Caojiadu tipped as e-sports, entertainment center

The Caojiadu area in the west downtown, once featuring the city's largest flower market and century-old cinema, has been planned into Shanghai's major electronic sports center.

The Caojiadu area of Putuo District is slated to become the center of Shanghai’s burgeoning electronic sports scene.

The 18,500-square-meter site of the former Caojiadu Flower Market, which shut down in December 2017, will host the world’s top e-sports games and attract leading clubs, said Cao Liqiang, the Party secretary of Putuo.

E-sports are a form of video-game-based competition, often held between professional players. The most popular e-sports genres are real-time strategy, first-person shooter, fighting, and multi-player battle.

The Caojiadu site will serve as the home courts of China’s top e-sports clubs — EDward Gaming and TOPSports — upon its completion around 2021. Construction on the e-sports center will start in early 2019.

The neighboring Huxi Cinema, established in 1926, is also undergoing a redevelopment that will see it emerge as a new theater and studio for the music and creative industries.

The entire Caojiadu area will become a culture and entertainment hub, featuring e-sports, music and amusement venues, Cao said in a radio interview yesterday. Commercial and shopping facilities will be developed across the region to make it a “dynamic block” open to the public around the clock, Cao said.

A new skywalk will also be built over the area to better connect the future e-sports center and the Longde Road Station of Metro lines 11 and 13, according to the Putuo government.

Caojiadu was originally a ferry port along the Wusong River. The area at the junction of Jing’an, Putuo and Changning districts was later known as “Little Shanghai in the West” mainly due to the densely populated communities of employees at local factories, as well as the prosperous flower market and cinema.

Shanghai aims to become the “capital of global e-sports.” The city now contains over 80 percent of China’s e-sports companies, clubs and star players. It has also hosted many e-sports contests from both home and abroad.

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