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Riot Games have announced the signing of a three-year deal with the Chinese video streaming platform Bilibili. The latter will receive the exclusive broadcasting rights for the League of Legends World Championships, along with the Mid-Season Invitational and All-Star Events.
Riot Games and Bilibili deal
Carly Lee, COO of Bilibili, commented:
We are excited to reach this strategic partnership with Riot Games. Throughout the past decade, we have witnessed the development of the esports industry from a niche market to a mainstream one that is now one of the most popular sports among young people in China.
The number of views of esports videos on Bilibili reached 44 billion in 2019. Bilibili will take this opportunity and help Shanghai build its leadership position in the global esports industry.
The partnership between Riot Games and Bilibili will begin with the 2020 League of Legends World Championship. It will eventually end with the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational. The two brands will collaborate on a variety of streaming and video content. This includes appearances from professional players like Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao and Ming “Clearlove” Kai.
In addition, an official documentary highlighting the 10th anniversary of the LPL will be produced through the collaboration. It will feature the teams in the league as they strive toward the coveted World Championships trophy. Other plans include further documentaries and offline events for fans to watch all of the action.
2020 League of Legends Worlds
John Needham, Global Head of Esports at Riot Games, added:
We continuously look to share our sport across platforms with our fans, and Bilibili will help us share the spectacle of LoL Esports to more of our fans in China. Our partnership with Bilibili allows us to stream our broadcasts to new audiences and also unlocks our ability to develop fresh content and storylines around our top professional players as we move into the next decade of LoL Esports.
Riot Games recently confirmed that the 2020 League of Legends World Championships would still be held as a live event in Shanghai, despite the ongoing COVID-19 situation. There have been several changes though, with all stages of the competition in the same city. Further details will come soon at a later time on whether a live audience will be permitted.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.