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Last week, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) expanded into multiple countries throughout the world. At the time of writing, there are over 12,000 people infected with the COVID-19 virus in 30 countries (excluding China’s numbers) including South Korea, Iran, Japan, the United States, and multiple European countries. These cases have led to health and safety concerns about attendance at global esports events, and most recently affected one of the biggest events in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice, as the event was played with no audience on-site. The League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) also postponed this week

In China’s esports industry, the negative impact of coronavirus has gradually declined little by little, as some major tournaments will resume in the next week, and one more esports business has created online esports education. 

Among the top stories: Tencent partnered with SuperGen Education, and released free esports educational courses on its livestreaming platform Penguin Esports; KPL Team Hero rebranded to Nanjing Hero with new logo; Chinese Dota 2 teams went to Thailand, Kuala Lumpur, and Mexico to deal with visa challenges for ESL One Los Angeles Major; and Chinese business site 36Kr partnered with the China Communication Industry Association. 

Every week The Esports Observer presents the biggest esports business news in China including investments, acquisitions, sponsorships, and other major news from the region. 

Tencent Partners With SuperGen Education, Releases Free Esports Courses on Penguin Esports

Credit: Tencent

Though most have gone back to work, there is still a major group of people in China who are staying at home – over 200M Chinese students and teachers. Therefore, the requirements of online teaching are extremely important for the country, which has led to the popularity of livestreaming platforms and online courses. 

On Feb. 27, Tencent’s esports division Tencent Esports announced that it partnered with Chinese educational company SuperGen Education, and would release esports-related courses on Tencent’s own livestreaming platform Penguin Esports March. 2.

According to the announcement, the courses will be four weeks long, and focus on basic esports knowledge and professional skills, as well as inviting some esports industry-related staff to share personal experiences. 

In addition, Tencent claimed that all students could attend an evaluation system, and top students will be able to get an internship offer for Penguin Esports. 

KPL Team Hero Rebrands to Nanjing Hero, New Logo Features Localization 

Credit: Tencent

On March. 1 Chinese Honor of Kings team Hero announced that the team rebranded to Nanjing Hero and added a new logo for the upcoming King Pro League (KPL). 

The new logo and name feature the Chinese city of Nanjing, which was announced to become the home venue of the team on Jan. 5. 

As The Esports Observer reported in a previous China Recap, the KPL Spring Split was suspended. On March. 2, Tencent announced the KPL Spring Split will be performed online-only, and begin on Mar. 18.

Chinese Teams Dealing With Visa Challenges to Attend ESL One Los Angeles Major

Credit: ESL

Since the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said, the government would deny entry to any foreign national who has visited China in the past two weeks on Feb. 1. As a result, Chinese Dota 2 teams have faced visa challenges to enter the United States to attend the ESL One Los Angeles Major. 

According to a post by Chinese tournament organizer Mars Media, four Chinese teams have found a way to temporarily solve this problem – by staying 14 days in other countries. 

There are three Chinese teams qualified for ESL One Los Angeles Major, including EHOME, Invictus Gaming (IG), and Royal Never Give-Up (RNG). EHOME Dota 2 team went to Kuala Lumper to scrim; IG went to Mexico; and RNG went to Thailand. After 14 days, all teams are expected to fly to the U.S.

Chinese Dota 2 team Team Aster will attend the StarLadder-ImbaTV (SL-I) Minor in Kiev. If Team Aster wins this Minor and qualifies for Major, it will also be able to enter the U.S. due to staying 14 days in Ukraine.

In fact, it is still hard to predict whether their plan can work in this uncertain environment created by the coronavirus outbreak. At the time of writing, the U.S. has 108 infected cases, Thailand has 43, and Malaysia has 29, according to Chinese state-run media CCTV.

Other Esports Business News:

Credit: 36Kr
  • On March 1, the Chinese business outlet 36Kr signed a partnership deal with the China Communication Industry Association. The two will co-host China Game City League, and 36Kr will start to report the esports industry from a business perspective.
  • On Feb. 26, at an official coronavirus impact press conference, the Shanghai city government mentioned the esports industry, and declared that it will fully support hosting the 2020 League of Legends World Championship in the city. 
  • On Feb. 27, Chinese esports company TJ Sports announced that its premier competition League of Legends Pro League (LPL) will resume play beginning on March 9, with the English-language broadcast starting on March 15. 

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