China-based esports player VSPO (formerly VSPN) has announced a $265 million deal made by innovative games and esports company Savvy Games Group, wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), who will now become VSPO’s single largest equity holder.

The deal symbolizes a landmark commercial partnership between China, the world’s biggest esports market, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it implements Vision 2030 to become a leading global hub for gaming and esports, VSPO said in a statement.

According to the statement, this milestone investment will support VSPO to develop the rapidly growing global esports sector for the benefit of the global esports community, as well as position Savvy to be a key enabler along the games value chain, creating more opportunities for participation and progression across gender, geography, means and ability.

Savvy’s long-term investment will help VSPO continue to deliver on its global strategy and accelerate the growth of mobile esports with a particular focus on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a hugely exciting market with 23.5 million gamers.

VSPO will also use this funding to invest in pioneering new technology to further enhance the fan experience.

The transaction is expected to close in the coming months, subject to the receipt of required regulatory clearances and approvals and the satisfaction of other closing conditions.

“We envision a thriving global esports sector with a vibrant, talented, and dynamic community at its core, and we appreciate the immense opportunities for this industry, especially here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with such a young population of approximately 23 million enthusiasts,” said HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, Vice Chairman of Savvy Games Group.

According to him, this investment is one part of the ambitious plan that will enable and support the esports ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.

Attracting international companies to Saudi Arabia through investments and partnerships will contribute to providing skills, knowledge transfer and building capabilities in the whole ecosystem, he added.

Brian Ward, Chief Executive Officer of Savvy Games Group, said this is a significant strategic investment for Savvy in one of Asia’s pre-eminent esports organizations.

According to him, the transaction marks the biggest cash investment ever made in an esports organization and showed the firm’s confidence in the potential of this fast-growing sector.

“Through Savvy’s investments, we are seeking to play a significant role in the sustainable growth and development of the global gaming industry, which will enable technology innovators like VSPO to facilitate broader, more equitable access to the dynamic esports market,” he said.

He also noted this is a significant transaction for Savvy, and gives the firm a major foothold in the important Asia region.

“We are looking forward to diversifying our geographic footprint alongside VSPO, a leading player in the world’s biggest esports market,

“This investment is part of our long-term commitment to growing a thriving global esports community and further position the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a leading global hub for games and esports,” he added.

Dino Ying, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of VSPO, said that this is an exciting time in the global esports industry and the firm is delighted to be working with Savvy to grow the sector worldwide.

“We believe we can take this industry to the next level and deliver our aligned vision; bringing communities together through esports,

“This historic investment will strengthen our ambitious global strategy, with a particular focus on Asia and the Middle East where we will support Savvy’s vision to grow esports throughout this incredibly dynamic and young region,” he added.

Danny Tang, Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder of VSPO, said that this investment represents a substantial step in building the global esports sector and symbolizes the incredible opportunity for growth within a relatively young industry.

“Esports are played and enjoyed around the world, so to have the support of Savvy, whose ambitions mirror our own, is hugely encouraging in our joint vision to promote esports as not just a sport, but a worldwide community,” he said.

Although he has seen significant growth of mobile esports over the last decade, especially in China, he opined the industry is still very much in its infancy.

“As the virtual and physical worlds collide further and further, the popularity of esports will only grow and we are excited to work alongside Savvy to drive the long-term growth and development of the esports industry globally,” he said.

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Shanghai, VSPO is an esports total solutions provider in Asia.

The firm focuses its business on tournament operations, talent incubation and management, and commercialization.

It is the principal tournament organizer and broadcaster for a number of top competitions, partnering with a majority of China’s esports tournaments.

Over the past decade, VSPO has developed a number of long-term partnerships with top-tier developers from China, Korea, and South East Asia, including Tencent, Garena, and Krafton.

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