On Wednesday Alibaba announced they’re getting in on the action with the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG). WESG, which will be run by Alibaba subsidiary AliSports, will be a new Shanghai-based multi-game eSports tournament.
YuuZoo Corporation Limited, a leading global third generation social e- and m-commerce company, will organise and run the AliSports World Electronic Sport Games through its Chinese JV YuuGames, and manage the eSports Clubs Competition Center for Alibaba throughout China.
WESG will commence in April 2016 with the 20 appointed e-sports clubs competition centers. Contest participants will compete for the RMB 35.6 million (US$5.5 million) prize money.
AliSports is the newly-formed sports division of global e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba. It targets China’s highly lucrative sports industry, which is expected to grow to US$813.87 billion by 2025. AliSports will be engaged in different sectors of the sports industry, including eSports. The group plans to invest RMB 100 million (US$ 15.4 million) for WESG alone.
Under the agreement, AliSports will pay YuuGames a multimillion US dollar fee to organise and run WESG and manage AliSports’ E-Sports Clubs Competition Center. Through this deal, YuuZoo will gain a significant mumber of new users, who will be added to YuuZoo’s fast-growing userbase. Further, YuuZoo will generate additional revenue from promotional fees, advertising revenue, and e-commerce sales.
AliSports and YuuGames are planning to launch 1,200 eSports events this year in 15 cities across China, which is home to over 100 million eSports fans, and over 440 million gamers.
Thomas Zilliacus, chairman of both YuuZoo and YuuGames says, “We are very proud to have been selected by Alibaba Group and AliSports to be their partner and to organise their eSports events throughout China. This comes hot on the heels of YuuGames organizing some of China’s largest eSport events, the highly successful ESCC and CIG games, in partnership with key Chinese Government entities. We are confident that we can make Alibaba’s World Electronic Sport Games a hugely successful and leading event in China’s massive gaming market. As a new partner to China’s largest e-commerce group, we are not only looking to reinforce our position as a leader in China’s eSports sector, but also to discuss opportunities with Alibaba Group to jointly grow YuuZoo’s other China-based businesses, including our gaming business, payment business and social e-commerce business.”
At the press conference Zhang Dazhong, CEO of AliSports said, “Sports is a multibillion dollar business in China, with massive growth potential. That is why Alibaba is investing heavily in this vertical. Linking sport and technology enhances the quality of life. That is what we want to do through AliSports. We are happy and proud to have YuuZoo as a partner. In YuuGames, we have found a partner who shares our ideals. With YuuGames’ much lauded successes in organizing the top eSport events in China, it was easy for us to choose them as our official partner in organising our events. We look forward to working with them as we kick off World Electronic Sport Games in April.”