Shanghai-based, white label esports tournament production company NeoTV Group Limited (NeoTV) is preparing for a $55M USD initial public offering (IPO), with the hope of trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol “NTV.”
The IPO is being facilitated by bookrunner (lead underwriters) Prime Number Capital, which has helped a number of other companies in Asia launch IPOs in the U.S. including Genetron Health, Blue City, UCommune, Ebang, and Aesthetic Medical International, among others. The company did not disclose how many shares it would offer or the price per share, but will submit an amended filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prior to the IPO’s launch.
NeoTV, which is headquartered in Shanghai but incorporated in the Cayman Islands, is a variable interest entity (VIE). According to an SEC filing, NeoTV “conducts all of its operations through NeoTV HK, an intermediate holding company, NeoTV Beijing, its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary within the PRC, NeoTV Shanghai or the VIE, and the VIE subsidiaries.”
According to its prospectus filed with the SEC, the company specializes in facilitating and promoting esports competitions and professional gaming events in China. NeoTV claims that it has hosted a number of events in the past including the National Electronic Sports Open, Tencent Global Esports Arena, and League of Legends Wild Rift Professional League, Tencent League of Legends Allstar (the competition’s actual name is “League of Legends Pro League All-Star,” or LPL All-Star), Tencent Honor of Kings World Champion Cup (its actual name is “Honor of Kings International Championship”), Tencent Peacekeeper Elite (its actual name is “Tencent Peace Elite League”), NetEase [Hearthstone] Gold Club World Cup, and NetEase Onmyoji Arena Pro League.
However, NeoTV is not recognized in any significant way as an esports tournament organizer in China. National Electronic Sports Open is a multi-title esports competition (the last one was in 2017), and competitions such as League of Legends Wild Rift Professional League (WRL) and League of Legends Pro League All-Star (LPL All-Star) were hosted by Riot Games and Tencent joint venture TJ Sports. The Honor of Kings International Championship (KIC) and Peace Elite League (PEL) were co-hosted by Tencent and the biggest Chinese tournament organizer VSPO, who just got $2.65M investment from Savvy Games Group. In addition, the NetEase [Hearthstone] Gold Club World Cup was hosted in 2020 by NetEase and no longer exists because the partnership between NetEase and Activision Blizzard ended at the beginning of 2023.
Unlike Western tournament organizer ESL FACEIT Group, NeoTV does not have its own IP tournament series, such as Intel Extreme Masters and ESL One. NeoTV can not sell the media rights of the aforementioned competitions, they are actually owned by Tencent, TJ Sports, and NetEase.