Huya secures Chinese League of Legends deal, ECI launches | ESI Digest #40

Each week, ESI Digest breaks down the weekly happenings in the esports industry, making sense of things so you don’t have to. As well as being housed on YouTube, ESI Digest is available on all major podcast platforms and is also available in written form below.

In this week’s ESI Digest, we cover Huya’s monumental Chinese League of Legends broadcast deal, Esports Certification Institute’s launch and backlash, ESL renewing its long-term Intel partnership, Semper Fortis Esports raising £2.55m, plus NRG Esports’ partnership with The General.

This edition of the ESI Digest is in partnership with REELY.AI.

Huya agrees five-year, £224m broadcast deal for Chinese League of Legends

Chinese livestreaming platform Huya has signed an exclusive media rights deal worth ¥2,013m RMB (~£223.88m) for League of Legends esports in China.

Huya secured the five-year agreement with TJ Sports, China’s League of Legends operator which is a joint venture between Tencent and Riot Games, on Tuesday, April 27th. The deal includes the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), League of Legends Development League (LDL), and LPL’s All-Star event.

Esports Certification Institute launches and pauses

Former Dignitas Chief of Staff Ryan Friedman and Houston Rockets’ ex-VP of Esports Sebastian Park have launched the Esports Certification Institute (ECI).

According to the release, The inaugural exam consisted of 120 multiple choice questions and one essay. The exam focuses on ‘Esports Knowledge, Statistical Literacy, and Problem Solving’. Following criticism received from the esports community, ECI has paused its signups and is refunding those who have paid for the exam or study guide. The institute has said that it plans to rethink its process.

ESL and Intel renewal long-term partnership, both parties look to invest $100m in esports

Image credit: ESL

Esports organiser and production company ESL Gaming has renewed its long-standing partnership with North American technology company Intel, taking the collaboration to 20 years.

According to the release, the renewal, which is set to commence in 2022, will see both entities invest over $100m (~£71.95m) in esports up until, and including, IEM Katowice 2025. The investment is expected to bring ‘further product innovations and improvements for fans and players alike’.

Semper Fortis Esports raises £2.55m from Aquis Stock Exchange listing

Following the UK-based esports organisation’s listing on the Aquis Stock Exchange (AQSE), Semper Fortis Esports has announced that approximately £2.55m has been raised during the first day of dealings. 

According to the release, the gross proceeds were conducted at an issue price of 1p per share, with Semper Fortis Esports’s market capitalisation valued roughly at £4.15m.

NRG Esports and The General announce Rocket League title partnership

Image credit: NRG Esports (ESI Illustration)

North American organisation NRG Esports has announced a partnership with insurance company The General. 

As a part of the deal, the organisation’s Rocket League team will be renamed ‘The General NRG’ and outfitted in branded jerseys for all future competitive and non-competitive events. The partnership will also see NRG’s ‘The Grid’ broadcast now be presented by the insurance firm.

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ESI Digest, in partnership with RocketReel, powered by, is part of the ESI Network, a collection of podcasts encompassing the esports industry. For deep dives into the major areas of esports with subject matter experts, check out ESI Focus. For conversations with key personnel and major stakeholders in esports, ESI Insight is the series for you.