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Tencent Bets Big on Chinese E-Sport Firm, Leading $100 Million Funding Round

By Ding Yi / Oct 27, 2020 12:27 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company by sales, has led a $100 million funding round for Shanghai-based e-sports event organizer Versus Programming Network (VSPN), boosting its bet on the booming e-sports market.

After the funding round, which was also joined by Tiantu Capital, Susquehanna International Group and Kuaishou, VSPN plans to establish an e-sports research institute, build an e-sports culture park and further expand its global presence, according to a statement released by VSPN on Monday.

Founded in 2016, VSPN focuses on organizing e-sports tournaments and content creation. In May, the company launched its first overseas e-sports venue in Seoul.

“VSPN’s long-term company vision and leading position in e-sports production is vital for Tencent to optimize the layout of the e-sports industry’s development,” said Mars Hou, general manager of Tencent E-Sports, in a statement.

Tencent is making the investment after pushing for the merger of DouYu and Huya, the two major video game-centric live-streaming platforms in China, both of which counted Tencent as a major stakeholder.

Meanwhile, short video platform Kuaishou is also increasing its investment in game broadcasting in an effort to diversify its revenue sources. The Beijing-based firm says that its game broadcasts attract 220 million active users every month.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Tencent Engineers $11 Billion Combination of Huya and DouYu


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