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Hong Kong shopping mall K11 is expanding into the e-sports business by signing a deal to become the exclusive partner of video-gaming brand Hero Entertainment for 10 years.
Under the partnership, the Hero Pro League mobile e-sports competition, and other animation, comic, game and novel franchises, will appear at K11 projects in at least nine cities, including Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
K11 founder Adrian Cheng Chi- kong says the e-sports sector is fast becoming the next big growth market. “Since being officially named by China’s General Administration of Sports as the country’s 99th sporting event, e-sports has in the past 15 years grown at an unprecedented pace.”
Market intelligence company Newzoo estimates that e-sports is set to grow into a US$1.5 billion industry by 2020.
Through the partnership, K11 Hong Kong will become the leading mobile-gaming venue to host large-scale, international e-sports competitions. The mall will also offer pop-up virtual-reality spaces and e-sports zones for the live broadcast of competitions.
“City by city, project by project, K11 and Hero Entertainment will jointly promote the development of e-sports in China,” says Hero Entertainment chairman Dino Ying.
Hero Entertainment has more than 400 million registered users.