Following the news that China’s esport giant VSPN( Versus Programming Network) had given rise to close to $100 million in a Series B fund round, led by Tencent Holdings, TechCrunch interviewed benefactor and CEO Dino Ying via email about his strategy for the company.
Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Shanghai, VSPN was one of the early pioneer in esports tournament syndicate and content creation out of Asia. It has since expanded into other enterprises including offline venue operation.
VSPN began hosting the first large-scale esport event with offline gatherings in August, although tournaments now operate under strict COVID-1 9 prevention measures.
TechCrunch: VSPN has a large content production ecosystem smothering its esports act. Can you expand on the detail behind your territory short-form video strategy? Will this involve TikTok?
Ying: VSPN intends to use our world-class video production capabilities and industry insights to create different forms of content. We will give our existing followers and a wider audience a brand-new and unforgettable esports event. Kuaishou, as our investors and a strategic partner, will support in all modes as a media pulpit to help our content contact more customers. Short-form video is an important part of our future approach and we look forward to working with stages all over the world in this regard.
TC: What is VSPN’s share of the eSports market?
Ying: There is no official estimation of the dimensions of the the esports grocery but VSPN is far the largest esports establishment in China, with over 1000+ employees and covering every major esports tournament you’ve ever heard of. By many measures, we are the largest esports arrangement in the world and will continue to expand.
TC: Why do you think Shanghai has become a center for esports?
Ying: As the biggest and perhaps most international municipality in China, it has a vibrant and increasingly sophisticated economy. Tech innovation and brand-new manufactures are actively encouraged to grow here.
The Shanghai government has implemented caring measures and policies to encourage the growth of esports both domestically and internationally. Thanks to these measures Shanghai has become an international hub for the biggest and best tournaments in the world
TC: How important is research into eSports for VSPN and why?
Ying: It is vital for VSPN. As an esports total solutions provider aiming to build a sustainable world esports ecosystem, data and R& D allows us to give our fans a richer ordeal. The research center will allow us to continually improve as a company and develop the industry.
TC: You are the cofounder and chairman and CEO by designation. What is the role of cofounder Ethan Teng?
Ying: Ethan Teng is Co-founder and chairperson of VSPN. Ethan as one of the most important partners of VSPN, with his dedicated esports manufacture ordeal, he plays a vital role in passing and managing the company’s strategic goal regulate and date to daytime management.
TC: What is the nature of the strategic relationship with Tencent?
Ying: VSPN is a key partner of Tencent in the esports industry. With Tencent’s support, VSPN has built a heading primacy in esports tournament content creation. Since the emergence of esports in China, our deep-rooted industry expertise has helped further develop the esports ecosystem to grow and matured. Alongside Tencent we will continue to generate new opportunities within the industry.
TC: What manufactured you choose these partners and why? What was the tactical idea behind these decisions?
Ying: Together with Kuaishou, VSPN aims to establish an esports short-form video ecosystem to diversify existing content, and to build the connections between top tone architects and directs. With an lengthy portfolio in consumer interests and TMT areas, both Tiantu Capital and SIG will exercise their industry insights and expertise to aid VSPN’s strategic development. With our investors, we will empower esports to be the brand-new athletics for the next generation.
TC: In addition to the core esports tournament and content creation business, VSPN has branded esports venues. How important are these other businesses- like the venues- to the core offering of VSPN? What sort of growth do you expect in the next few years?
Ying: Regardless of business lines, VSPN’s core mission is to provide the best eSports know-hows for our followers. And these experiences include not just online see experiences, but too offline ones where followers physically attend. We construe our offline business as a natural lane to spread our services to our fans; it is an important supplement to our overall furnishes. We expect to grow it per our fans’ and partner’s demands.
