Ping An Bank Sponsors Bilibili Gaming, Chengdu B-Ray Invests $7.7M in Bilibili Esports

After a year of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s esports industry has entered 2021 with the hope of a better new year. We did see several sponsorships and investment deals signed in the past two weeks, as well as a $1.5B esports property project in Shanghai. 

In addition, during the new year’s holiday (Jan. 1-2), TJ Sports and the Chengdu government hosted the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) All-Star in Chengdu. Esports organization TOP Esports was named the “2020 best Chinese esports organization,” and its partnership deal with luxury brand Dior was also named as “2020 best esports business operation.” In addition, Dior also provided business suits for TES players to attend All-Star events.

However, the pandemic is still a potential negative factor for the esports industry, which can not be underestimated. Since Jan. 2, China has reported 83 new infection cases from Shijiazhuang, the main city of Hebei province. The city is close to Beijing and has been recognized as a “High Risk” region by the government. 

In fact, we’ve also seen concerns about the ongoing pandemic from large Chinese esports organizations. On Jan. 2, China’s LPL teams LGD Gaming and OMG announced that both teams will move to Shanghai from their homes in Hangzhou and Chengdu to compete in the LPL this year. This operation could be considered to decrease the risk of exposure during the pandemic. Also in some ways, It means the home-away operation of LPL will be likely suspended in at least the first half of 2021.

Among the top stories in China’s esports industry: China’s Ping An Bank signed a title sponsorship deal with LPL team Bilibili Gaming (BLG); LPL team Vici Gaming rebranded to Rare Atom and relocated to Wuhan; and Chengdu-based media company B-Ray announced it will invest $7.7M USD in Bilibili Esports.

Ping An Bank Title Sponsors Bilibili Gaming

Ping An Bank has signed a title sponsorship deal with Chinese esports organization Bilibili Gaming (BLG). The name of Ping An will be featured behind BLG during the LPL.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

BLG is recognized as a property of Bilibili Esports, the esports arm of the Chinese large video platform Bilibili. In August of 2020, Ping An Bank signed a strategic partnership with Bilibili Esports, including co-branding strategies, coefficient products, and services. Bilibili is also one of the sponsors of BLG, alongside Logitech G, iGame, and Gentle Monster. 

Ping An Bank is owned by Ping An Insurance Group Company of China, Ltd, one of the biggest companies in China. In 2020’s Fortune Global 500, Ping An Insurance reached  a $207B market value and ranked No. 21.

Chengdu-Based Media Company to Invest $7.7M in Bilibili Esports, Expects to Own 6.02% Stake

On Jan. 4, Chengdu-based media company Chengdu B-Ray Media announced at its tenth board meeting report that the company has decided to invest ¥50M RMB ($7.7M) in Shanghai-based Bilibili Esports, and also be one of the investors in Bilbili Esports’s Series A funding round. 

In addition, B-Ray also revealed that the company will own 6.02% shares of Bilibili Esports after finishing the investment, which also means Bilibili Esports will reach about ¥800M ($123M) in company value.

B-Ray explained that this investment will be one of the major business operations for the company to respond to the call of developing the esports industry by the Chengdu government.

Vici Gaming LPL Team Rebrands to Rare Atom, Relocates to Wuhan City

On Jan. 3, esports organization Vici Gaming (VG) announced that its League of Legends division rebranded to Rare Atom (RA). The reason behind this rebranding were not disclosed. 

It should be noted that other divisions of VG like Dota 2, Honor of Kings, and CS:GO were not rebranded.

On Tuesday, RA hosted a press conference in the Chinese city of Wuhan, announcing the organization would also relocate to Wuhan from Shanghai. Multiple Wuhan politicians and executives from TJ Sports attended the conference and witnessed this announcement. 

In December of 2020, Chinese conglomerate Nenking Group acquired Wuhan-based LPL team eStar Gaming for an undisclosed amount of money. Nenking Group is based in Guangdong, and also owns Overwatch League team Guangzhou Charge. As one of the esports investments to develop esports in the Guangdong region, eStar Gaming LPL franchise will leave Wuhan and move to Guangdong. 

In some ways, it also shows how important Wuhan city is in China’s esports industry, and the LPL system. 

Other Esports Business News:

  • On Jan.3, Chinese esports organization Newbee and Avengerls received permanent bans from Valve and Perfect World for match-fixing. Both teams and players will be not allowed to attend any Valve or Perfect World Dota 2 competitions, including The International.
  • Chinese property company SuperGen Group, the parent company of Chinese esports organization Edward Gaming (EDG) announced Monday that its “Shanghai international Culture and Creative Esports Center” began construction in the city. The total investment of this esports property project will be more than ¥10B ($1.55B), as well as offering around 2,000 esports related jobs.


Source: Read Full Article