PUBG latest update: PUBG Mobile Publisher Tencent led a $100 million funding round in the Chinese esports firm Versus Programming Network (VSPN).
World-leading esports total solutions provider VSPN (Versus Programming Network) announced today that it has raised close to $100 million in a Series B funding round, led by Tencent Holdings. pic.twitter.com/VsJvCzaLMl
— VSPN (@VSPN_esports) October 26, 2020
This provides further confirmation that the esports market is booming amid the pandemic as VSP raised close to 100 million in a funding round led by Tencent.
Founded in 2016 and based in Shanghai, VSPN was one of the early pioneers in esports tournament organization and content creation out of Asia. VSPN is the main esports organiser and broadcaster for many of China’s most popular games: PUBG Mobile, Honor of Kings, Peacekeeper Elite, CrossFire, FIFA Online, QQ Speed and Clash Royale.
The Series B round led by PUBG publisher Tencent also included investments from Tiantu Capital, SIG and Kuaishou. VSPN last raised investment in 2016, the year of its founding, with a Series A round led by Focus Media Network.
“Thanks to policies supporting Shanghai as the global centre for esports, and with Beijing, Chengdu, and Xi’an expressing confidence in the development of esports, VSPN has grown rapidly in recent years,” Dino Ying, CEO of VSPN, said in a statement. “After this funding round, we look forward to building an esports research institute, an esports culture park, and further expanding globally.”
The company added that it will focus on building an esports short-form video ecosystem, improving its esports content creation capabilities, and reaching more gamers through different channels. As well as operating tournaments, VSPN has live venues in Chengdu, Xi’an, and Shanghai. It opened its first venue outside of China in May this year: V. SPACE in Seoul, South Korea.
Tencent Continues to make moves
Tencent, which is the Number 1 video game company in the world in terms of revenue, has been making moves to further solidify its dominant position. Tencent’s investment into VSPN shows it is once again doubling-down on the esports market.
Mars Hou, general manager of Tencent Esports, commented: “VSPN’s long-term company vision and leading position in esports production are vital for Tencent to optimize the layout of the esports industry’s development.”
In August, the company proposed a merger between Huya and Douyu, two game-streaming platforms where it holds major shares. The deal materialized in October, with PUBG publisher Tencent taking a 67.5% stake in the combined entity.
During the 2020 Tencent Global Esports Summit in Hainan, Mark Ren, COO of Tencent Holdings, also mentioned that the company will provide more esports competitions, in conjunction with tournament organizers like VSPN.
Tencent has solidified its No.1 position and continues to do so. The ban on Tencent associated apps by the Us and India has not really had a long term impact on the company, as it continues to find avenues and mergers to cement its position.