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Twenty years of e-sports in China: from being misunderstood to becoming a national business card

What is interesting is that more than half of the participants at the scene are traditional sports companies that are interested in e-sports 's field and want to cooperate.

This article was originally written by the Chinese media Sports Industry Ecological Circle (体育产业生态圈) and translated by PandaYoo.com after it was licensed. Copyright belongs to the original author and it is forbidden to reprint without permission.
Author: ECO-esports
Chinese Editor: Ma Ruiqi, Alvis Ray

Time flies, and the extraordinary 2020 Boxer year is about to pass. This is not only a year that can not be summed up by any words, but also the 20th birthday of e-sports in China.

Within these 20 years, China e-sports was born, existed, fought, died, and reborn in different identities, as if there were countless parallel time and space. It was once an Internet bar, a game, a “lack of diligence”, an honor in China, a part of sports, and the only tenacious event when all global sports events lockout.

At present, the following impact of S10 is still there, and it is far from the time to sum up and define China’s e-sports, but it does need some words to tell every fan a story– about how the contemporary e-sport in China has gone through every identity to be where it is today.

Please note that this article is divided into eight chapters with a total number of about 10,000 words.

I would like to dedicate this article to all the misunderstood e-sports youth.

01 the first appearance.

The lowest participating unit of traditional sports is the stadium, 105 meters long and 68 meters wide grass, plus two goals, can contract all the happiness of football players.

E-sports ‘s lowest participating unit is the Internet bar, which now prefers to be called an Internet cafe or e-sports hall, clean, bright and well-equipped.

20 years ago, the Internet cafe, known as the computer room, was a strange place. This dark and damp space was full of shouting and secondhand smoke, bad teenagers and hooligans. Local area network games and casual games are the earliest favored projects.

The protagonists of those stories usually experience in a miserable childhood, “upgrade to fight monsters” all the way, and become a great hero to save the world.

The story of e-sports of China started here.

In May 1996, China’s first Internet bar was born in Shanghai. Then ushered in the peak of its development, in the streets, in inconspicuous corners, Internet bars were everywhere.

On the last day of March 1998, Blizzard, an American video game company, released StarCraft. This real-time strategic masterpiece will be engraved on the milestone of history. It has brought a huge impact on the computer game industry and surprised everyone.

Just like the green grass found the football-the birth of StarCraft, under the combination of the Internet bar environment, has laid an important foundation for the growth of e-sports industry in the world.

The software and hardware environment is becoming more and more mature, and the number of game followers is on the rise. Just like the stories of all sports experiences, high-level players emerged and formed a circle, the winner of competitive sports was the king, and in the culture of admiring the strong, rookies were the original sin. E-sports gradually branched out from the game culture and grew up independently.

In 2000, Samsung of South Korea invested 7 million US dollars to hold a challenge called World E-Sports WCGC, which is the predecessor of WCG, which is well-known to most players later, known as “E-Sports Olympics”.

In the era of lack of culture, the preconceived time node and the large investment of Samsung made WCG competitive and ornamental ahead of other events, thus creating a generation of e-sports.

Above the sanctuary, the hero takes the stage. The contestants who won the WCG also became the beneficiaries of the first “god-making” movement in the history of Chinese video competitions, including Chengdu native and e-sports master Ma Tianyuan.

Born in Chengdu, Ma Tianyuan became a “campus celebrity” because of his talent for playing games in his college years before 21th. After the advent of StarCraft, he began to switch to it.

In the following two years, the development of Internet culture accelerated in mainland China, so that domestic high-end players had more opportunities to communicate. As a result, Ma Tianyuan got to know many comrades-in-arms and powerful opponents. This is how the first batch of people in China’s e-sports gathered together.

In early 2000, Ma Tianyuan and his partners who jointly pursued e-sports ‘s dream came to Beijing and started the most important career of e-sports professionals in their lives.

Twenty years ago, video games were seen as the scourge of society. Againsting this background, the first generation of Chinese cyber competitors, facing the disagreement of their parents and the mainstream groups of society, practiced day after day in Internet cafes, dreaming of being able to participate in the WCG to win bonuses and honor.

