Chinese publishing giant Tencent is pushing its global hit mobile MOBA game Arena of Valor further into the esports scene with a new $500,000 World Cup.
A source inside Tencent told PocketGamer.biz that the new tournament will take place in July in Los Angeles, California.
Arena of Valor (also known as Honor of Kings, amongst other names) is already a big competitive game in Asia. In November 2017 Seoul, South Korea played host to the Arena of Valor International Championship, which also had a prize pool of $500,000.
This new tournament is not designed to replace that, but rather complement that with a more accessible competition for Western players. The World Cup will be open to teams across the globe.
Details of how the Arena of Valor World Cup will work, prize breakdowns and how to sign up will be released in the coming months.
“This tournament will represent the absolute highest standard of competitive play for this game,” said a source, adding that Tencent has been working closely with esports teams like Team Liquid and Team Vitality and others.
In North America Tencent is also set to develop the game's esports ecosystem by rolling out regional tournaments at a more localised level, and below that a series of smaller “more like a collegiate level” of competition.
All of these will feed into the top tournaments like the World Cup and International Championship.
Arena of Valor has been a blockbuster success story for Tencent. It reportedly has more than 200 million registered players in its native China and over 80 million daily active users.
While not quite matching its runaway success at home, the global release of Arena of Valor has received a more steady reception in Europe and now the US.
Though as we've previously stated, this is a genre that takes a while to build momentum and a community. With Tencent supporting growth with big tournaments like the World Cup and regional competitions, Arena of Valor could be set for bigger growth in the West.