This week in esports: Tennis, King Pro League, EU LCS, Sports Emmys, non-endemic sponsorships

30 March 2018


This week in esports hasn’t slowed down at all from past weeks, with new developments coming in every single day.

This week’s biggest stories include a traditional sport entering competitive gaming, Tencent launching its own franchised esports league for mobile title Honor of Kings, Riot Games looking to franchise the EU LCS in 2019, and both ELEAGUE and League of Legends being nominated for awards alongside mainstream sports. Not only that, two non-endemic brands have entered the industry as sponsors.

Roland-Garros marks tennis’ entry in esports at French Open

Tennis is the latest sport to enter esports. Roland-Garros, the organiser behind the French Open, is set to host the Roland-Garros e-series by BNP Paris.

Taking place in April, the event will be hosted in multiple countries with competitors playing on a demo version of Bigben Interactive’s Tennis World Tour. The winners from each regional qualifier will find themselves in the finals on May 25th, during the French Open.

Read the full article here.

Tencent launches franchised league for Honor of Kings

King Pro League

Tencent has joined the likes of Riot Games’ LCS and Blizzard’s Overwatch League by launching a franchised league. The King Pro League is made up of city-based teams, with twelve teams being split across two divisions – Eastern and Western – in the Spring Split.

It’s unknown at this time which cities Tencent will choose to accompany Shanghai and Chengdu, nor is it common knowledge whether there will be a buy-in process for organisations or not in the future. It’s been reported that Tencent will increase the city list to eight in 2019.

Read the full article here.

Riot Games to introduce franchising to EU LCS in 2019, spot buy-ins from £7m


The European League of Legends Championship Series, perhaps better known as the EU LCS, is going to become a franchised league – much like its North American counterpart.

Welcoming franchising in 2019, Riot Games has opened applications for the upcoming season, with buy-in prices coming in at 8,000,000 euros (£6,997,307.20) for teams already in the league and 10,500,000 euros (£9,183,965.70) for teams that aren’t currently competing. Other changes to the league include increased salaries and revenue sharing among both teams and players.

Read the full article here.

ELEAGUE, Riot Games receive nominations for Sports Emmys Awards


Esports has been recognised alongside traditional sports once more, with both ELEAGUE and Riot Games’ League of Legends receiving nominations for Sports Emmys Awards.

ELEAGUE has been nominated for Outstanding Trans-media Sports Coverage, Outstanding Live Graphic Design, and The George Wensel Technical Achievement Award. Riot Games’ title League of Legends is nominated for Outstanding Live Graphic Design.

Read the full article here.

Two new non-endemic companies enter as sponsors

Panda Global Lynx

Gfinity has brought in another sponsor for the Elite Series, and this time it’s shower gel and deodorant brand Lynx. The company hopes to receive exposure from Gfinity’s numerous platforms, and it will integrate its brand into ancillary content – such as the spin-off show Game-On FIFA 18, which is hosted by Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Zippo, the lighter manufacturer, has also entered the esports scene; it is now one of the multiple non-endemic sponsors of Panda Global. It will provide handwarmers to Panda’s competitors, and plans to stay in the industry if this sponsorship proves beneficial.

Read the full Lynx article here, and the full Zippo article here.