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Tencent wants to create $15 billion dollar esports industry in China

Tencent hopes to create a $15 billion industry in China.
Tencent hopes to create a $15 billion industry in China. Photo courtesy of Riot Games

Tencent shared an ambitious plan to create a $15 billion esports market in China.

Tencent, the world’s largest mobile game developer and parent company of Riot Games — the developer of League of Legends — announced Friday a five year plan to further its esports push during a news conference, according to a report from Caixin, a Chinese media group. The company said that it aims to create a 100 billion yuan (or $14.6 billion) esports industry in the next five years.

According to a study by the International Data Corporation that was cited at the news conference, esports generated $7.3 billion last year in China. According to Gao Li, general manager of Tencent E-Sports, the company already entered agreements with Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo, which plans to make a customized mobile phone model for the King of Glory Professional League and a league for the mobile game by the same name, developed by Tencent.

Tencent’s increased investment can be recounted by its purchase of Riot Games, developer of League of Legends, the most popular esport in the world, in 2015. Since then, Tencent has also bought Supercell, which developed Clash of Clans, for $8.6 billion in 2016.

Two specific figured were reportedly mentioned at the news conference. One was the success of Tencent’s flagship broadcast, the League of Legends Pro League, which Tencent said generated 5 billion viewers last year. Tencent also pointed out King of Glory, which attracted 15 million viewers in the opening day of its latest league.

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