LPL All-Star Postponed Due to Chengdu COVID-19 Concerns, Uzi Endorses Shampoo Raclen

Last week, China’s esports industry saw a partnership deal and a non-endemic endorsement deal among a League of Legends team, as well as one of the biggest names in the industry, “Uzi.” 

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to heavily influence China’s esports industry. From Dec.7 – 10, Chengdu reported seven new COVID-19 infections in the city, which led TJ Sports to postpone League of Legends Pro League (LPL) All-Star events this weekend.

Among the top stories in China’s esports industry: Chinese shampoo brand Raclen signed an endorsement deal with former Royal Never Give-Up player Jian “Uzi” Zihao; Suning signed a strategic partnership deal with home appliances brand Skyworth; Chinese esports organization OMG disbanded its PUBG division; and Huya partnered with Chinese Dota 2 Association (CDA) to host $92K USD Huya Dota 2 Invitational (HDI). 

It was the second “small wave” increase of COVID-19 in China recently after the Shanghai Pudong District reported six new cases from Nov. 20-22. Fortunately, the outbreak in Shanghai did not affect the League of Legends World Championship and Peacekeeper Elite Championship (PEC).

LPL All-Star Postponed Due to Chengdu COVID-19 Concerns

Two days after the city of  Chengdu reported the first new COVID-10 infection on Dec. 7, TJ Sports announced that the LPL All-Star would be postponed, in order to avoid large groups of people gathering in the venue.

Further information about location and time will be announced as soon as possible, according to TJ Sports. An employee from TJ Sports told The Esports Observer that the decision was made after a discussion with the Chengdu government, as well as the fact that the stage of the event was set up already. 

In addition, the situation might also bring COVID-19 safety challenges to Honor of Kings’ King Pro League (KPL) Fall Split Final in Chongqing, where the city is extremely close to Chengdu. Hosted by China’s biggest esports company VSPN, the KPL Fall Split Final will compete between Chengdu All Gamers (AG) and DYG, and feature a live audience on Dec.19. VSPN also emphasized that every attendant needs to have a “Green” city passcode, otherwise they need to provide a COVID-19 test with a negative result. 

The city passcode is China’s most effective way to measure people’s risk of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Green” means the person comes from the low-risk area, while “Red” means from a medium or high-risk area. On Dec.9,  China recognized the Chengdu Pidu District as a medium risk area.

The Esports Observer will continue to monitor this situation.

Jian “Uzi” Zihao Signs Endorsement Deal With Raclen

On Dec. 6, Jian “Uzi” Zihao, one of the best League of Legends players in the world, signed an endorsement deal with Chinese shampoo brand Raclen, becoming its brand spokesperson. 

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Raclen produced the co-branded shampoo and body wash featuring Zihao’s image and listed it on its official Taobao e-commerce platform.

Since Zihao announced his retirement in June, he took part in several commercial activities with Nike, including being featured on Nike’s newest esports commercial, “A greater ambition depends on a stronger body,” which promotes a healthy diet and physical fitness in esports. 

Though Zihao has retired as a professional esports player, he still has a significant social influence in the country. In November, Tencent Games collaborated with Zihao to promote its card game “Dou Di Zhu.”

Suning Gaming Partners With Home Appliances Skyworth 

On Dec.8, Chinese esports organization Suning Gaming (SN) signed a strategic partnership deal with Chinese home appliances brand Skyworth to promote its monitor and television line of products.  

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SN is considered as one of the most commercially valuable Chinese teams because it won runner-up in the League of Legends World Championship. During the event, it signed sponsorship deals with KFC, carmaker Roewe, and China’s second-largest food delivery service Eleme. The organization is also owned by one of China’s largest e-commerce platforms – Suning.

In fact, this is not the first home appliance brand that partnered with an esports organization. Chinese home appliance company Hisense also signed partnership deals with LPL team LGD Gaming and European team Fnatic

Other Esports Business News:

  • On Dec. 4, Chinese live streaming platform Huya announced that it partnered with the Chinese Dota 2 Association (CDA) to host a new Dota 2 international competition, Huya Dota 2 Invitational (HDI) from Dec. 13-27. The competition will feature 14 teams from China and Southeast Asia and a ¥600K RMB ($92K USD) total prize pool.
  • On Dec.9, Chinese esports organization Oh My God (OMG) announced that the organization disbanded its PUBG division for undisclosed reasons. OMG was the best Chinese PUBG team to win the 2018 PUBG Global Invitational FPP (First Personal Perspective) in Berlin

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