Huya, the Chinese live streaming platform, has signed an exclusive domestic media rights deal for League of Legends, worth ¥2,013 million RMB (£223.88 million).

The five year agreement with TJ Sports – the joint venture between Tencent and Riot Games operating League of Legends in China – includes the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), League of Legends Development League (LDL) and the LPL’s All-Star events

“This is hugely significant,” said Tom Daniels, Editor of Esports Insider, in the latest ESI Digest. “This is a massive media rights deal, and we’re seeing a lot more media rights deals come through in esports as well.”

He added: “It’s really interesting to see now that Billy Billy has exclusive rights to global events, but now Huya has the Chinese-specific domestic league under their own platform. We’re really starting to see how platforms, especially live stream platforms in China, are vying for these media rights deals.”

Meanwhile, the launch of the Esports Certification Institute (ECI) by former Dignitas Chief of Staff Ryan Friedman and former Vice President of the Houston Rockets Sebastian park has been criticised by the esports community.

The ECI has since paused signups, is issuing refunds to those who have paid for the exam or study guide and has announced plans to rethink the initiative, which consisted of 120 multiple choice questions and one essay.

Daniels commented: “I think the problem was, in my opinion, that it wasn’t fully marketed correctly. There was no idea of who this was really targeted towards. It didn’t really narrow down what this certification was going to be for.”

However, the intention was ‘pure,’ due to the fact that ECI’s advisory board has ‘a lot of well-known and well-respected figures throughout the entire esports community’.

Meanwhile, ESL Gaming has renewed its partnership with North American technology developer Intel, marking 20 years of the collaboration. The agreement includes a commitment to invest over $100 million in esports to develop ‘product innovations’ for both fans and players.

Staying stateside, NRG Esports has announced a partnership with The General insurance company which will see its Rocket League team renamed ‘The General NRG’ and outfitted with branded jerseys.

Lastly, on the other side of the Atlantic, Semper Fotix Esports has raised £2.55 million in its first day of dealings, bringing total market capitalisation value to around £4.15 million.

Source – Esports Insider YouTube Channel

ESI Digest: Huya secures Chinese League of Legends in ‘hugely significant’ deal