Chinese tech giant Tencent and food and drinks chain Tim Hortons have worked together to launch the first esports themed coffee shop in Shanghai. The store, which opened on November 16, features esports themed beverages and food, and activities centred round esports gaming. Shanghai recently hosted the League of Legends World Championship and is positioned to become the international capital of esports.
Tim Hortons opened its first coffee shop in China last year and currently has 50 stores countrywide. The Canadian chain which has a presence in more than 14 countries globally is planning to open 1,500 stores in China.
Tencent is helping Tim Horton with its Chinese expansion and invested an undisclosed amount of money in the company in May. Tencent will also help to boost Tim Horton’s digital presence in China. The investment will benefit Tencent as it will gain access to the chain’s online payments and data analysis.
The deal is part of a number of franchising partnerships, including with Razer, ASUS, SKG and Kappa, that Tencent Esports announced during the Tencent Global Esports Summit in August.
Esports is a booming industry in China: it is the world’s largest esports market and is expected to expand in size to 140 billion RMB by the end of this year. More and more companies want to get in on the trend: since 2019, Nike has collaborated with Legends Pro League, including for its “Camp Next Level” campaign which was launched in September. Suning promoted Singles’ Day with an esports night in partnership with gaming platform Huya.