eSports & Gaming , OTT & Digital

Chinese LoL Championship Series rights acquired by Huya

OTT platform seals exclusive broadcast deal for League of Legends franchise tournaments.

by Steven Impey

Chinese LoL Championship Series rights acquired by Huya

Chinese live-streaming platform Huya has acquired exclusive rights in China to the League of Legends (LoL) North American Championship Series (LCS) and European Series (LES) through 2020.

The deal expands on Huya’s existing three-year partnership with Riot Games, the title’s publisher and competition organiser, which includes streaming rights to the South Korean LoL Champions (LCK) series between 2020 and 2022. 

A LoL statement read: ‘Through our partnership with Huya, we hope fans in China will enjoy seeing friendly Western rivalries evolve and follow the exciting playstyles and draft compositions these teams will bring to the international stage.’

The move also marks Huya’s latest investment in Western esports properties in recent years, having announced an exclusive streaming partnership with Team Liquid last June, including coverage of the LoL outfit’s US and European teams.

In September, the over-the-top (OTT) platform also acquired a minority stake in ESL, formerly known as the Electronic Sports Leagues, owned by the Swedish media organisation Modern Times Group.

Both deals were possible with the of help of a US$461.6 million series B funding round Huya completed in March 2018. The investment was led by Riot Games’ parent company, the Chinese media giant Tencent, which is also the majority shareholder in the Chinese live-streaming platform Douyu.