Houston look to expand esports presence in China
The NBA’s Houston Rockets have ramped up their presence in the esports sector, as they formalise their partnership with Chinese online entertainment platform Bilibili.
Bilibili is one of two companies – alongside Tencent – that is active in gaming, live broadcasts, esports and basketball in China.
The strategic partnership is apart of Houston’s efforts to grow their esports presence in China, after initially establishing their esports division back in 2016.
Although the Rockets’ have been officially licensed to compete in the League of Legends LCS North American competition, they are one of the few NBA franchises that do not have a team in the recently launched NBA 2K League.
Rockets chief executive, Tad Brown said: “As a very important component of the Houston Rockets organisation and its brand, the Clutch Gaming team is honoured to form this partnership and engage in friendly games with Bilibili’s esports team.
“The partnership is ground-breaking.”
Vice chairman and chief operating officer of Bilibili, Ni Li added: “The collaboration with internationally influential clubs, such as the Houston Rockets, will help Bilibili form a mature business model for sports club operations.
“We look forward to accelerating the integration between esports and traditional sports through our well-established friendly relations and promoting communication and development between the sports industries in Shanghai and Houston.”
The agreement is the latest innovative deal to be signed by the Rockets, who partnered with China-based Bitcoin mining firm AntPool at the end of September.