With hopes of growing the esports scene in Southeast Asia, events management company Zenway Productions announced that it has acquired DeadlyKittens, a team that specializes in Blizzard Entertainment’s Heroes of the Storm.
Last year, esports generated a revenue of $892.4 million worldwide according to market research firm SuperData, with Asia in the lead bringing in $328 million. SuperData also predicts that the industry will hit $1.23 billion by 2019, though the growth has slowed somewhat. This hasn’t stopped some NBA team owners from buying stakes in esports teams the Immortals and Team Dignitas. What has followed has been discussion about the similarities between esports and traditional sports, as well as the different challenges. One difference is that esports fans aren’t “city by city”, but rather follow teams on the global stage.
Zenway’s acquisition of DeadlyKittens makes sense in this context, as they want to promote a homegrown team from Southeast Asia. “We have close bonds with the Heroes community here in [Southeast Asia] and have watched this particular team grow from strength to strength,” said Zenway founder Lee Jian Ming in a press release. “I feel that they have the potential to push themselves even further with proper support.”
In the last two years, DeadlyKittens has attracted attention by competing in major tournaments such as Heroes of the Storm Global Championships (HGC). According to the HGC site, “While they may not be the most well-known players, members of Deadlykitten [sic] have appeared at every international Heroes of the Storm competition in the past year except for the Eastern Clash.”
DeadlyKittens will be competing in this year’s HGC Mid-Season Brawl from June 10 to June 14. Those who move on will compete in the main event, hosted at the digital festival Dreamhack in Jönköping, Sweden from June 17 to June 20. The total HGC prize pool is $250,000. They’ll have some stiff competition from L5, a Heroes of the Storm team that’s currently ranked as No. 1 worldwide, according to GosuGamers. Teams MVP Black and Fnatic will also be in the fray, ranked No. 2 and 3 respectively.