China Becomes Largest eSports Market as Game Developers Rush Into Field
He Tianjiao
/SOURCE : Yicai
China Becomes Largest eSports Market as Game Developers Rush Into Field

(Yicai Global) July 4 -- China's eSports market has become the world's largest and its growth is accelerating as major game developers rush into the field. Many investors have entered the digital sports industry, creating eSports courses in collaboration with schools.

The industry creates jobs for professional players, club operators and managers, commentators and presenters, venue designers and operators, electricians and scenic designers.

Many working in the Chinese eSports industry are undereducated and lack professional training, said Hou Miao, deputy general manager at Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s [HK:0700] interactive entertainment department.

Major video game developers stand to benefit from the eSports market's expansion.

"Tencent owns the most popular games, so it's most motivated to push forward eSports training initiatives," said Tan Yanfeng, vice president at Shanda Games Ltd. "If other companies are left to do the job, they may end up working for Tencent Games."

Tencent has the most popular mobile games, League of Legends (LoL) and King of Glory. LoL Pro League events generated five billion views last year, and more than 15 million people watched the opening day of the spring tournament for King of Glory's big league (KPL).

The eSports industry needs to create sustainable business models and its top priority is to solve related problems, Tan said. Game players and presenters are very well paid, but the industry cannot continue to develop unless eSports firms become profitable.

"We should learn from the National Basketball Association's model," Tan said. "China's best eSports companies are content creators. What the market needs is a commercial league like the NBA that has strong commercialization capabilities and can adapt operations to market trends to meet users' needs."

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Keywords: TENCENT , Investment , New Products , R&D , Video Games