Tencent, the world’s largest mobile gaming developer and the parent owner of Riot Games, has unveiled a five-year plan to expand the esports market in China by investing nearly $15 billion.
The plan, which involves setting up esports leagues, tournaments and associations, nurturing players and constructing esports-themed industrial parks, was announced by Tencent E-Sports, a subsidiary established in early December.
Gao Li, general manager of Tencent’s esports section, said there is still room for the company’s esports revenue to grow. Gao disclosed several agreements with the government and major companies. Tencent has signed deals with Chinese smartphone maker Vivo, which will soon roll out a customized mobile phone model for the King of Glory Professional League, a league for Tencent’s self-developed multiplayer online game, King of Glory.
At the same conference, Ding Dong, Director of the information center of the State General Administration of Sports, confirmed that Chinese sport authorities would be working closely with Tencent over the next five years to establish unified standards for esports in the country.
The $15 billion investment from Tencent will likely push China to make full use of the franchising aspect. It should also force big names in the west to open up their wallets and drop their money into the regional competitive scene.