $1.27 billion.

-TiMi Studios Honor of Kings ended endorsement deal with Canadian singer and artist Kris Wu due to allegations of sexual misconduct.

-The PUBG Champions League (PCL) 2021 Summer Split has started on July 20, featuring 4 million yuan ($620 thousand) in total prize pool funds.

Esports-Related Companies Support Zhengzhou and Other Henan Cities to Fight Rainstorms and Floods

On Tuesday, China’s Henan province experienced torrential rainstorms, with a record 201.9mm (7.9 inches) falling in an hour in Zhengzhou, causing devastating floods around the central province. Zhengzhou’s Meteorological Bureau even called it the “worst rainfall in the past 1000 years.”

To fight the rainstorms and the incurring floods, Chinese game publishers, esports organizations, live streaming platforms and individuals donated money and goods for people living in Henan. Game publishers Tencent and ByteDance announced that they would donate 100 million yuan ($15.5 million) to Henan province with technical support from WeChat and Douyin, while NetEase also announced a donation of 50 million yuan ($7.73 million) and promised to support over 10,000 students in an education plan.

Wuhan-based esports organization eStar.Pro donated 1 million yuan ($155 thousand) under the name of Mario Ho and his wife Ming Xi, to the Henan Charity Association. In addition, Shanghai-based Dota 2 organization Team Aster announced it would initially donate 200,000 yuan ($31,000) to Henan victims. The team is currently competing in ImbaTV’s i-League in Shanghai, and will also donate part of their prize money to support the cause. Honor of Kings team XYG has joined in as well, with plans to donate 1 millionyuan ($155,000) to the province, as well as an additional 1 million yuan ($155,000) donation from Hongfa Zhang, the owner of XYG.

In addition, Chinese gaming and esports multi-channel network Elephant Goose Culture, along with its co-owner Liu “pdd” Mou, donated 1 million yuan ($155,000) apiece to Henan, while top streamer Jian “Uzi” Zihao donated 500 thousand yuan ($77,000). In total, the company and its related streamers donated 3.41 million yuan ($526,000).

There are also hundreds of esports individuals, including professional players, shoutcasters, streamers who donated and voluntarily contributed to efforts to support the people living in Henan and Zhengzhou.

Tencent Plans to Buy British Game Studio Sumo for $1.27 Billion

Chinese game publisher Tencent announced on Monday that it would buy the British game studio Sumo Group for $1.27 billion. The offer represents a 43% premium on Sumo’s current valuation. Tencent is already the second-biggest shareholder in Sumo and owns 8.75% of its shares. Goldman Sachs and Zeus Capital will provide advice to the board of Sumo for the financial terms of the acquisition.

“The opportunity to work with Tencent is one we just couldn’t miss. It would bring another dimension to Sumo, presenting opportunities for us to truly stamp our mark on this amazing industry, in ways which have previously been out-of-reach,” Sumo CEO Carl Cavers said in a statement.

Based in Sheffield, Sumo is the developer of Sackboy: A Big Adventure. The game just recieved approval from China’s National Press and Publication Administration on June 28. This could be one of the major reasons that Tencent had their eye on Sumo.

Last week, Western outlet Bild also reported that Tencent has plans to acquire Germany-based Crytek for over €3 million ($4.63 million). Pandaily has reached out to Tencent to confirm this deal.

Other Esports Business News:

On July 20, TiMi Studio Group, the developer of Honor of Kings, Call of Duty: Mobile, and the upcoming Pokemon Unite, announced that it has established a new AAA game studio TiMi Montréal in Canada.

On July 19, TiMi Studio Group announced that it ended its endorsement and partnership deal with Canadian singer and artist Kris Wu due to a wave of sexual assault allegations. Tencent Video and other brands have also ended partnerships with Wu.