Premier League football club Wolves have become the first traditional football club to enter China’s King Pro League (KPL) esports tournament.
Wolves parent company Fosun Sports has acquired Honor of Kings esports team Chongqing QGhappy.
QGhappy will now become part of the Wolves Esports family, and change their name to Chongqing Wolves. They will continue to be the home team of South West China’s Chongqing and take part in the new season of one of the world’s top mobile esports professional leagues.
Honor of Kings’ international version is known as Arena of Valora, but the KPL focuses specifically on Honor of Kings.
QGhappy was founded in 2017 and have won three KPL tournaments: Spring, Autumn and the Champions Cup, in the same year, before winning the Champions Cup in 2018 and 2019 successively.
The team were also the first team to win all four Honor of Kings World Champions Cups in 2021, beating Foshan GK to win the team’s sixth title. Team member Captain Fly also won his third FMVP (finals most valuable player) skin and won his third KPL Finals MVP, making Fly the most FMVPs in the history of the KPL league.
In 2018, Wolves officially entered the esports industry, with FIFA, Rocket League and racing teams in the UK, and has involvement with Fortnite and other esports projects.
Since 2019, Fosun Sports has been expanding its esports presence in China, with Wolves Esports consisting of teams in FIFA Online 4, Call of Duty and Identity V in China. Last month, Wolves Esports’ Identity V team won the Champion of Summer League final.
In July 2021, Fosun Sports announced its investment in Evil Geniuses, bringing the North American org and Wolves together.
Deng Houjun, president of Fosun Sports, said: “Fosun Sports will continue to increase its investment in esports in the future. We are optimistic about esports and KPL is the most important part of our esports industry.
“After the completion of the acquisition, Fosun Sports has formed a parallel trend in China, North America and Europe esports market, our strength in esports will be greatly supplemented. Welcome QGhappy to the Fosun Sports family.”
After Fosun Sports and Wolves joined the KPL, KPL union chairman Zhang Yijia hopes both sides can make joint efforts to promote esports and ‘further enhance the global influence of KPL’.
Earlier this year, Wolves appointed British manager Michael Moriarty, aka DuckMoriarty, as its esports manager.
Footballers and clubs have continued to get involved in esports. A few days ago, Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique bought into the Spanish League of Legends Superliga.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.