Over 700 Wanda Cinemas across China are set to hold esports events over the coming years after the chain’s owner, Dalian Wanda Group, struck a partnership with American esports company Super League Gaming.
Santa Monica-based Super League currently organises amateur esports events across the US, and will use the partnership to leverage the popularity of gaming in China, which is currently the world’s largest esports marketing by player count with over 400 million people reportedly active in either playing and watching esports events in the country.
The partnership will see Wanda-operated theatres transformed into esports venues, offering amateur gamers the chance to compete against each other live, or to watch other gamers compete.
The duration of the deal and the financial details were not made public.
Super League has been struggling over the past year, with its share price dropping by 74 per cent since its initial listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market in 2019. Expansion into China was “a strategic imperative” for the company moving forward, said its chairman and chief executive, Ann Hand, in a statement.
“Joining forces with Wanda, the world’s biggest entertainment provider, to bring quality play, events, and content to those passionate players transforms the size of our servable market. We are honored to be partnered with Wanda as we bring Super League to the Asian market.”
She added that combining Super League’s technology platform with Wanda’s real-estate infrastructure would help to “mainstream esports”. Super League also operates a content and community platform as well as running events, and will utilise the Wanda partnership to generate more user-generated content for the Asian audience.
Last year, Super League announced the signing of a similar partnership with ggCircuit, which operates over 700 gaming centres around the world.