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Tencent‘s globally popular multiplayer online battle arena Arena of Valor arrived in North and South America in December, and it’s taking to the show floor at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) next week to hype showgoers on its esports potential. It’s the first time the Chinese tech giant has had a booth at the event, and it is partnering with esports organization ESL and Razer for the appearance.
The Valor Series playoffs will also happen at E3 on June 12-13. Four teams from North America and Europe will battle it out, and the two winners will have a chance to play for a prize pool of $550,000 at Tencent’s Arena of Valor World Cup, which will take place in July in Los Angeles. The playoffs will be held at the ESL E3 Arena, and players will use Razer phones to compete.
Arena of Valor, known as Honor of Kings in Asia, has over 200 million registered players worldwide and around 80 million daily active users. It’s also arriving on the Nintendo Switch on a to-be-announced date. But it’s only one of many successes for Tencent, which is the biggest game company in the world. It owns League of Legends developer Riot Games and Clash of Clans studio Supercell. It also owns a big chunk of Fortnite developer Epic Games and Ubisoft. It partnered with PUBG Corp. to publish and develop Chinese versions of the popular battle royale PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. And it’s often the go-to publisher for Western companies that want to bring their titles to China, which is the largest games market.
While developer Super Evil Megacorp has been slowly building up the mobile esports scene with its mobile MOBA Vainglory, Tencent’s deep well of resources and the popularity of Arena of Valor could change the game. The mobile MOBA has already garnered the attention of esports organization Immortals, which announced in March that it has put together a squad to compete in Arena of Valor tournaments.
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