In 2001, Ma Tianyuan participated in the first WCG, but was quickly eliminated. Failure didn’t make him give up, instead, he trained more crazily every day.

“China’s e-sports world champions all slept on the bench in Internet bars,” Ma Tianyuan said on the Founder’s first season.

One year later, Ma Tianyuan returned to the WCG stage and made it all the way to the finals, where the score was deadlocked at 2. 2. Finally, in front of thousands of spectators, he won the champion of StarCraft, and the audience applauded with thunderous applause. At the award ceremony, Ma Tianyuan and his teammates walked to the podium with the five-star red flag, and WCG wrote down Chinese names for the first time in history.

Over the past two decades, this scene is by no means the most well-known scene in the history of Chinese e-sports, but it is one of e-sports ‘s most valuable and pioneering champions in the early days. It inspires countless future generations to fight for the dream of e-sports and WCG championships.

After Ma Tianyuan’s triumphant return, he was interviewed by CCTV5’s “E-Sports World” program. In that era of single source of information, CCTV and local stations reported in turn to create a huge viewing effect and influence, and the public opinion about e-sports began to change from “not doing proper work” and “playing with things to lose heart”.

02 ban, stigma and broken dreams.

At the beginning of the millennium, online games have gradually developed throughout the country, and Internet bars have sprung up like bamboo shoots after a spring rain. The slogan “if you want to get rich, open an Internet bar” has become the creed of operators.

However, due to the rapid development of Internet bars and online games and the lack of systematic supervision, various problems arose, and all kinds of negative news about teenagers indulging in the Internet and Internet bars continued to be seen in the newspapers.

In the early morning of June 16, 2002, four minors were refused access to the Lanjisu Internet bar, as a result, they spilled more than a liter of gasoline and lighting the carpet at the door of the Internet bar. The fire quickly engulfed Lanjisu, and took 25 young lives.

The Lanjisu Internet bar incident became a microcosm, a fuse, and the hat of “electronic heroin” was deducted to the game industry and e-sports.

On April 12, 2004, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television issued a notice entitled “prohibition of broadcasting computer online game programs”, which directly dealt a fatal blow to the prospect of e-sports.

After the ban was issued, e-sports almost disappeared from traditional television and traditional media, including the “e-sports world”, which was regarded as the “Bible” by Chinese e-competitors at that time.

“it’s a good program, related to games, sports, industry, and more importantly, youth, passion, and vitality. Duan Xuan, the host of the show, wrote in his later memories. In the social context at that time, this comment may not resonate much except regret, but today it is meaningful.

When games and e-sports lost the platform of the mainstream media, all kinds of negative public opinion and social prejudices could no longer be suppressed and coupled with the chaos in the industry, e-sports was completely pushed into an endless dark era. This influence was so great that even later people would rather push their children into the “rehabilitation center” and refuse to see how e-sports, as a kind of sports, could make young people understand honor, hard work, and team spirit.

As a result, the road to the development of China’s e-sports, which has just embarked on the right track, was broken.

03 the courage to correct prejudice.

The e-sports in 2005 were filled with a lot of voices.

Although the ban mad games and e-sports content almost forever separated from the mainstream media, under the frozen water, the huge market demand still existed, and more and more young people began to play games.

Some people began to take the lead in calling for people to rethink the value of the industry cautiously and call for television to lift the ban on e-sports, but from the beginning of that year to the end of the year, the policy still did not relax.

Others chose to take a different approach-since I could not change the mainstream, I was going to try my best to add a new environment without a ban. As a result, digital TV and network video services have become the straw to save e-sports ‘s content. Major websites have launched video broadcasting services for major e-sports events, which has become the main output window of e-sports.

In the face of the still depressed environment, e-sports contestants were also fighting in their own way. From 2005 to 2007, Chinese players went all out in various international competitions and made proud achievements under the pressure of public opinion.

