(Yicai Global) May 8 -- The world's biggest gaming firm Tencent Holdings Ltd. has furthered a string of investments in the field by leading a fundraising round into Nice TV, an e-sports service provider aiming to develop competitions, productions and on-screen hosts.
The pair will cooperate to form a new model in the online sports culture sector, tech news portal 36Kr reported, citing a statement published yesterday by Nice TV parent Lejing Culture & Media Shanghai Co. (Versus Programming Network), which Shenzhen-based Tencent also holds shares in. The firm did not disclose financial details of the investment.
Nice TV held over 4,000 gaming competitions last year and hosts top-flight events covering some of China's biggest online games, most published by Tencent or its subsidiaries: Arena of Valor, CrossFire, League of Legends, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Clash Royale and Battle of Balls. It also produces entertainment programs, such as Lying Man, and has cultivated a number of e-sports commentators well-known throughout the country.
Video gaming is a big revenue and profit source for Tencent, which is China's largest tech firm by market cap. Gaming made up 41 percent of its income last year and it has continued to splurge in the field in 2018, pumping over USD1 billion into streaming platforms Douyu and Huya TV, both of which broadcast the KPL and LPL. It is also planning to pump USD468 million into South Korea's Bluehole Studio Inc., the firm behind PUBG, to take a 10-percent stake in the firm.
Nice TV helped Tencent set up a number of e-sports brands, such as the King Pro League and League of Legends Pro League, which brought in more than 10 billion viewers each last year and laid the foundations for the investment. Tencent invested in Nice TV's parent in March.
Editor: James Boynton