The newest company to join the League of Legends Pro League, Sina Corporation, announced their entrance into the league by rebranding the 2020 League of Legends World Championship finalist team Suning to Weibo on Sunday. The Chinese social media platform, often referred to as the Twitter of China, will now have a team representing it in the largest League of Legends league in the world.
The former Suning roster will transfer over the new brand. This is the second organization to be bought out in the LPL this year as Ninjas in Pyjamas also recently joined the league to compete for the 2022 season.
The LPL spring 2022 schedule has not yet been announced, though play in most major leagues begins in January each year. Weibo will use WBG as for the team’s graphics and in-game abbreviation. Weibo will begin their stint in the LPL with the Suning roster, according to the League of Legends Global Contract Database; all the former members of Suning were signed with the organization through 2022.
Suning enter the LPL back in the summer of 2017. They were promoted from the league’s second division and participated in the top Chinese league ever since. Suning enter League of Legends itself as a rebrand originally, purchasing T.Bear Gaming’s LPL second league spot.
Suning rose to prominence in 2020 due to their run at the League of Legends World Championship. In their first, and now only, international tournament appearance, Suning finished at the top of their group. They then went on the defeat the two Chinese teams seeded over them in the knockout stage in JD Gaming and tournament favorite Top Esports. In the final of the tournament, Suning lost 3-1 to South Korean squad Damwon Gaming, now known as DWG KIA.
In 2021, Suning did not reach the same heights as before. The team placed seventh and ninth in the spring and summer regular splits respectively. Weibo will take on the LPL starting in January.
Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.