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Jack Ma, left, executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, left, gestures while standing with players from the University of Washington men's basketball team in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015. On Saturday, two men’s basketball teams from the University of Washington and the University of Texas will contest the first-ever regular season college basketball game in China, the first of perhaps many for U.S. university teams as they try to tap into a new market for their sports - and their schools - in the world’s second-biggest economy. (AP Photo)

Alibaba, World’s Largest Ecommerce Site, Enters eSports

March 30, 2016 John Paolo "Sandata" Bago

An earlier version of this story included a translated excerpt from YuuZoo’s press release. It has since been removed pending an official English copy of the company’s release.


 

Singaporean social networking firm YuuZoo Corporation announced today that it has signed an agreement with Alibaba Sports Group (ASG) to launch multiple eSports tournaments for various titles.

The eSports tournament series, called the AliSports World Electronic Sport Games (WESG), will include tournaments for Dota 2, CSGO, StarCraft 2 and Hearthstone. The AliSports WESG will start in April.

The tournaments will reportedly offer incredible base prize pools ($1.5 million for CSGO, $1.5 million for Dota 2, $400,000 SC2 and $300,000 Hearthstone) for these tournaments, with room for their respective pots to grow thanks to crowdfunding.

In a press conference, YuuZoo said that their joint venture with Alibaba will net both companies millions in revenue from eSports’ growing audience and market share.

YuuZoo currently owns e-commerce platforms operating in China. In a press release, YuuZoo chairman Thomas Zilliacus said that their partnership will not only reinforce YuuZoo’s position in the eSports sector in China, but also grow YuuZoo’s other China-based businesses.

Alibaba Sports is the new sports business owned by internet giant Alibaba. Launched in September of 2015, ASG launched despite concerns of economic contractions in China.

ASG’s stated goals were to create a sports platform that will participate in different aspects of the professional sports industry.

These include sports media, events and broadcasting rights both for online streaming and syndicated television.

With eSports attracting more and more mainstream media companies for its vibrant audience segment, it was only a matter of time before it caught the attention of supercompanies.

Alibaba is China’s largest e-commerce site and the world’s largest Business-to-Business online company. It owns three main sites, Taobao, Tmall and Alibaba.com. In 2015, Alibaba’s total assets numbered at CN¥255.434 billion, equivalent to $39.44 billion.

You can read Chen Yiji’s full translation of the YuuZoo announcement on Medium.