Tencent is the largest social media and gaming giant in China. They have built and structured the eSports scene in China almost single handedly. If you don’t already know, Tencent is worth 522 billion dollars as of 2017 which is 3 billion dollars more than Facebook’s net worth. Recently, Tencent reached out and invested in other companies to create even more esports leagues.
In the beginning of 2018, Tencent spent 15.8 million dollars to own the rights to release the Chinese version of Fortnite. They also invested 1.1 billion in Huya and Douyu, 2 Chinese streaming platforms. In the following months, they purchased a good portion of Versus Programming Network, the chinese ESL so to say. All the games that VSPN held tournaments for were all published by Tencent. They have announced plans to build an eSports industrial park and their goal is to make esports a 15 billion dollar industry.
Tencent acquired 5% of Ubisoft in March and are creating a Rainbow Six Siege league in China. By the end of the year, Tencent is expected to close a deal with Activision for the licenses to provide the Call of Duty Series to Chinese audiences as well. By the end of this year, Tencent is expected to outpace it’s competitor Netease Games. Tencent will own the publishing rights to League of Legends, Clash Royale, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S Battlegrounds, Fortnite Battle Royale, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, and the Call of Duty Franchise. Clash Royale, Fortnite, and Rainbow Six are relatively new even in the west. Tencent has the experience, financial backing, and following to make these leagues a success in the East. Their recent loss to Korea in the Asia Games may be upsetting, but the rivalry to become the king of the esports world only got hotter. We can expect to hear a lot more from and about Tencent in the esports world in 2019.