Pudong flexes muscle in world of eSports

Li Qian
A number of eSports projects have been drawn to the area's burgeoning ecosystem, including the 30 that signed agreements to land in Pudong last week.
Li Qian

The world’s top eSports events, teams and operators are piling into the Pudong New Area.

It was just two years ago that Pudong proposed to become the heartland of the city’s eSports industry, shortly after it was made a city-level strategy to develop Shanghai into a global eSports hub. Developing rapidly, today ithe sports' industrial scale in Pudong accounts for one-third of the city’s total.

An increasing number of eSports projects have been drawn to this burgeoning ecosystem, including the 30 that signed agreements to land in Pudong last week. They are expected to generate tax revenues of above 1 billion yuan (US$142.8 million) for Pudong next year, according to the Pudong government.

Aiming to become the first choice for the world’s top eSports events, Pudong has launched construction of world-class venues.

Among them, the Pudong Football Stadium, a complex for sports and entertainment, is set to be completed in the fall and will hold the global eSports event S10. The new Sunland eSports venue in the Waigaoqiao area will open by the end of this year.

The new venue can hold about 1,000 audience members. Instead of focusing on top events, it's more of a weekend getaway for eSports fans for regular-season games and to organize activities, said Wang Haisong, general manager of Sunland Development.

Additionally, eLaLig, the FIFA eSports league based on LaLiga, will land in Pudong.

Sergi Torrents, chief executive officer of LaLiga, said the event is planned to be held in Pudong’s Kangqiao this year, as the area is a fertile ground for eSports.

Also, top eSports companies such as Perfect World, Shengqu Games, NetEase and Blizzard will launch new projects in Pudong. Top eSports teams such as Overwatch League team Shanghai Dragons will also move to Shanghai.

Tencent’s hit titles "Kings of Glory" and "Game for Peace," which annually fetch over 10 billion yuan, will bring developers and operators to Shanghai.

“Pudong has given a fillip to the city’s eSports sector,” said Huang Wei, director of Pudong's culture, tourism and sports bureau. “Over 70 percent of the top eSports finals from home and abroad have been held in Pudong, such as TI9.”

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