A Chinese streaming company has reportedly paid over $113 million to gain exclusive broadcasting rights in China for the next three League of Legends World Championships, according to Chinese media company Beijing News.
The figure shows just how much the rights to one of the biggest esports events on the planet are valued in one of the world’s largest markets.
The winner, Bilibili, beat out several other media companies that were reportedly interested, including Douyu, Huya, and Kuaishou. This will be the first time in China that an esports event’s exclusive broadcast rights have been decided in this fashion.
Worlds 2020 will be hosted in China and will culminate with the finals in Shanghai Stadium, which notably held the Summer Olympics’ soccer preliminaries in 2008.
Chinese League fans have seen their hometown teams win the past two Worlds. FunPlus Phoenix were crowned the world champs this year after Invictus Gaming took home the title in 2018.
Bilibili is a video sharing website in China that’s exponentially grown since it opened nine years ago. In December 2017, it reportedly had over 31.6 million users. But the company makes most of its many from mobile games, which generated 80 percent of total profits in mid-2018.
It expanded into esports with the release of Bilibili Gaming, an esports organization housing teams in League (that compete in the LPL) and the Overwatch League, with Hangzhou Spark.
Bilibili and Riot Games have yet to make an official announcement.