On May 21, Chinese esports organization Snake Esports revealed a new logo on the main entrance of its esports venue in Chongqing. The Snake image has been replaced by a Chinese mythical creature, a “Qilin,” along with the new name “LNG Esports.”
The company has not publicly announced the rebrand, which has been reported by a number of Chinese sports media outlets. Sources close to Snake told The Esports Observer that more details of this operation will be announced soon.
Snake competes in League of Legends and PUBG tournaments in China, and owns a regular spot in China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL). The new name, LNG Esports, is potentially tied to Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning. In addition, the Qilin creature is not only featured in the new logo, but also is the given name of Snake’s current owner Li Qilin, who is also the CEO of Viva China Sports, and the executive board of Li-Ning Group.
On Jan. 15, it was reported that Viva China Sports acquired Snake, for “hundreds of millions of RMB,” according to Chongqing Evening News. Viva China Sports is the sports subsidiary of Viva China Holdings Ltd., which is also the largest shareholder of sportswear company Li-Ning.
Li-Ning has multiple partnerships in the esports industry; from 2018 to 2019, the company signed deals with Chinese esports organization Edward Gaming , Royal Never Give-Up’s (RNG) Dota 2 team, Honor of Kings esports team QGhappy and multi-esports tournament NetEase Esports X Tournament 2019 Spring Season.