TC: Mobile esports, extremely the KPL and PUBG MOBILE( or Peacekeeper Elite in China ), have attracted more and more female gatherings. What is the future of eSports among women/ girls? Ying: Mobile gaming has really helped provide eSports’ reach to female participants and gatherings. Rightfully so, we interpret a future of eSports where female participants take a more prominent role than they have done. Not only on stagecoach as competitors, but also off stagecoach as fans and more importantly backstage as top quality producers and decision-makers in the industry. The wallop of having more female fans, athletes and professionals is energizing and will be hugely beneficial to the wider industry.
TC: What is the future of esports in Augmented Reality?
Ying: We guess eSports in its full anatomy will glance and feel a lot different from what we’ve seen still further in boasts and recreation. The possible of integrating real world gaming and virtual competitions is fascinating. VSPN is only beginning to test the boundaries of new technologies such as AR, VR. The emergence of these technologies will help us create fresher events, and the possibilities are endless.
TC: Please tell us more about your personal history?
Ying: Firstly, thank you for having me- it is a real pleasure to speak to TechCrunch and be able to announce our fundraise to the world. I have been working in the gaming and esports manufacture all my life and I’m roused about the future. With the team at VSPN we are proud to be innovators in the esports industry.
I live between Beijing and Shanghai, but I devote a lot of my meter tripping to other Chinese metropolis like Xi’an, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shenzhen where we have esports arenas and business interests. Frequently I trip internationally to some of our overseas operations and races, so I look forward to that when hurtle becomes easier.
I am a fan of traditional athletics more and an avid football devotee. I follow some of the European organizations- whenever I can, I go to matches to enjoy the feeling; I went to Stamford Bridge early this year and loved it, but witnessing the AC vs Inter Derby live is hard to beat…
TC: Why did you get into this business and how?
Ying: Mainly because I am a HUGE gaming fan! I’ve been frisking computer game since I was a teenager and enjoy playing all types. Earlier this year I toy COD Warzone as soon as it came out and often dally PUBG Mobile; I’m exceedingly luck to be in an manufacture which I’ve adoration since I was very young. It’s a great way to connect with friends and I am proud to have worked in activity growth and publishing for my totality profession. five years ago, esports seemed like the obvious next gradation because of the competitive aspect. We checked the start of current trends and founded VSPN with a world-class team to procreate that possible a reality.
VSPN is very proud to be leading the world in a relatively new industry. We reckon esports will continue to grow exponentially and will be an incredibly important part of the entertainment industry in years to come. To lead a Chinese firm with a world-wide future is really exciting.
TC: What motivates you as a businessman?
Ying: Bringing brand-new forms of entertainment to millions of people around the world and build a global business.
TC: Who motivates you most in the business world?
There are so many terrific businessmen in China who are doing some actually innovative things at the moment. For example, the live-streaming industry has become huge in 2020 due to the pandemic and has offered financiers a new acces to sell concoctions and be participating in new audiences.
If I must be given to appoint one it would be Mark Ren( COO at Tencent Holdings)- he is an exceptional businessman. The way he has helped create sustainable ecosystems in the amusement infinite and captivated tendencies is something every merchant should aspire to. This is something VSPN tasks hard-boiled at and we are very proud to be such close partners of Tencent.
TC: What is your opinion of Silicon Valley?
Ying: It’s an astounding target and has shown the world how technology can improve lives all over the world. For many years it has led the world as a centre for creativity and innovation and continues to be an inspiration to inventors around the world. In China, we have lots of Silicon Valleys!
TC: Is there anything else you’d like to say to TechCrunch readers?
Ying: This has been a challenging year for many businesses and the esports industry has had to adapt, but I thoughts the world has seen how large-hearted esports is and how it can bring communities and cultures together. As the industry changes there will bigger and bigger online and offline tournaments across the world, especially with 5G and mobile gaming becoming even more popular. We look forward to being at the forefront of esports for competitors all over the world and hopefully some of your books will enjoy watching our original content and tournaments.
Finally, with notorieties and large-scale firebrands picturing live streaming and casual gaming as a new nature to be involved in a wider audience, the future for VSPN is very, very bright.