News Roundup: Media, Marketing, & the Ecology

Vol 3.35 | November 24, 2020

Hello Esports Enthusiasts!

Today’s roundup focuses on the topics I skipped in the November 20 newsletter: “media/streaming”, “brands/marketing”, and “ecology”.

What’s “ecology”, you ask? Technically, it’s the study of ecosystems. China’s esports ecosystem is a constant target of public-private investment and official “top-down” efforts to organize esports, a key feature of esports in China. Up until now I have awkwardly labeled this kind of news “official action” or “local development”, both of which seem too specific. I think “ecology” might be a better way to think about these kind of items.

Like esports, this newsletter is constantly evolving 🌿

Enjoy! -John

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Ecology

Media/Streaming

Earnings Season

Bilibili and soon-to-be-merged Huya and Douyu each reported earnings and total viewership figures for 3Q2020. Key figures:

  • Douyu

  • Huya

    • Average monthly active users (MAUs): 172.9M (+18.3% YoY) / Mobile MAUs 74.2M (+16.3% YoY) / Monthly paying users: 6M (+13.2%).

    • Total net revenues were $414.6M USD (+24.3% YoY), with a $91.4M USD gross profit.

VSPN

Overwatch League

Brands/Marketing

  • Esports organization LGD entered into a strategic partnership with Bixin, a popular esports-oriented platform (profiled in Vol 3.15) that offers online “training companions”. LGD’s stated goal is to improve its talent pool by integrating its systems with Bixin, as the official youth training ground of LGD’s teams.

  • Tencent named OPPO, lighter brand Zippo, Haagen-Dazs, carmakers Maserati and Tesla, ice tea brand Wang Lao Ji, and instant noodle brand Master Kong as the the new non-endemic partners of Peacekeeper Elite.

  • Chinese phone brand Xiaomi is one of the major sponsors of the Arena of Valor tournament in Brazil. Sponsorship of international esports events by major Chinese phone makers like Xiaomi and OPPO is increasingly common.

  • Fnatic, one of Europe’s most prominent esports organizations, was forced to post an apology for letting its brand be used in “Falling into your smile”, a Chinese drama about elite esports in China that managed to anger many Chinese esports fans for reasons well described in this article.

Thanks for reading!

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