Perspective: MTG And HUYA Negotiations

Evan Tipton, Esports Advisor, for NGame Esports shares his perspective about the MTG and HUYA negotiations.

Esports in the Chinese market is incredibly lucrative. We saw the recent transfer of ownership for League of Legends with Tencent games. Looking more into this article and the intentions of MTG, this is clearly going to delay their expansion into that area. Although this is not something that will last forever, I believe it is essential to understand that there were differing views between the two companies. Bases on western and Chinese viewpoints, it can be challenging to find common ground when it comes to contracts.

Finding another company may be in the works for MTG, so it is safe to say they may take the time needed to pursue their expansion into China. What this means for MTG is their stock will not stabilize for a little bit, although they should look for a better partner or look for better terms with HUYA. The CEO of MTG had stated that they still believe in the logic of the transaction, so there is still hope that China will receive streaming services for ESL, LCS, and the LEC.

Although time will eventually heal and stabilize the stock for MTG, HUYA may not be as lucky. Having the ability to bend on certain terms and make exceptions for the good of the business and the industry is extremely important right now in the esports industry. China has stringent rules regarding what its population consumes and sees on the internet. Since esports are becoming more of a global phenomenon, hopefully, over time, China will become more catering to companies looking to bring China in on the action.

Riot Games has been working with Tencent Games in the past and have used HUYA to provide streaming services. Hopefully, as esports grow, the government will be able to pull back some of that red tape that is hurting them so significantly, or their stocks take a sharper decrease over the next few months while things try to get ironed out between the companies.

When you look at the esports industry as a whole, this simply delays expansion. China is such a significant contributor to the video game industry and the esports industry in total. By delaying these deals and holding these games and services back from the Chinese market, we are harming personal growth for all teams and organizations.

With that being said, teams have found ways around this. Team liquid recently teamed up with the sponsor HUYA to increase broadcasting numbers on select platforms. Esports Insider even stated in a recent article, that “with all the interest for League of Legends in China this is a big win for the LSC, and the LEC being able to garner the support of the Chinese fans outside of world events such as MSI and Worlds.”

photo credit: Modern Times Group – ESL One New York 2016

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