In the WCG World Finals in 2005 and 2006, Li Xiaofeng (Sky) won two “Warcraft 3” championships. This was China’s e-sports ‘s first WCG individual event world champion, “Emperor Sky”, which has become a new idol for many young people. At the same time, the Chinese wNv. GM team also won the championship for two years in WEG’s CS project.

Under the dazzling stars is a hard history of struggle. “What did e-sports have at that time? Even the contestants have to calculate their own tickets from the bonus and buy them by themselves. Without a team leader, they were under pressure from the society and the family. “If you can still get a result under such bad conditions, what is it that you are not a ‘real man’?” Zhang Peng, an ECO-esports columnist, commented.

Indeed, the world championship was the shield of Chinese e-competitors to face the negative public opinion at that time, and it also attracted more young people to pay attention to e-sports. Even so, in society 15 years ago, e-sports ‘s world champion could not be recognized by public opinion. Misunderstanding and prejudice, obsession was too deep, the life of the contestants was still in dire straits.

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As a result, the news of the dissolution of e-sports Club continued to come. E-sports Club, as a commercial body, under the restriction of public opinion environment, except for those 3C brands closely linked to games and e-sports, it could hardly be favored by traditional brands, and its commercial marketing income was dismal. Coupled with the fact that professionals from sports and entertainment had not yet flowed into e-sports, almost all clubs could only cross the river by feeling the stones. The lack of professional operation also made e-sports team only live chaos.

04 fell to the bottom of the valley.

The financial crisis broke out in 2008, affecting a large number of top companies at home and abroad, causing chaos in China’s e-sports industry, which relied heavily on external sponsorship.

Sponsors could’t even protect themselves, so how could they take care of sports clubs that were regarded as “cost centers”?

After the crisis, many clubs began to lay off staff. In the following two years, the financial crisis spread all over the world, many big clubs disintegrated and competition investment stagnated-Lenovo terminated the two-year IEST competition, Intel cut brand budget across the board, and NVIDIA no longer sponsored ESWC events.

The brand owner withdrew and left, and the e-sports industry, which had a single income model, was even worse. E-sports of China, could hardly see tomorrow.

E-sports contestants have no way out, and there were only two ways to reduce their salaries or retire. It was a pity that the short professional life of e-sports athletes simply could not prolong this unprecedented crisis, and many talented teenagers left sadly.

“The snow on the vast mountain is falling, burying the heart of the youth. “

From 2008 to 2010, China’s e-sports entered a cold winter. For three years, the industry was depressed.

Falling to the bottom might also be the beginning of the revitalization and rebound, and a small number of people chose to persevere and explore in the dark, and a new road was found.

When the impact of the 2010 financial crisis gradually faded, they found that although e-sports was still stuck in the current situation in attracting sponsors, the growing audience number and enthusiasm behind the project were on the rise. In terms of content dissemination, although it was still limited by the television ban, the domestic Internet environment became more popular than at that time.

“Although the TV ban had a great impact on e-sports’ development, we were also forced to board the new ship of the Internet and mobile Internet early because of misfortune. In retrospect, such a choice is also prescient and wise.” BBKinG, a veteran online competitor, wrote in his book, the History Behind the Scenes of Electronic Competition in China.

On the other hand, famous e-sports players, such as Ruofeng, transformed into game anchors after retirement. With the help of the rise of the new webcast platform, combined with the operation of e-commerce stores, the huge number of fans they have accumulated has been transformed into a means of cash directly facing consumers– this is also what we jokingly call the “meat muffin” model. To a certain extent, it has explored a new way to realize it for e-sports of China.

05 who is the “savior”

“Hey, buddy, have you ever heard of WE? “

“Oh? Isn’t it just a team? “

“No, it was an era. “

In the early days of e-sports in China, players such as the WE team logo and WE. Sky, like Chicago Bulls and Jordan to NBA, were totems in the hearts of e-sports fans.

In the “League of Legends” era after 2010, the WE team won several world championships in IPL5, IEM6, WEM2012 and other global competitions, which was of great significance in the slightly gloomy era of e-sports.

