Huya picks up minority stake in ESL for $30 million

Huya picks up minority stake in ESL for $30 million

Livestreaming platform Huya has acquired a minority stake in Modern Times Group-owned ESL in a deal worth $30 million made up of both primary and secondary shares.

The deal, which values ESL at $425m, will see the two companies form a joint venture to expand into China and build and host esports competitions in the country.

To help fund the expansion the ESL will issue new shares at a value of $22m.

Growing esports market

According to Newzoo, the global esports industry will top $1.1 billion this year. China was forecast to bring in revenues of $210m, overtaking Western Europe as the second-largest esports revenue generator behind North America, worth an estimated $409m.

“We are pleased to establish a close partnership with ESL, which demonstrates Huya’s further penetration into the global esports sector,” said Huya CEO Rongjie Don.

“Together with ESL, we are thrilled to bring more world-class global esports content to Chinese gaming enthusiasts.”

MTG CEO Jørgen Lindemann added: “We are excited to announce this term sheet for an important strategic partnership which provides us with a strong partner in Huya to pave the way for a successful ESL expansion into the thriving Chinese esport and gaming market in due time.”

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.