TJ Sports opens LPL franchise slot bids for 2020

At the Tencent Global Esports Annual Summit in the Hainan Boao Asia International Conference Center,  TJ Sports spoke about the past and future of its League of Legends series, the LPL.

At the event, TJ Sports noted that they plan to add one or two slots to the LPL in 2020 alongside opening the league up to new partners.

Credit – LPL

TJ Sports is a joint venture between Tencent & Riot Games, mainly focused on running and managing the League of Legends Pro League (LPL). The Esports Observer has claimed that the amount per slot being asked of new buyers is ¥80M RMB (£9.16m).

In late 2018, two new teams joined the LPL Dominus Esports and Victory 5 making it the largest franchised league in professional League of Legends.  Europe and North America also use a franchised leagues model, with the LEC & LCS respectively only have 10 teams each currently which means in 2020 the LPL could be just two teams shy of being the size of both regions combined.

Jin “Bobby” Yibo, co-CEO of TJ Sports, had this to say: “This is the seventh year of the League of Legends esports scene. Those records don’t just mean new breakthroughs in League of Legends, but also means League of Legends esports has become a part of our society.”

At the event, TJ Sports also spoke about viewership of the LPP, as of 2019 total tournament viewership hit 2.5 billion and the LPL Summer Split Final was watched by 70 million on an audience per minute count. Total LPL viewership also broke 30 billion.

Jin Yibo, added: “TJ Sports, Riot Games, and Tencent together, expect to bring League of Legends World Championship to the most important sports tournament in China and the worldwide highest level competition in 2020.”

Finally, TJ Sports noted that it would release a League of Legends Esports white paper, which will chronicle the eight-year esports development of LoL. They also announced the launch of a new charity organisation called LPL Cares which they’ve partnered with Tencent Esports, Tencent Charity, One Foundation and World of Art Brut Culture (WABC), with the aim of taking care of players’ mental and physical health.

Esports Insider says: The LPL is home to the current world champions in League of legends after Invictus Gaming beat European side Fnatic in the 2018 final. Improving the appeal and number of teams in the LPL makes a lot of sense and TJ Sports will be hoping to see the latest sides and future partnerships continue to help the league flourish.

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