Chinese conglomerate Nengking Group, owner of Overwatch League (OWL) team Guangzhou Charge (GZ Charge), announced on Friday that the company has established a new esports brand called “Ultra Prime” (UP) for “better connecting to the esports industry.”
UP will operate multiple esports businesses, and one of the businesses will be a young player training program, called “Ultra Prime Academy.” Ignite One, the current academy team for GZ Charge, has been added into the program. Nengking Group said that UP is looking to add multiple “promising” esports titles to the program, and to establish a related esports team. UP will also design and develop esports related merchandise, and manage esports facility services.
In addition, Nenking also revealed that the company will establish a “first-class” esports venue in South China.
Nenking Group was founded in 1998 and is based in Foshan, Guangdong. The company has multiple businesses in real estate, property management, sports, trade, and even bio-pharmaceuticals. In the traditional sports sector, the company owns Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) franchise Guangzhou Loong Lions.
In 2018, Nenking Group entered into the esports industry by establishing Chinese Overwatch team Guangzhou Charge, and bought a franchising slot in Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League. According to an ESPN report in July of 2018, the expansion franchising slots of OWL were expected to sell for $30M -$60M USD.
In July, GZ Charge signed a three-year sponsorship deal with U.S. nourishment company Herbalife Nutrition and named the brand as the title partner of the team.