NetEase officially announced that its new International Culture & Technology Complex started construction from June 29 in Shanghai’s Qingpu district. The new complex was first announced at the 2019 Global Esports Conference in Shanghai, receiving a more than 5 billion RMB ($710 million USD) investment from NetEase. NetEase is the second-largest game publisher in China, and the exclusive Chinese distributor of Blizzard Entertainment games, including Warcraft III, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and StarCraft II.
NetEase also owns the Shanghai Dragons, an Overwatch team, which represents Shanghai in the Overwatch League (OWL).
According to the announcement, the complex is around 151,000 square meters, including a 2,000 people capacity esports home venue, office buildings, creative labs, exhibit center, e-commerce trial shops, and residential buildings. Multiple culture and technology entertainment events, including esports and gaming, will be featured in this place.
Lei Ding, CEO of NetEase, confirmed at the commencement ceremony of construction that the whole project took less than two years from blueprint to construction.
Recently, Shanghai has released multiple benefit-based policies for esports development, expecting to make the city the capital of global esports.
In fact, another game publisher Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, also signed a memorandum of strategic cooperation with Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau on June 30. The company plans to have its APAC headquarter and premium esports events in Shanghai.
In China, more than 80% of Chinese esports organizations, teams, and third-party tournament organizer are headquartered in Shanghai. The city has hosted over 40% of domestic esports tournaments and multiple global-scale esports tournaments, including Dota 2’s $34 million The International 2019 and Esports Shanghai Masters. This year, the League of Legend’s World Championship Grand Final will take place in Shanghai.