Chinese microblogging and social media platform Weibo has purchased a slot in League of Legends’ franchised league, the LPL, from esports organisation Suning Gaming.
The agreement, which was officially announced on the social media platform, sees Suning be renamed to Weibo Gaming.
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Both parties have not disclosed any financial information, however, Weibo Gaming will also take over Suning’s academy team.
Suning is a company known mostly for being one of the largest non-government retailers in China, with more than 10,000 stores nationwide. The company entered esports in 2015 and their League of Legends team has since been a staple of Chinese esports, most notably reaching the finals of the League of Legends World Championship in 2020.
Weibo, on the other hand, is one of the biggest social media platforms in China, with more than 500 million monthly users. Weibo Gaming, the company’s esports and gaming division, currently has partnerships with Huya.com, HP, KFC, and OnePlus.
Weibo has also announced that the acquisition will be followed by new mobile rosters in Hearthstone and League of Legends, according to translations of the original Weibo post. Weibo Gaming already competes in League of Legends: Wild Rift, as well as PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor.
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Providing there are no trades or buyouts, Weibo Gaming is set to compete in the LPL with Suning’s 2021 line-up with all five members signing for the organisation.
Esports Insider says: Suning selling its slot in the LPL is not that big of a surprise, considering the retailer’s financial struggles during the pandemic. Weibo joining the LPL could prove to be huge for the ecosystem. Moreover, the organisation now has teams in some of the most-watched titles across Asia.