Over the past week, China’s esports industry saw several key developments, primarily related to Tencent esports titles, including Honor of Kings, Peacekeeper Elite, League of Legends and CrossFire.
In addition, the Honor of Kings Spring Split Grand Final will take place on Saturday at Shanghai’s Jing’an Sports Center Stadium. Nanjing-based esports team Hero and Guangzhou-based TTG will compete in a best-of-seven game, with the winner to take home 5.5 million yuan ($850 thousand) in prize money.
China’s Dota 2 esports teams might face trouble in attending the $40 million Dota 2 annual event – The International (TI10) in Stockholm, Sweden. On June 21, Dota 2 developer Valve issued a statement revealing that the Swedish Sports Federation does not recognize esports as an official sport. As a result, it will be difficult to procure a visa for all players, shoutcasters and staff to travel to Sweden for the event.
Valve has begun to seek alternative places in Europe to host the TI10, which is one of the biggest international events for Chinese esports organizations this year. Four Chinese teams have confirmed to have qualified for the event, including Invictus Gaming, Vici Gaming, Team Aster, and PSG.LGD.
Among the top stories in China’s esports industry: multiple Tencent-related esports competitions agreed to sign the “Tencent Esports Anti-Match-Fixing Convention”; TiMi Studio Group announced that six Chinese cities will host the 2021 Honor of Kings World Champion Cup; Singapore-based esports company ONE Esports signed a partnership deal with TJ Sports for the League of Legends Pro League; and finally, TiMi Studios set up an AAA gaming office in Seattle.
Tencent Esports Anti-Match-Fixing Convention Announced
Mars Hou, Vice President of Tencent Games and General Manager of Tencent Esports announced on June 16 that the company has drafted a document entitled “Tencent Esports Anti-Match-Fixing Convention” in an attempt to help resolve related issues within the firm’s esports ecosystem. 13 Tencent-related esports competitions, including LPL, PEL, KPL and CFPL signed the convention and appealed to players and teams to respect fairness in esports.
Hou stated that the convention includes a “Blacklist Database” system developed by Tencent, which will record all players, team managers and staff who were involved in match-fixing, ensuring they will not be able to attend all Tencent-related esports competitions and entertainment events.
Bobby Jin, Co-CEO of TJ Sports and representative of LPL, Abner Chen, publisher of CrossFire and representative of CFPL, Allan Zhang, President of KPL, and Leo Liao, President of PEL, were all featured in the announcement video by Tencent.
Match-fixing is a devastating issue for many esports titles. In April, China’s League of Legends operator TJ Sports announced the results of its two-month match-fixing investigation into the League of Legends Development League (LDL). Eventually, three LPL players and 36 LDL-related staff were punished for violating rules involving match-fixing. For LPL players, Zhou “Bo” Yangbo and Wang “Teeen” Yaoji were given a four-month global suspension, and Xiang “bless” Yitong was given a 12-month global suspension.
Apart from League of Legends, Chinese Dota 2 team Newbee received a permanent ban from Valve for match-fixing. The team and five players are not allowed to attend all Valve and Perfect World-related Dota 2 competitions. After winning the 2014 edition of The International, the team became one of the best Dota 2 teams in the world.
Six Chinese Cities to Host the 2021 Honor of Kings World Champion Cup
Following Riot Games announcement that the League of Legends World Championship will be hosted in five Chinese cities – Shanghai, Qingdao, Wuhan, Chengdu and Shenzhen – Tencent TiMi Studios announced that six Chinese cities will host the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup (KCC).
The six cities – Shanghai, Nanjing, Chongqing, Qingdao, Wuhan and Beijing – were included in KCC’s “City Tour” of 2021. The event will take place in the Beijing Olympic Sports Center Stadium on August 28, and will feature 50 million yuan ($7.74 million) in total prize pool money, the highest prize pool in Honor of Kings esports history.
In addition, TiMi Studios also announced that the Honor of Kings Winter Champion Cup has rebranded to the Honor of Kings Challenger Cup, and will be hosted in the Hangzhou Esports Center at the end of the year.
Other Esports Business News:
- On June 22, ONE Esports, an esports subsidiary of Singapore-based global sports media ONE Championship, announced that the company signed a media partnership deal with TJ Sports, becoming the official international media partner of the LPL. ONE Esports will provide coverage and publicity for the LPL 2021 Summer Split outside of mainland China.
- On June 24, TiMi Studios announced on Twitter that the company has opened an office in Seattle, focusing on AAA PC and console FPS games. In addition, the office will be led by Scott Warner, former game director of Ubisoft and Electronic Arts.