Top eSports events to be held in Shanghai
The final of the League of Legends World Championship, a globally popular eSports competition, will be held in Shanghai this year and next, officials announced at the ongoing ChinaJoy event on Saturday.
It’s a key step for Shanghai to establish itself as an “international eSports capital,” with an improving eSports industry chain.
The final sessions of the 10th season of League of Legends (LPL) World Championship, known as S10, will begin on September 25, with the final competition on October 31, at Pudong Football Stadium.
Next year's finals will also be held in Shanghai, government and industry officials told an eSports forum of ChinaJoy on Saturday.
“Shanghai, let’s meet!” said Nicolo Laurent, CEO of Riot Games, the LPL developer, in a video.
A post with the news and video, published by an official LPL competition account, received 94,000 likes and 9,200 forwards on Weibo within several hours.
Chinese teams won the previous two finals of the League of Legends World Championship which were held in South Korea and France. As a result Chinese eSports fans have great expectations of this year's event.
The city government promised early this year it would host the S10 event. But eSports fans were concerned the COVID-19 outbreak might disrupt it.
Shanghai’s decision to host S10 and S11 represented its determination to develop an eSports industry, a rapidly growing integration sector of game, sports, culture and other industries.
In the first half, China’s eSports market revenue hit 71.9 billion yuan, a 54.7 percent growth year on year. The eSports user base reached 484 million by June, according to a gaming report released during the ChinaJoy.
Shanghai has taken measures to support the eSports industry such as increasing venues, holding top events, and setting up eSports majors in colleges.
Some of the city’s major competition organizers and eSports enterprises have received government subsidies. The authority will also speed up the application and approval procedures of eSports-related publications.
Also during the eSports forum on Saturday, Tencent Inc announced the debut of its eSports hall V-Station in Shanghai on October 1.
In 2020, China will surpass North America to become the world’s top eSports market on commercial value, Tencent told the forum.
The final of another popular eSports competition The International or TI9, a world championship in the multiplayer battle game Dota 2, was also held in Shanghai last summer at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in the Pudong New Area.
“ESports has become the most potential sub-category of gaming, with many business models and opportunities,” Xiao Hong, CEO of the Perfect World, told the forum.
Perfect World is the organizer of TI events in China. The Shanghai TI9 had a total prize pool of US$34.3 million, a record high in the eSports industry.