Chinese video platform Bilibili, known for its content targeting younger audiences, is hoping to boost its performance by expanding its esports offering.
A statement by the company announced on Friday it had won a “competitive bidding process” to be the sole broadcaster in China of the popular online multiplayer game League of Legends’ (LoL) annual World Championship between 2020 and 2022.
74 million viewers in China watched this year’s LoL World Championship on the short-video app Kuaishou.
Bilibili did not disclose the price of the bid and the company did not respond to a Caixin query regarding who the company bid against. Reuters reported that the three-year contract was worth 800 million yuan ($113.7 million).
Esports is the most active of Bilibili’s gaming-related content categories and is growing rapidly, the company said. Observers say the surge will continue as game makers create new products to attract and retain participants.
“In 2020 LoL will formally release its mobile version with shorter single game duration, (which) will provide an intense gaming experience and new opportunities such as creating the first batch of professional mobile LoL teams in China,” an esports investor who goes by Meng told Caixin. Meng said he and his friends are weighing new investment and gamer recruitment.