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Chinese esports organization eStar has announced its participation in the 2020 League of Legends Pro League (LPL) season. The Wuhan-based organization was accepted by TJ Sports, the joint venture between Tencent and Riot Games, as the 17th franchise to join the league. The team will start competing in the 2020 LPL Spring Split.
eStar enters 2020 LPL season
“As someone in the esports industry, it has been my dream for several years to own an LPL franchise. It has been four years since Young Miracles was established,” former Invictus Gaming top laner Liu “PDD” Mou wrote in a Weibo post. “Even though Young Miracles has already become a well known esports organization for amateur development in China, I still have regrets in my heart about it.”
“For a long time, I have been prepared for the LPL franchise bidding process. Ultimately, I chose to invest in the eStar Esports Club alongside the Wuhan Tourism Development Investment Group, which ended with us successfully securing this year’s LPL franchise quota.”
Previously known as the founder of the Chinese LDL team Young Miracles, PDD now has an ownership stake in eStar as well. The two investors provided over $14.34 million (RMB 100 million) in funding to the organization, which is most known for its Honour of Kings team. Their roster won first place at the Honour of Kings World Cup, taking home $1.9 million of a total $4.6 million prize pool.
Founded by former Warcraft 3 professional player Sun “xiaOt” Liwei, the team has also achieved multiple placements at past Heroes of the Storm events. No further information has been disclosed about the players or coaching staff being signed. There is also a chance that TJ Sports could open up the bidding for another LPL franchise spot, since the company stated in June that it would welcome one or two new teams for 2020.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.