For young people in China at that time, “Congratulations to the WE team!” “the power is no less than Jordan’s” I’m back “in 1995, which ignited the blood, and the eyes of the outside world began to turn to this hot land.

In November 2011, the 12 largest professional e-sports clubs in China, including WE, jointly established the ACE China e-Sports Club Alliance. The organization tried to standardize the registration, management, transfer and event supervision of domestic professional e-sports teams, so as to bring a standardized operation mode for e-sports industry, so that outsiders could better understand e-sports culture and create more income.

Although some practices caused controversy, the contribution brought by the trial of ACE is still worth recording in the history of the development of e-sports in China.

In spite of this, the environment of e-sports at that time was still not optimistic. The ecology of the project was complicated, the capital factions of the team were numerous, and the practitioners were full of banditry. It was absolutely impossible for a non-governmental organization to suppress and standardize its management.

Chaos and disorder were still the main tone of e-sports ‘s industry.

NBA can go from a minority league to the center of the world sports stage due to the “ever lasting system, changing stars”-Jordan and the Bull are dazzling enough, but they are not “saviors”.Tthe real soul of NBA is its complete operation and management system.

Because of this, the e-sports of China called for strong talkers, which not only needed to strike a heavy blow against the chaos of the industry, but also could bring more development resources.

Tencent, draw the sword in the stone.

In 2010, the number of QQ users exceeded 1 billion, while the number of online users exceeded 100,000. In the same year, Tencent started TGA (Tencent Games competitive platform, which was later renamed Tencent Esports Games).

Looking back today, the establishment of TGA did get rid of the uncertainty caused by the heavy reliance on sponsors for third-party events, and provided players with a standardized event platform for the official management of the game.

At the same time, the model of TGA has also served as a key test basis for the emergence of official competitions for manufacturers in the future. Through the experience of TGA, the top projects have honed the ecology of professional e-sports, and have successfully hatched events such as CFPL and League of Legends LPL across the line of fire.

The era of official competition for manufacturers officially set sail.

As the most popular project among players at that time, LPL League of Legends Professional League was born in 2013. At the end of the same year, RNG joined hands with OMG to compete in S3 (the third League of Legends Global Finals) and finally lost in the final, and the LPL Division opened a 5-year “road to fight against South Korea”.

In the past five years, OMG had overturned the FNC team in 50 blood bases, and LGD,iG,EDG and other teams had also let e-sports fans see hope, but no one ever broke the “top eight curse” in the world arena.

In 2017, it became the node of change.

At this time, the LPL division has ushered in a lot of changes. The S race came to China for the first time, the final landed at the Bird’s Nest at the National Stadium, the league system was more perfect, traditional brands began to enter the game, and luxury car enterprise Mercedes-Benz became the sponsor of the event for the first time. E-sports has increasingly become a hot topic among the public.

In terms of club results, legendary tycoon WE returned in the spring competition, “Congratulations WE” reappeared, while RNG set up a “all-China class” lineup to ignite the mood of the Chinese people.

In the 2017 intercontinental tournament, LPL defeated its nightmarish rival LCK, China e-sports Power began to show its light; at the end of the year, S7, the Bird’s Nest was hard to get a ticket, and RNG was finally defeated, but many spectators refused to leave for a long time, chanting the team name of RNG at the scene.

Lurking for many years, the dawn has come.

In another fast-growing e-sports project, “DOTA2”, the glory and prestige of “CN DOTA” came earlier.

“If you want to get the prize money for the competition in the future, you’d better not invite them. In the documentary Free to play, NaVi contestant Dendi said.

A detailed review of the history of Chinese e-sports shows that few projects have panicked foreign teams so much, and “CN DOTA” is one of them. In 2011, the “DOTA2” produced by Valve was launched, and the “International Invitational tournament” (TI), which was established with the game, has raised the influence of “CN DOTA” to a new level.

