In the post-pandemic era, esports is joining hands with different fields to create diversified content, including esports tournaments which have reached larger audiences and rapidly attracted more esports fans in the process. On June 16, Tencent and Hainan Resort Software Community (RSC) hosted the annual Tencent Global Esports Summit at Haikou International Conference Center.
With the theme “Esports For More,” the event invited executives and leaders from the global esports industry and other sectors to join in, including Steven Ma, the Senior Vice President of Tencent Holdings; Mars Hou, Vice President of Tencent Games; Dino Ying, the CEO of VSPN; Rongjie Dong, the CEO of Huya; and David NG, CEO of SuperGen.
Sponsored by Chinese smartphone brand IQOO this year, the summit announced multiple partnerships and major esports plans. Founded in 2016, Tencent Esports is a part of the cultural ecology of Tencent’s “Neo-Culture Creativity,” alongside Tencent Games, China Literature Limited, Tencent Pictures, Tencent Animation & Comic, and Tencent Music Entertainment Group.
“Esports has demonstrated its great value as digital content this year, especially under this unprecedented time,” Steven Ma said on the main stage of the event. “Esports has become a brand new ‘Hyper Digital Scene.’”
Among the top stories in China’s esports industry: Riot Games confirmed that Shanghai, Chengdu, Qingdao, Wuhan and Shenzhen will host be part of the 2021 League of Legends World Championships City Tour; Chinese smartphone IQOO joined Tencent Esports Technology Union; VSPN CEO Dino Ying unveiled that the company will open a “Youth Esports Zone” in Shanghai; Tencent Esports signed partnerships with Shangri-La; Tencent Esports signed a partnership deal with Zhejiang University of Media and Communications for esports on-screen talent training.
Chengdu, Qingdao, Wuhan, Shanghai and Shenzhen to Host the 2021 League of Legends World Championships
Leo Lin, the Head of Riot Games China announced at the summit that five Chinese cities will host the 2021 League of Legends World Championships, one of the biggest international esports events of the year. The five cities are Shanghai, Qingdao, Wuhan, Chengdu and Shenzhen.
Normally, LoL World Championships apply the “City Tour,” and tour various cities in the region for the earlier rounds before the finals. Unfortunately, Riot Games canceled the City Tour of Worlds due to the pandemic. To make up for Chinese fans and audiences, Riot Games delayed North America’s next turn hosting to 2022, allowing China to continue to host the event this year.
Last year, the Worlds 2020 final was hosted in Shanghai Soccer Stadium with over 6,000 live audiences. This year, the final will be hosted in Shenzhen Universiade Centre on Nov. 6.
Esports event plays an important role for the city’s local economy, especially considering the suspension of traditional sports events during the pandemic. In May, the Shanghai Sports Bureau (SSB) reported the Worlds 2020 ranked as Shanghai’s second most impactful sports event, contributing over ￥30 million yuan ($4.6 million) in direct economic effect, and ￥3.21 million yuan ($483 thousand) in tax effect.
This year, TJ Sports hosted the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) Spring Split Final in Wuhan, and the LPL All-Star in Chengdu. Back in 2017, the Worlds 2017 was hosted in Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. Over 40K audiences witnessed the final of Worlds 2017 at National Stadium in Beijing – The Bird’s Nest.
During the summit, Mars Hou, Vice President of Tencent Games and General Manager of Tencent Esports announced that Vivo’s sub smartphone brand IQOO has joined the Tencent Esports Technology Union, alongside Intel, Qualcomm, Nvidia, China Unicom, Tencent Cloud, and Razer.
IQOO is the exclusive smartphone sponsor of Tencent’s mobile franchise King Pro League (KPL), and also the special partner of Tencent Global Esports Summit. In fact, IQOO, VSPN, and Chinese live streaming platform Huya hosted an “esports technology” booth next to the main stage of the event.
Yufei Feng, President of IQOO China Market also unveiled that the strategic partnership between IQOO and Tencent Esports is a “several year” deal.
In addition, Hou also unveiled that the company will partner with the world-leading electrical engineering organization, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to produce the standard of “Esports Broadcasting,” and “Fairness in Esports Competition.”
“The application of new technology will become a new growth area for esports development, ” Hou said at the main stage.
“Simon Sinek presents the concept of ‘The Golden Circle in his book ‘Start with Why,’ – the why, or motivation; the how, or process; and the what, or product. Mr. Sinek goes on to say that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” Nick Troop, the Executive Producer for Global League of Legends & Wild Rift Esports Events, Riot Games said at the summit. “ The application of technology has become a highlight and staple of Riot’s international events, but the rationale for doing so is often misunderstood… For us, technology is the “what,” not the “how” or the “why.”
In Worlds 2020, Riot Games applied extended reality (XR) during the broadcast. XR is typically used in large-cost film or TV series, such as Disney’s Star Wars: The Mandalorian.
Other Esports Business News:
- Chinese esports solutions provider VSPN CEO Dino Ying unveiled at the summit that the company will open a “Youth Esports Zone” based in Shanghai. Oriented towards esports, the zone will also serve as the go-to place for Generation-Z gamers who also enjoy electric music, live streaming, performances, and food. Ying also said its esports entertainment matrix VSPN+ will focus on esports talent agency, esports content creation, film and TV development.
- Tencent Esports signed a partnership deal with Hong Kong-based luxury hotel brand Shangri-La. The two will explore the business opportunities in esports hotel and IP extension.