Super League Announces Chinese Esports Expansion with Wanda

- January 15th, 2020

Super League is teaming up with Wanda Cinemas Games to bring live competitive gaming to Wanda’s over 700 theaters across China. 

Through a partnership between an esports company and a Chinese cinema operator, gaming enthusiasts in China will get to see the latest esports tournaments on the big screen.

On Tuesday (January 14), Super League Gaming (NASDAQ:SLGG) confirmed it is teaming up with Wanda Cinemas Games, a subsidiary of media conglomerate Wanda Media, to bring live competitive gaming to millions of gamers at Wanda’s over 700 theaters across China.

Super League’s push into the Chinese gaming space with Wanda gives it access to a massive market thought to be worth US$41.5 billion by 2023, according to Asian game market researcher Niko Partners.

Super League’s share price rose sharply after the announcement was released, getting a boost of 50 percent from market close on Monday (January 13) to the start of the trading session on Tuesday.

As a part of the deal, the amateur gaming events operator will be able to host its events in Wanda theaters, offering tournament viewings of popular titles including Fortnite, FIFA, Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter and Overwatch.

“This accretive partnership was a strategic imperative for Super League,” said Ann Hand, CEO of Super League Gaming, in a press release, adding that Wanda’s sizable market share as the largest cinema operator in China is crucial for Super League’s expansion into international markets.

Jian Huang, CEO of Wanda Cinemas Games, said in the announcement that the partnership gives Wanda direct access to the millions of video game players and fans across the country.

The news follows Super League’s previous announcement of a similar partnership with ggCircuit, an esports center services firm. In April of last year, Super League signed on to hold local and national events in gaming centers that use ggCircuit’s digital platform. The platform is present at over 915 gaming locations and connects over 1 million unique players.

In September, the ggCircuit partnership was expanded to launch Super League into the top spot in consumer-facing brands on ggCircuit’s software platform. The deal also came with a brand new subscription service for players, Super League Prime; it offers perks to users and gives Super League increased access to a global market.

Tencent Games, the video game publishing division of fellow Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings (OTC Pink:TCHEY,HKEX:0700), worked with Super League last year as well to build leagues and organize esports events in the US for the mobile version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

In its Q3 2019 report, Super League notes a 129 percent increase in quarter-over-quarter in revenue from US$153,000 to US$350,000.

Operating expenses also rose in the company’s most recent quarter to US$4.6 million from US$3.6 million in Q3 2018. The uptick was due to an increase in engineers brought on to help develop the company’s technology platform, higher infrastructure costs and other corporate expenses.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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