On the rise

China emerges in the world’s pro­fes­sional video-gam­ing field

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By MENGJING in Seat­tle, Washington mengjing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The lu­cra­tive prizes, the gov­ern­ment sup­port and the big video-gam­ing pop­u­la­tion have led to China emerg­ing as a force to be reck­oned with in the world’s pro­fes­sional videogam­ing land­scape.

Nearly one-third of the teams qual­i­fied to bat­tle for The In­ter­na­tional DOTA 2 Cham­pi­onships — the big­gest e-sports com­pe­ti­tion of­fer­ing the high­est prize in the world — are from China.

The an­nual e-sports premier tour­na­ment, which kicked off in Seat­tle in the early morn­ing of Tues­day Bei­jing time, saw 16 of the finest e-sports teams world­wide bat­tling for a prize pool of more than $20 mil­lion and five out of all the 16 teams are from China.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial web­site of this year’s com­pe­ti­tion, which is known as TI6, DOTA 2 fans world­wide have raised a record $20 mil­lion plus for the to­tal prize pool and the five-mem­ber team which gets the first place is ex­pected to scoop a whop­ping $8.85 mil­lion.

Zhang Yun­fan, pres­i­dent of Per­fect World Games, a Bei­jin­gonline gam­ing com­pany that op­er­ates DOTA 2 in China, said that the ris­ing sta­tus of Chi­nese teams on the world stage is in line with the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of e-sports in China.

Chi­nese teams first par­tic­i­pated in the an­nual tour­na­ment in 2011 with all of the four teams be­ing in­vited to di­rectly join the com­pe­ti­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port from China Busi­ness­News, as­many as 117 Chi­nese pro­fes­sional video gamers won a to­tal of $690,000, ac­count­ing for 7.05 per­cent of the to­tal e-sports prize world­wide in 2011. By 2014, Chi­nese e-sports play­ers had be­come the big­gest win­ners in e-sports with their prizes to­tal­ing $12.01 mil­lion, ac­count­ing for one-third of the to­tal in the world.

Ken­neth Chang, deputy sec­re­tary of the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee of the China Uni­ver­si­ties E-sports League, said the large size of the on­line gam­ing pop­u­la­tion and the high fre­quency of pro­fes­sional game play­ers tak­ing part in var­i­ous com­pe­ti­tions were the main rea­sons fu­el­ing the rapid growth of China’s e-sports mar­ket.

“Plus, the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Sport set up an e-sports na­tional team in 2013, which sig­naled the gov­ern­ment’s sup­port in pro­fes­sional video gam­ing,” he said.

“With more and more gam­ing com­pa­nies of­fer­ing lu­cra­tive re­wards for game play­ers, the e-sports has got­ten onto the fast track of devel­op­ment in China,” he added.

The United States is lead­ing the global e-sports mar­ket, with a 38 per­cent share of the es­ti­mated $463 mil­lion rev­enues in 2016, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from re­search firm New­zoo. But it also said that China and South­east Asia would lead in au­di­ence growth.

Just like any pro­fes­sional sports, e-sports is also a winor-noth­ing busi­ness. Only quite few get their hands on mil­lions of dol­lars in prizes.

“Many of the young pro­fes­sional play­ers face chal­lenges with low prize pay­ments and short ca­reers, which will even­tu­ally dam­age the over­all en­vi­ron­ment of e-sports,” said Per­fec­tWorld Games’ Zhang.

“We want to step up to stan­dard­ize e-sports com­pe­ti­tion to make pro­fes­sional video gam­ing more like a reg­u­lar sports com­pe­ti­tion and less like a show,” Zhang added.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.