Chinese conglomerate Tencent has led an investment round for VSPN, a leading esports tournament organiser in China, which totalled $100m.
VSPN started out hosting the King Pro League, a leading competition for Honor of Kings, in 2016, but they have expanded from mobile games quickly.
The $100m Series B funding round for VSPN also saw participation from Tiantu Capital, Susquehanna International Group, and Kuaishou.
This is the first round of funding that the tournament organizer has sought since the initial investment they received when launching four years ago. The money will go towards building an esports research institute, an esports culture park, and fueling further growth for their hosting efforts.
VSPN will also look to expand their content creation capabilities, including “building an esports short-form video ecosystem.”
Even before raising $100m, the company has witnessed explosive growth. In 2016, they hosted events for CrossFire, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Honor of Kings, and Battle of Balls. The next year, they established themselves as a leader in the Chinese esports market, continuing with the aforementioned titles and even hosting Riot Games’ prestigious LPL.
In 2018, VSPN expanded into Greater China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. This included hosting events for major titles such as PUBG Mobile and FIFA Online, as well as League of Legends’ Rift Rivals competition for teams across the LPL, LCK, and LMS.
“Tencent is glad to support VSPN,” said Mars Hou, general manager of Tencent Esports. “VSPN’s long-term company vision and leading position in esports production is vital for Tencent to optimise the layout of the esports industry’s development.”
With Tencent owning 100% of Riot Games, 40% of Epic Games, and smaller percentages in many other game developers, VSPN may have an easier time than most in terms of expanding considering their new investor could provide opportunities with major titles like League of Legends and Fortnite.