Sep 10 2014 - 12:38 am

Azubu says new deal with KeSPA is 'the biggest one in their history'

One of the newest entrants to the video game streaming industry is set to bolster its ranks with the exclusive rights to dozens of Korean esports stars
Dot Esports

One of the newest entrants to the video game streaming industry is set to bolster its ranks with the exclusive rights to dozens of Korean esports stars.

Azubu, the Korea-based company behind the streaming platform of the same name, will announce a deal with the Korean Esports Association (KeSPA) tomorrow that will see KeSPA-registered players exclusively broadcasting using their service. Azubu employees have referred to the deal as “the biggest one in their history.”

Since the return of Azubu they have partnered with some top tier esports talent, notably the Fnatic and Curse organizations. However, some industry insiders have speculated that the company was struggling to retain its talent and meet its obligations—a notion underlined when it lost its long-standing partner CLG to rivals Twitch in June.

This deal opens up the opportunity to make some of the most talented esports stars on the planet accessible to a broader audience. Azubu is obviously hoping it will bolster its market presence at the same time as it boosts viewing numbers. Our sources confirmed that the deal took a long period of time to negotiate, though they didn’t offer specific numbers, and also claimed the deal was one of the biggest agreed upon in the streaming industry.

Sources provided this leaked list of players who will soon play on Azubu. The list is by no means comprehensive and more players are likely to be included.

  • Lee "Duke" Ho-Seong
  • Bul "Wisdom" Le-tin
  • Bak "TuSin" Jong-ik
  • Lee "XD" Eun-teak
  • Lee "Lee" Ho-Jin
  • Kim "Emperor" Jin-hyun
  • Lee "Destiny" Jae-Hoon
  • Lee "Wolf" Jae-wan
  • Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong
  • Bae "bengi" Seong-ung
  • Kang "Daydream" Kyung-min
  • Lee "KaKAO" Byung-kwon
  • Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin
  • Bae "Bang" Jun-sik
  • Lee "PoohManDu" Jeong-hyeon
  • Lee "kurO" Seo-haeng
  • Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu
  • Seon "Space" Ho-san
  • Kim "ssumday" Chan-ho
  • Hon “MadLife” Min-gi
  • Shin "CoCo" Jin-yeong
  • Lee "Spirit" Da-yoon
  • Choi "DanDy" In-kyu
  • Kang "Ambition" Chan-yong
  • Lee "Flame" Ho-Jong
  • Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok

While the deal was confirmed to the Daily Dot by sources close to Azubu, it also seems that ahead of the announcement the players' profiles have already been created and are viewable by the public. For example, you can see Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok’s profile here.

Judging the benefits of the move would be purely speculative at this point, but acquiring exclusive rights to broadcast the streams of the top players in the world for League of Legends shows that Azubu is still in the fight to be the number one esports streaming platform. This is especially significant following Amazon’s purchase of Twitch for $970 million last month.

Azubu declined our request for comment.

Photo via artubr/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)