• Tom Elsden

THE EIGHT CITIES POWERING CHINA'S ESPORTS INDUSTRY

Updated: May 26

As the Chinese government promotes gaming from the center, multiple local governments and municipalities have taken on the role of elevating this across the country. We’ve identified the eight leading Chinese cities establishing gaming at the front of their economic and cultural development.


1. SHANGHAI

Tournaments:

  • The International 2019 (TI9)

  • 2020 League of Legends World Championship (S10)

  • 2020 Shanghai Esports Masters

  • 2020 Peacekeeper Elite Championship (PEC)

Teams:

  • Top Esports, League of Legends Team

  • Invictus Gaming, the world’s first esports organization wins The International (TI2) and the League of Legends World Championship (S8)

  • Shanghai Dragons, one of the four Overwatch teams based in China

  • RNG (Royal Never Giveup), the League of Legends team has relocated from Beijing to Shanghai

  • Vici Gaming, teams in Honor of Kings, League of Legends and Dota 2

  • Edward Gaming, one of the most long-standing Chinese teams in League of Legends

  • FunPlus phoenix, the League of Legends World Champion in 2019, owned by FunPlus, a video game developer

  • RW, League of Legends Team, owned by a hardware and electronics company ASUS ROG

  • Suning, League of Legends Team, owned by Suning Commerce Group

Insights:

  1. More than 40% of China’s esports events are held in Shanghai every year.

  2. TJ Sports, the joint venture between Tencent and Riot Games, moved its HQ to downtown Shanghai to oversee the development of the LPL and other League of Legends events.

  3. In January 2021, it was announced Shanghai will open the ‘International New Cultural and Creative Esports Center’ that will cost $898M to develop. It will become the central hub for esports teams and organisations, as well as a hotel.

  4. Bilibili, one of the leading video and livestream platforms is also based in Shanghai, backed by Sony and owning the exclusive Chinese broadcast rights to League of Legends global events

2. BEIJING

Tournaments:

  • 2017 League of Legends World Championship (S7)

  • 2020 Honor of Kings World Champion Cup (The world’s first esports live events with limited audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic)

  • 20190 CSGO Beijing-Haidian IEM (Intel Extreme Masters)

Teams:

  • Jindong Gaming, the League of Legends team that is owned by the ecommerce company JinDong

  • Weibo TS Gaming, Honor of Kings Pro League Spring and Kings World Champion Cup double Champion

Insights

  1. The Beijing-Haidian Government announced beneficial policies to develop local esports, with $1.42M in funds.

  2. The Honor of Kings World Champion Cup (KCC), will feature a prize pool of US$7.77M and will be hosted at National Olympic Sports Center on August 28.

  3. The Beijing Government announced their Esports Beijing 2021 series that includes Call of Duty, Dota 2, CS:GO and other tournaments throughout the year.

  4. Esports organisation JingDong Gaming (JDG) will also have its home venue in Beijing, becoming Beijing’s first home venue team in the League of Legends Pro League (LPL).

3. CHENGDU

Tournaments:

  • King Pro League Regular Seasons

  • World Cyber Game (WCG) 2009 (WCG used to be the biggest esports competition hosted by Samsung)People Prime League

  • Dota 2 Chengdu Major

Teams:

  • AG Chaowanhui, Honor of Kings Pro League Autumn 2019 Champions

  • Chengdu Hunters, one of the four Overwatch teams based in China

Insights:

  1. China’s League of Legends esports operator TJ Sports announced that the company partnered with Chengdu Media Group. The two companies co-hosted the 2020 LPL All-Star events in Chengdu.

  2. VSPN, one of the leading global esports events organisations has set up offices in Chengdu. In China, VSPN owns and operates esports venues in Xi’an, Chengdu’s Taiguli, and Shanghai’s Xintiandi.

  3. Chengdu-based media company Chengdu B-Ray Media announced at its tenth board meeting report that the company has decided to invest US$7.7M in Shanghai-based Bilibili Esports, and also be one of the investors in Bilbili Esports’s Series A funding round.

4. CHONGQING

Tournaments:

  • Dota2 Chongqing Major

  • KPL final (King Pro League)

  • 2018-2019 WESG Grand Final (World Electronic Sports Games)

Teams:

  • QGhappy, 2017 KPL Spring & Fall Split Champions

Insights:

  1. The world’s first sports venue dedicated exclusively to esports was built in Chongqing.

5. GUANGZHOU

Tournaments:

  • 2017 League of Legends World Championship (S7)

Teams:

  • ThunderTalkGaming (LPL&KPL)

  • Fuli Ronly, sponsored by GuangZhou R&F

  • Guangzhou Charge, one of the four Overwatch teams based in China, sponsored by Herbalife

Insights:

  1. Huya, one of China’s leading gaming livestream platforms established its headquarters in Guangzhou. Their recent US$310M acquisition of the LPL rights will help them to become the go-to destination for China’s gaming community.

  2. Guangzhou released their ‘Five Ones’ esports mission with aims to achieve firsts across multiple esports categories and areas.

  3. Guangzhou announced its three-year plan to develop local esports with Tencent Gaming.

6. HANGZHOU

Tournaments:

  • National Electronic Sports Tournament (NEST)

  • The 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022

Teams:

  • LGD Gaming (DOTA2, LPL)

  • Hangzhou Spark (Overwatch)

  • BLG, League of Legends team owned by Bilibili

  • 4am (PUBG)

Insights:

  1. As the home of Alibaba, Hangzhou was also selected as the location to build the Ali Electronic Competition Park.

  2. Hangzhou opened its “esports town,” spanning 3.94M square feet, and costing US$280M to build. LGD Gaming and Allied Esports have opened up a joint office and esports venue in the town. This will become LGD’s home venue for the League of Legends Pro League (LPL).

  3. Hangzhou’s downtown venue has become the official competition place for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games esports events.

7. SHENZHEN

Tournaments:

  • 2021 the League of Legends World Championship Final (Nov. 6 in Shenzhen, Universiade Stadium)

Teams:

  • Douyin Gaming Honor of Kings team sponsored by Tik Tok

Insights

  1. Tencent’s headquarters are based in Shenzhen, and with over 30% of their total revenue coming through gaming, wherever Tencent is based will be a natural hotspot for gaming.

  2. Shenzhen will serve as a host city for the 2021 League of Legends World Championship Finals.

8. WUHAN

Tournaments:

  • League of Legends World Championship S7

  • 2021 League of Legends Pro League Spring Split FinalMid-Season Invitational

  • Honor of Kings National Competition

Teams:

  • eStarPro, Honor of Kings and sponsored by the Wuhan Tourism Development Group

Insights:

  1. DouYu, one of China’s top gaming livestream platforms is based in Wuhan as they help to build a local esports culture and attain top talent from the universities with esports majors.

  2. Wuhan will potentially be a host city for the 2021 League of Legends World Championships City Tour.


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