The LEC and LCS are just a few days away from kickoff, but the major League regions now have a new partner. Riot Games has announced Huya, a Chinese interactive broadcast platform, as China’s official broadcast partner for games from those two areas.
The Huya deal breakdown
Huya’s deal with the LEC and LCS comes after it already became China’s exclusive broadcast partner with the LCK. Huya currently streams all major leagues in China. They also have a deal with North America’s Team Liquid that allows them to stream Liquid’s games to Chinese fans.
The involvement of broadcast companies in esports has seen a tremendous increase lately, and it continues to rise steadily. Late last year, Bilibili overcame competition from Huya, Kuaishou, and others to obtain exclusive Chinese broadcast rights to Riot’s annual League of Legends World Championship. That deal was reportedly worth $113 million USD.
Huya already broadcasts League matches in all four of China’s major regions. It also lets Chinese League fans to see their favorite American and European teams in action. Since Chinese viewers do not have instant access to sites like YouTube or Twitch, this allows them to watch League games without requiring a VPN or other unorthodox means. Now, they have exclusive rights to streaming a lot more League matches.
In a release via the League of Legends website, Riot Games stated:
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.
Riot’s satisfaction with Huya over its LCK exclusive broadcast rights no doubt played a factor in these new deals. At this point, the exact structure of Huya’s proprietary broadcast rights remains unclear. But the streaming service will dive right into the LCS and LEC action at the start of the Spring Split.