Esports World Cup gets surprising addition with a big prize pool

Esports World Cup gets surprising addition with a big prize pool
Image via Level Infinite

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch

Published 

19th Feb 2024 13:03

Mobile game Honor of Kings has announced its participation at the Esports World Cup, incorporating the event into its seasonal circuit as its Midseason Invitational. With qualification for its World Championship and a multi-million dollar prize pool for grabs, twelve teams are set to compete in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this summer.

Midseason Invitational

TiMi Studio’s mobile MOBA title Honor of Kings is coming to the Esports World Cup in August 2024. As part of its Global Invitational Series, the Esports World Cup will act as its MidSeason Invitational, offering a slot at its Invitational Championship to the winners at the EWC. 

The first invited team has also been announced, consisting of KPL Dream Team, an all-star roster from the King Pro League, the top-tier tournament in Chinese in Honor of Kings esports. How the other eleven slots will be chosen has not been revealed but is expected to be announced soon.

Last month, Honor of Kings shared its plan for its esports circuit, committing $15,000,000 (~£11.9 million) to the ecosystem. Unveiling a plan for its first Invitational in Istanbul for Season 1 in March, followed by a yet-to-be-revealed season 2 event, the top teams would then advance to the MidSeason Invitational in Riyadh and finally end up at the Invitational Championship later this year.

Escalating prize pools

While the Honor of Kings Invitational Season 1 event in Turkey will feature a $300,000 (~£240,000) prize pool, the publisher Level Infinite and the Esports World Cup Foundation revealed a whopping $3 million (~£2.4 million) prize pool for the MidSeason Invitational.

Honor of Kings is no stranger to large prize pools, with last year’s International Championship offering a total prize pool of ¥69,000,000 ($9.6 million / ~£7.6 million ) with ¥20,000,000 ($2.8 million / ~£2.2 million) going to the winning team, AG Super Play alone.

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Honor of Kings has been dominating the Chinese mobile MOBA market for a while, disclosing a player base of 100 million average active users in 2020. While the game was primarily developed with a focus on the Chinese market, with a second TiMi Studios MOBA title in Arena of Valor more catered to South East Asia, Honor of Kings appears to be making a play for the international market now too. The news arrives after publisher Level Infinite announced its launch in Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and South Asia with a waiting list of over 2 million pre-registered players from those regions.

The Honor of Kings Invitational in Istanbul is kicking off on March 2, 2024 at the historic movie hall Grand Pera Emek Sahnesi, with international esports organisations such as Twisted Minds and Keyd Stars in attendance. 

Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.

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