A Chinese media outlet called 36Kr has announced that Riot Games and Tencent have established a new limited partnership to manage esports in China, according to a new Inven Global report.
The new joint venture will be set up in Shanghai and will be in charge of supervising operations regarding tournaments for League of Legends and various related products. Both Riot and Tencent will be involved in the new development and the shares in the venture will be divided equally.
The company will be co-directed by IEG Head of League of Legends Operations Jin E-bo, and Lin Song, head of Riot Games in China.
The original article at 36Kr indicates that the joint venture will likely help esports have more influence in China. The media believes that this company could drive future growth, especially in Tencent’s favor. In fact, this could be the biggest issue according to the original author – a successful venture can give Tencent even more influence in the current Chinese esports ecosystem. As owner of Riot Games and operator of the LPL League of Legends championship, as well as owner of several other major esports titles, Tencent already enjoys a very powerful position. With Tencent as the sole owns Riot Games, they control the joint venture as well.
So far, there has not been any official confirmation. Indeed, considering Tencent’s degree of control over the Chinese League of Legends scene – and over League of Legends developer Riot Games, which it owns 100% of since December 2015 – this move is quite curious, unless Tencent needs it for a certain legal or business purpose. Hopefully, there will be more details about this deal in the near future.
Thumbnail Image credit: Riot Games, Tencent Holdings