Esports, also known as “electronic sports,” or a competition of video gaming, is booming in China. The Chinese eSports market has become the world leader in recent years.
In the first half of 2017, sales revenue of eSports reached 36 billion yuan ($5.1 billion USD), up 43.2 percent from the previous year.
Fifteen years ago, parents and teachers regarded eSports as “heterodoxy,” which was only played by bad students. They believed gaming’s potentially addictive nature could harm young people.
But, in March 2013, the General Administration of Sport of China established the China Electronic Competitive Squad, which initially had 17 members. From that time, eSports officially became a competition of games, similar to physical sports, such as basketball and soccer.
Today, more investors are aware of Chinese eSports promising future. Selling video games and investing in eSport teams can now make a huge profit.
Sicong Wang, chairman of Prometheus Capital, invested about ten million yuan ($1.4 million USD) into eSports in four years, leading eSports become a professional career.
The Chinese eSports market generated revenue of 4.4 billion yuan ($630 million USD) in 2010. In just six years, it grew by more than ten times.
Since the revenue of eSports has risen rapidly, so to has the incomes of game players. The combination of cultural and financial incentives means that more people, especially China’s youth, aspire to become game players.
According to the Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, the total number of Chinese game players surpassed 500 million at the end of June.
Additionally, from January to June 2017, China hosted more than a hundred large and medium-sized eSports tournaments. Thirty five percent of Chinese video game enthusiasts spend about six hours every week watching professional eSports tournaments.
The game industry has also expanded into internet, film, television – and other cultural and entertainment sectors in the country. At present, China leads all other nations in gaming sales.