In this event, which has the highest prize in the history of global electronic competition, the record of the Chinese Legion is gratifying. From the failure of TI1 EHOME and the success of the TI2 iG team, to the “poor skills” of TI3 and the “return to the peak” of the TI4 NB team, to the “Twilight of the Gods” of TI5 and the “National Defense Divine Wing” of the TI6 Wings team, the Chinese army, which is bound to win the championship in even years, has made the title “CN DOTA BEST DOTA” reverberate in the international arena for a long time.

I still remember the good news from Seattle from the National Protector Wing on TI6, which was conveyed to the hearts of countless Chinese people through the voices of CCTV and the Communist Youth League. The touch of red fluttering on the stage makes many people feel the sense of national honor and inspiring power brought by e-sports.

“League of Legends” and “DOTA2” catch up with each other, the PC game e-sports develops rapidly, which lays the beginning of e-sports’ cultural prosperity, while with the development of mobile Internet, Mobile e-sports moves towards the fateful historical stage.

In 2016, KPL Arena of Valor Professional League was established. At a time when Mobile e-sports was also regarded as a “pseudo-proposition” by the outside world, the rapid growth of KPL was beyond the expectations of most people.

The first KPL playoff finals, the scene was located in the smaller Shanghai World Expo Silver Hall, the organizers only put less than 1000 seats, but also worried about insufficient attendance. However, after the opening of the ticket, only 10 minutes later, enthusiastic players quickly snapped up the tickets.

A year later, in the spring of 2017, KPL officially moved the finals directly to Shanghai’s landmark Oriental Sports Center, where the number of seats increased tenfold compared with the first year, with a total of 10, 000 seats. As a result, 10, 000 tickets sold out within 10 hours.

06 in e-sports time and space, create “NBA”

From 2010 to 2017, China’s e-sports, which grew up with the Internet and mobile Internet, became more and more full of vigor and vitality. At the same time, e-sports ‘s market scale and user volume were also growing rapidly.

With the continuous heating up of e-sports industry, more and more traditional capital began to pay attention to this field. However, whether investors or sponsors, there was one of the biggest doubts before entering the game-the promotion and demotion system commonly existing in the e-sports league, as well as the unstable record closely related to the former.

If the club fails to achieve the desired results, or even fall out of the top league sequence, will it not cost them all? Why can’t e-sports league players learn traditional sports and turn themselves into a stable “real estate”?

In early 2018, LPL made enough reforms to go down in the history of electric games– officials abolished the original upgrade and downgrade system, and replaced it with a NBA-like franchise model and opened a seat tender.

After this reform, the value of LPL seats has become more stable and scarce, so that the management no longer has nothing to worry about.

Reform brings opportunities and risks. In the early days of LPL’s announcement of the reform, fans were far more skeptical than applauded-although the LPL Division’s performance in the World Series was far from satisfactory, wouldn’t the sudden removal of the pressure for promotion and demotion effected the club?

In the face of doubt, the competition competitiveness of LPL has not declined after the franchise reform, but has been significantly improved in the construction of the competition and training system. With the additional investment from the management, the club has been able to use new people more boldly, and the youth training system has been continuously improved, increasing the talent reserve and rotation creativity, so as to make the professionalization and specialization of China’s “League of Legends” e-sports more sound.

The reform is still going on.

In the face of the tradition of “one city, one team” in traditional sports, the LPL Alliance carries out the reform of the regional home and away system to help clubs get in touch with local governments, increase regional empathy among fans and create new sources of income. For example, WE and Xi’an, LGD and Hangzhou, JDG and Beijing, the former RNG and Beijing have all created a story.

In the field of Mobile e-sports, KPL, as a latecomer, has also taken advantage of Tencent Esports’s experience, and the two major reforms have come more quickly. The professional perfection and brand value of the club are also accelerating, and the linkage with local governments such as Shanghai and Chengdu is becoming more and more frequent. It is called Tencent Esports’s two “locomotives” with LPL.

Under the background of the prosperity of projects such as “League of Legends” and “Arena of Valor”, the incomparably brilliant “CN DOTA” is gradually drifting away from the fast track of e-sports’ development in China.

However, the final glory of “CN DOTA” seems to stay in TI6.

