The Chinese e-sports market has frequently reported good news recently. According to the “2020 China Game Industry Report” jointly released by the Game Working Committee of the China Music and Digital Association and the China Game Industry Development Institute recently, the revenue of China’s e-sports game market has increased from 94.727 billion yuan in 2019 to 136.557 billion yuan in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 44.16%. In 2020, the number of Chinese e-sports game users reached 488 million, an increase of 9.65% year-on-year, and the number of users maintained a steady growth.
At the same time, relevant data shows that the scale of China’s e-sports market has exceeded 100 billion yuan, and China has surpassed North America to become the world’s largest e-sports market.
“E-sports became an official event of the Asian Games and will be included in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.” The official announcement by the Olympic Council of Asia on December 16, 2020, is good news for the e-sports industry and new entertainment space for mobile game fans in China. Relying on the “online” advantage, the emerging esports industry is making tens of thousands of households become competitive arenas.
Chinese e-sports “regular army” to create new business models
Electronic Sports, or “e-sports” for short. As a “competitive” level of sports in electronic games, e-sports is also a profession. Similar to chess and other non-electronic games, e-sports is a combination of intelligence and physical strength between people using electronic devices as sports equipment. Through e-sports, participants’ thinking ability, reaction ability, limb coordination ability and willpower can be exercised and improved, and team spirit can be cultivated. Since its launch on September 24, 2020, Honor of Kings S21 has attracted tens of thousands of participants through mobile platforms.
Although the public has a lot of misunderstanding for e-sports, that e-sports is equivalent to “addicted to online games” and “not doing business properly” in China, however, “born out of” online games, the e-sports industry is having a trained “regular army”.
In fact, as early as September 2016, the Ministry of Education of China has required Chinese universities to add “e-sports and management” major to their sports programs, so as to train and supply management talents for the e-sports industry. Professionals said that e-sports major does not teach students to “play games”, but provides the industry needs of e-sports management, data analysts, coaches, anchors, game planning and other skilled talents.
As a gathering place for game developers, Guangdong has attracted many colleges and universities and vocational colleges to set up e-sports majors. In 2017, Guangzhou Baiyun Industrial and Commercial Technician College successfully applied for an e-sports major, becoming the first Guangdong e-sports technical school to offer an e-sports major in China. In 2019, Guangdong Vocational College of Innovation and Technology became the first institution of higher learning in Guangdong to offer a major in e-sports, and it plans to enroll 300 students in 2021. Guangzhou Modern Information Engineering Vocational and Technical College will also set up two major directions of e-sports event management and e-sports club management in 2020. It plans to enroll 200 students in four classes in that year.
“We set up this major in the hope of training more e-sports professionals to meet the needs of the Chinese society. From 2019 to now, we have seen a continuous increase in the number of students, which shows great potential for growth.” Li Sanxin, a professional teacher of e-sports and management at Guangdong Vocational College of Innovation and Technology, said recently.
More gratifying is that e-sports, as an emerging industry, has been on the right track and is brewing mature business models and profit growth points.
“The e-sports market is going in a good direction. It’s becoming more and more a younger lifestyle of competitive entertainment and social interaction.” In the digital economy and e-sports industry forum held recently, VSPN quantum sports COO, e-sports industry senior practitioner Zheng Duo said. According to the latest statistics, there are as many as 420 million e-sports fans. The e-sports crowd is gradually increasing, and there are similar phenomena in other countries around the world. In recent years, various places have taken promoting the development of e-sports as an important measure to promote economic development and held some large-scale e-sports competitions. More and more e-sports products continue to emerge, having a powerful influence.
In his view, where the Internet goes, live wherever, e-sports may be developed in the corresponding place, and cause the “explosive” growth of the market. In particular, commercial advertising sponsorship, the first season may only be several million yuan, the second season may exceed 100 million yuan, this is because the market has already widely existed, as long as there are competitions can ignite it.
The mature multi-industry chain e-sports ecosystem is undoubtedly widely expected in the industry.
“Esports has a pyramid model.” Chen Youyou, president of Bilibili Esports, is looking at the development of the industry from a unique perspective. In her opinion, manufacturers are at the top of the industry. Traditional sports can’t belong to any single manufacturer, but e-sports is an exception. It must belong to a certain manufacturer, and the business benefits are very high. The second layer is the platform live broadcast mode. In this layer, the e-sports manufacturers spread the e-sports mode to the base block below. The lowest level is the arenas. This forms the whole concept of commercial ecology.
She predicts that in the near future, there will be more emerging esports projects and more imaginative terminal projects, such as VR. From the perspective of the underlying ecology, more and more Chinese cities will get involved in the cultural content of e-sports. The day will surely come when there will be a more acceptable and easy-to-operate format.
China’s policy efforts to store energy for big emerging markets
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the e-sports industry, which is storing energy for the market explosion.
