China’s esports industry has kicked into the top gear with millions of players and viewers actively participating in numerous local tournaments. Esports are experiencing exponential growth in China, becoming a key driving force boosting the growth of the domestic gaming sector.
According to Penguin Intelligence, the domestic esports audience will grow to 350 million this year, a year-on-year increase of 10.6%. The company predicted that China will have the largest number of core esports fans globally, reaching 75 million this year.
“There is still plenty of room for growth in esports players and viewers. With more gaming firms tapping into the esports sector, a growing number of key tournaments have been held by esports brands in China. And the new type of competition has gained a huge following among netizens,” Wang Xu, chief analyst at Gamma Data Corp said.
Major cities and provinces, including Hainan province, Shanghai, Chongqing, Xian in Shaanxi province and Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, are competing to become the country’s new esports hub.
Hainan province announced that a 1 billion yuan fund will be set up to promote the development of the esports sector. The money will be used to support related firms and investment in large tournaments.
The International 2019, the world’s largest Dota 2 esports tournaments, will be held in Shanghai this summer. It will be the first time for China to host the annual event.
“As China is currently one of the leading esports markets in the world, more top tournaments will be held in China. Both esports and traditional sports have a lot of similarities. They all have fixed areas and set rules. And they all need tactics design and trained players. Esports fans are just like traditional sports fans. The way traditional sports fans choose their teams and watch games has a lot more in common with esports fans,” Xiao Hong, CEO of Perfect World Co Ltd said.