China has made a major step towards bringing western esports content to its domestic viewership. On Monday, Riot Games announced that Chinese broadcasting giant Huya has secured exclusive broadcasting rights to the LEC and LCS, starting with the 2020 Spring Split.
The deal is made to acquaint Chinese esports fans, which is also one of the largest League of Legends markets in the world, with the storylines that develop in the West. For said fans, this means even more content on top of the rich, Monday-to-Sunday LPL schedule of matches.
But Huya will bring more than just western League of Legends to China. Last October, the broadcaster locked a three-year exclusive broadcasting deal for Korea’s LCK, up until and including the 2022 season. That means that apart from the World Championship, whose exclusive rights were won by Bilibili, Huya will deliver every major League of Legends tournament to the Chinese market.
“The agreement brought Huya and Riot Games into an unprecedented level of cooperation,” a Huya spokesperson said.
One of the largest broadcasters in China, Huya has been steadily growing for the past year. After the first half of 2019, the platform reported 143.9M average monthly users and as of January 17, 2020, the company is worth more than $4.46B. With the recent League of Legends broadcasting deals, on top of being Team Liquid’s official streaming partner in China, good times seem to be ahead of Huya.