On Feb.26, Chinese esports club Weibo eSports Club announced a partnership with Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club (and Wolves eSports Club) to form a new esports team in China called Wolves Weibo eSports.
Weibo eSports Club, managed by Shanghai Jingzong Culture Media Company, is one the most high-profile esports clubs in China. As an exclusive esports club authorised by China’s top social media platform Weibo, the partnership with Wolves can be considered as a strong alliance between Chinese and Western esports, and even traditional sports.
According to the official announcement, Wolves Weibo eSports club will host a signing ceremony for their esports players in March and the team will compete in Chinese FIFA Online 4 Professional tournament-FIFA Online 4 Star League (FSL).
Wolverhampton Wanderers follow bravely in the footsteps of the likes of PSG, who have a collaboration with LGD Gaming and host teams across a variety of esports – most notably Dota2. Although Wolves has not signalled any intent as of yet of departing from the traditional, bread and butter “FIFA” tournaments that they’re used to – it may well come in the future. They’re the first Premier League club to partner with a Chinese esports organisation as an avenue to tap into the Chinese market, and we would expect not the last.
Mr Guangzhuo Shi, CEO of Jingzong Culture Media Company, commented: “The partnership with Wolves eSports can not only learn the standardized operation model from Wolves Football Club, but also combine the brand influence of Weibo eSports Club to form a Chinese FIFA team with a more professional business model and international vision.”
Mr Russell Jones, Wolves Head of Marketing, said: “The esports market in China is growing at pace and we wanted to follow-on from the success of our existing esports team with a dedicated China presence. This collaboration is very exciting as it will see us partner with a world class esports club and one of the biggest media platforms in China.”
With the collaboration between Wolves and Weibo eSports, the Wolves football team will also come to China to meet their Chinese fans this year. As a combination of esports and football, this may be the expectation of the future of China’s FIFA esports.
Esports Insider says: As an excellent example of the global partnership between Chinese and Western esports/sports industries, this team has created a crossover between Chinese and Western fan bases. Wolves become the first EPL team to take the leap into China through a partnership with an esports organisation, and should this prove a success, we may well see a lot of other Premier League clubs following suit.