Alibaba, the largest e-commerce company in China, announced a $15.4 million partnership with Singaporean online company YuuZoo to manage Alibaba eSports events in China.
The partnership launches a new juggernaut with massive financial backing into the world of eSports, a growing sector expected to rake in nearly $2 billion in global revenue by 2018.
As part of the deal, Alibaba will form a new company division, AliSports. YuuGames will run AliSports' World Electronic Sport Games and the E-Sports Clubs Competition Center.
WESG will begin in April this year, with competitors vying for $5.5 million in prize money.
AliSports will do business in other sports in China, with eSports being just one of its focuses. Alibaba plans to invest $15.4 million in WESG alone.
AliSports and YuuGames are planning to launch 1200 eSports events this year across China.
"Linking sport and technology enhances the quality of life," said AliSports CEO Zhang Dazhong. "That is what we want to do through AliSports."