In 2020, the Global ESports Industry Development Report 2020, released by Penguin Intelligence, Tencent ESports, Nielsen and the International ESports Federation (GEF), shows that the number of esports users in China increased by about 26 million during the COVID-19 epidemic. The international e-sports events have been settled, which also indicates that the center of global e-sports is shifting to China. On August 16, 2020, the final of “e-sports Beijing 2020” Honor of Kings World Championship was staged in Beijing Cadillac Center; At the 2020 ChinaJoy global esports conference in Shanghai on August 1, Riot Games and the Shanghai municipal government jointly announced that the entire 2020 League of Legends global finals will be held in Shanghai, while the 2021 global finals will also be held in China. And businesses have already targeted those who will stay at home for the New Year mobile game fans, game controllers, Douyu headsets, Bluetooth mouse… All kinds of electronic sports equipment are becoming a hot search.
Under the influence of much good news, Beijing, Shanghai, Hainan and other places have embraced the e-sports industry, and frequently introduced favorable policies.
Beijing, which has made great efforts to build itself into the “capital of online games”, held a series of activities called “E-sports Beijing 2020” in 2020, including Beijing International E-sports Innovation and Development Conference, E-sports Light Exhibition and Trade Fair, and the 2020 Honor of Kings World Championship Final. At the same time, a series of e-sports and related industrial policies are being implemented at an accelerated pace, showing Beijing’s determination to build an online games capital with the e-sports industry as the starting point.
Shanghai’s Pudong New Area has announced the establishment of 30 key e-sports projects, covering various industries from venues to events to enterprises, which is expected to increase the regional e-sports game industry revenue by 10 billion yuan. The digital culture industry, represented by e-sports games, will become a new growth point of Pudong’s online economy and help Shanghai build itself into a “global e-sports capital”.
Hainan has released six policies to support the development of the e-sports industry, gradually improving and launching corresponding support policies in terms of capital, talent, tax, visa exemption, competition approval and broadcasting, to vigorously support the development of e-sports. At present, in the South China Sea Free Trade Port Ecological Software Park, there are more than 1,000 digital sports and sports enterprises, mainly e-sports and games.
In 2021, Shenzhen Esports Production Center was inaugurated, DYG Esports Club was founded in Shenzhen, and the 2020 Honor of Kings Winter Champions Cup final was launched. Tencent has also made full use of the coverage and influence of its games and cultural products among young people, and has conducted in-depth cooperation with local governments in poverty alleviation, tourism and public affairs in a wide range of forms. Hou Miao, vice president of Tencent Games and general manager of esports, said the company will help Shenzhen build “an esports industry center in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area”. It is understood that by the end of 2020, the number of game enterprises in Shenzhen is more than 4,000, together with technological innovation, digital, cultural and creative industries cluster, so that Shenzhen e-sports industry has a good development environment, will also drive the sustainable development of e-sports industry in the center of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Relying on Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou has gathered a number of e-sports industry upstream and downstream related enterprises. In Suzhou high-speed rail new city core area, there are SeerTV e-sports focusing on event execution and content production, Mojing Electronics for organizing events, and a passionate network focusing on game development and operation. The “Implementation Opinions on Promoting the Healthy Development of Suzhou E-sports Industry” led by the Suzhou Development and Reform Commission was formally issued on January 20 and implemented on February 1. This document puts forward the ambitious goal of building Suzhou into an “international e-sports city”. It emphasizes that 1-2 top-level professional and popular international and domestic e-sports events will be held in Suzhou every year, and 3-5 leading e-sports companies and teams will be gathered in 5 years, and 3-4 can be constructed. Large-scale professional e-sports venues for top e-sports events at home and abroad have introduced and cultivated 100 high-end e-sports talents with innovative leadership and outstanding professional skills to continuously expand the influence of the “Suzhou E-sports” brand.
Guangzhou Tianhe District has also used a heavy blow to promote the development of the Tianhe District e-sports industry. On January 25, Tianhe District issued the 2021 “No. 1 Document” – “Implementation Opinions on Supporting the Healthy Development of the Game Industry in Tianhe District, Guangzhou City”. The implementation opinions clearly stated that it is necessary to accelerate the construction of the core area for the development of the e-sports industry, let excellent talents enjoy household entry and education discounts, support major e-sports industry projects to land in Tianhe, encourage the development of original e-sports content products, and guide enterprises to actively participate in e-sports events, and provide corresponding financial rewards according to the project. Previously, Guangzhou Tianhe had issued the “Development Plan for the E-sports Industry in Tianhe District, Guangzhou (2020-2030)”, which clarified the blueprint for the development of the e-sports industry in Tianhe District from 2020 to 2030.
In the post-epidemic era, China’s e-sports industry has seized the opportunity and grown against the trend to store energy and energy for the great development of the industry, showing vigorous vitality.
Source: China Business Times