After Wings won the championship, it fell apart due to a dispute over bonuses with ACE, an e-sports club alliance in China. Since then, the Chinese Legion has never been on the podium of the TI, and the law of “winning the championship in even years” has been broken.

Admittedly, the inability to win the championship is related to the strength and opportunities of the club, but the ecological chaos of e-sports of “DOTA2” is also a big problem.

On October 10, 2020, the total prize of the 10th DOTA2 International Invitational tournament (TI10) officially exceeded 40 million US dollars. The high bonus incentive forces the teams to focus on this event, sprint to win the championship, but ignore their own construction and benign operation.

Another result is that there is a serious gap between new and old players, there is not enough fresh blood to keep running, and the contestants are aging seriously. At present, we can still see many veteran players of “DOTA” still fighting on the field. Compared with the “generation of talented people” in other events, in e-sports ‘s sports, which attaches great importance to age, this is obviously not conducive to the long-term development of the team.

As the game manufacturer of DOTA2, Valve is considered to be the person in charge of this racetrack, but so far, they have not established a stable race system and commercial environment, so that the participants can develop healthily, and there is no way for external brands to sponsor events. It is not too much to use “slack” to describe Valve’s attitude towards “DOTA2” events. Even gradually, more and more “DOTA2” teams begin to connect with “gambling” and “false match”, and their future development becomes more and more confused.

07 break through the circle, from minority hobby to mass sports.

The LPL of the reform results rise abruptly based on its accumulated strength, which made a new breakthrough in the achievements of e-sports, China’s “League of Legends” which had repeatedly failed before.

RNG won the championship in the 2018 MSI season in Paris, France, and several state media, which had disappeared from e-sports ‘s world for many years, sent congratulations. In the S8 final, South Korea’s home stage, iG crushed FNC at 3:0. A year later, S9 FPX continued to write the chapter of victory.

As a result, LPL became the number one division in the world at that time.

Like sports, the most excited group is always the audience. IG is the first LPL team to win the global championship. On the night of victory, all over the country, especially university dormitories, the earth-shaking cheers of young people broke out at the same time. Due to the homonym of “iG” and “Egypt”, it even alarmed the Consulate General of Egypt in Shanghai to share the same joy.

The celebrition of young people is also seen as a kind of venting. E-sports, which win glory for the country on the highest stage in the world, have glorified, died out, and struggled. These experiences and emotions echo the lost youth of a generation of young people who love e-sports.

With flowers and applause, e-sports finally came out from the dark Internet bars, cold benches and dark years to welcome more identities.

At the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, e-sports was listed as a performance event in the Intercontinental Top Games for the first time. The Chinese team won two gold medals and one silver medal in “AoV (Arena of Valor International version)”, “League of Legends” and “Royal War”, ranking first in the gold medal list of e-sports in the current event and handing over a perfect answer.

It has been the long-cherished wish of Chinese e-sports for many years to “reach the top of Asia” and surpass the original Big Brother South Korea. After achieving phased achievements, e-sports also made the mainstream media and all sectors of society pay more attention to this field with the help of the Asian Games, during which CCTV filmed the documentary “E-Sports in China”. While e-sports reappeared on CCTV, it further eliminated the social misunderstandings accumulated in the early years.

Over the past few years, e-sports has successfully broken through the circle and grown strongly from the original “unprofessional” and “minority projects” to become a “mass sports” and “future sports”. Local governments, which were originally uncertain about e-sports, have also successively introduced a series of policies to support the development of e-sports ‘s industry, helping various competitions and clubs to land, hoping to seize the opportunity of this “new economy for young people.”

The large brands were also unwilling to be lonely.

Over the past few years, from leagues to clubs, the number of sponsors has increased exponentially. A large number of traditional brands such as Mercedes-Benz, KFC, L’Oreal Paris, vivo, McDonald’s and so on have been added to the game. E-sports Club has begun to work towards the direction of commercial balance of income and expenditure from relying heavily on capital injection.

