Chinese tournament organizer Alibaba Sports has announced a new strategic partnership for the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG)
After nearly a year-long battle between two of the most popular esports live streaming platforms in China, Douyu has beaten out Huya as the exclusive streaming rights partner for the 2019-2020 WESG season, the Olympic-esque esports tournament. Though terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, Alibaba Sports also noted that Chinese video platform Youku will also obtain broadcasting rights to any WESG matches, seeing as the video platform is owned by the parent company of Alibaba Sports, Alibaba Group.
The newly formed streaming partnership will also see Alibaba Sports and Douyu co-hosting the WESG Douyu online qualifiers, which take place November 25 to December 3, a tournament that will conclude with a $8,000 total prize pool. The online qualifier will feature games by the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, StarCraft 2, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2020.
Alibaba Sports also announced updates to their tournament rules as they relate to team competitions, allowing every national team to now have 5-8 registered players, including a maximum of two foreign players. In previous tournaments, each member of the team had to belong to the same nation. Winning teams and players will move on to the WESG China qualifier, registered teams and players taking part in the online qualifier will not be allowed to partake in the WESG offline regional qualifiers. Professional teams are also slated to participate or be directly involved in the qualifiers.