Stepping into the circle of mature projects, e-sports is also developing towards diversification. Many emerging projects after the popularity of the game, can quickly follow the experience of their predecessors, explore their own e-sports ecological model, Game for Peace is one of them.

Since the start of the first PEL League in 2019, PEL is constantly creating and expanding its own competition territory by relying on its unique multi-team competitive characteristics. In 2020, PEL launched the “Weekly Champion” mechanism, with a weekly bonus of 3 million yuan and a weekly champion of 1 million yuan, which injected a strong push into e-sports ‘s ecology.

In addition to the new projects, the “old e-sports project”, which has been silent for many years, such as the “FIFA” category and the “NBA2K” category with the theme of football and basketball, also coruscate new vitality.

With the full support of traditional sports organizations, the Chinese Super League and “FIFA Online 4” reached a cooperation to hold the Chinese Super League e-sports exhibition match. At the end of 2019, the Bundesliga sent four clubs to China to participate in the “FIFA Online 4” International Grand Prix.

08 Black Swan and Sports “Savior”

At the beginning of 2020, a sudden COVID-19 epidemic swept the world.

In just a few months, the traditional sports industry, which relies heavily on offline scenes, was forced to shut down. The global economy was depressed, and top traditional sports events such as the Olympic Games, the European Cup, the five major leagues of Europe and the four major leagues of North America have been postponed.

At the same time, with the advantage of online flexibility, e-sports industry made rapid adjustments and took the lead in resuming work. Due to the reason that players were forced to stay at home during the epidemic, the flow of video games increased sharply, and the popularity of e-sports events also received this dividend, which once became the only running sports event content.

According to the Global e-sports Sports Industry Development report 2020, the number of Chinese e-sports audiences increased by about 26 million during the epidemic, and China contributed the largest share of global revenue, making it the most commercially valuable e-sports market.

During the suspension of traditional sports events, brands have also lost the opportunity to appear on camera. As a result of the long epidemic, fans’ content viewing habits have been forced to change, and it is urgent for brand marketing to shift to online scenes.

In this context, e-sports competition has become a “lifesaver” for major brands. Thanks to the joint efforts of League of Legends manufacturers, Tecent and the Shanghai municipal government, the S10 global finals were successfully held in Shanghai, making it one of the most watched sports events this year.

The traffic is so hot that no one wants to miss the train of e-sports. According to ECO-esports statistics, during S10, more than dozens of brands cooperated with the competition officials and districts, and more than a hundred brands sponsored the participating clubs. In addition, in Shanghai, more than a hundred brands have participated in S10-related activities.

The club has also achieved good results, although the LPL team on S10 failed to win the championship trophy this year. In today’s increasingly mature e-sports, achievement is important, but it is no longer the only measure of business value. The seat system has further changed the mentality of big brands for e-sports ‘s investment, in addition to the protection of exposure, several core events in a year and the hot search after winning the championship, have made more large brands actively participate in the competition of e-sports Club.

On September 16th, the 2020LPL Club Business Development Forum was held in Shanghai, and we came to the scene as representatives of sports media. Interestingly, more than half of the participants at the scene were traditional sports companies that were interested in e-sports ‘s field and wanted to cooperate. From the business model, e-sports is not their “savior”, but through a 20-year overtaking, it has become a key track that the sports industry has to pay attention to, study and cooperate with.

One piece of news was that at the launch conference of Tengjing Sports (LPL), legal person Huang Lingdong said that he wanted to make “League of Legends” e-sports the most professional, influential and commercially valuable sporting event in China. At present, they are infinitely approaching this goal.

Conclusion

Twenty years have run through the whole youth of a generation, and it has also witnessed the process of e-sports’ success from a small Internet bar to the Bird’s Nest Gymnasium under the efforts of a generation.

In the next 20 years of China’s e-sports, as a famous saying of Churchill: there is no final success-the struggle will continue, and the defeat will always be accompanied; there is no fatal failure-whether it is the age of blockade or the dark years; the important thing is the courage to move on-to respect the persistence of a generation, to understand failure, to come from the dark to the light.

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