Shanghai is moving forward for being an esports center as the city witnessed the closure of the Intel World Open, the first high-profile offline esports event in Shanghai in 2022.

Eight teams attended the offline four-day event, with Team Aster winning the final gold prize on Saturday.

Perfect World, one of the organizers, vowed to take this first large-scale esports event in China in 2022 to showcase China’s efforts in the global esports competitions. 

China’s esports have developed fast in recent years and their influence in the global esports industry has grown stronger as the country has become the world’s largest esports market. China’s Edward Gaming team earned their first-ever League of Legends World Championship title with a 3-2 win over South Korea in the League of Legends World Championship final in November last year.

The size of China’s esports center is anticipated to grow 130.8 percent year-on-year to reach 173.6 billion yuan ($27.36 billion) in 2021 and to further expand in the coming years, according to a joint report released in December by China’s leading game live streaming company, Huya Inc, and the Communications University of China. 

Shanghai ranks second in the world and first in Asia in a list of esports cities released by a research team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in December last year, according to online news outlet

Shanghai scored 94.9 points in the ranking, next only to Los Angeles.

Market watchers said that the rapid development of the esports center in Shanghai has brought a convenient environment for players as most of the high-level e-sports suppliers in the country are located in the city. Additionally, many first-class esports teams are also in Shanghai.

The gaming industry has been under a strict restriction of gaming time as the government has issued a new rule limiting the time for players aged under 18 to between 8pm and 9pm only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays. The move aims to tackle video gaming addiction among young people.

Robert H. Xiao, CEO of Perfect World, said that the esports industry has entered a relatively mature state and both the growth of game users and their preferences have remained stable.

“It will not grow as fast as before but it will remain relatively flat,” Xiao said. 

From the perspective of capital, shares of large companies in the industry will be relatively stable and small and medium-sized companies will have more opportunities for innovation and breakthroughs, Xiao explained, adding that in the future, it is not ruled out that more acquisitions and mergers will gradually occur in the gaming industry.

Xiao said that regardless of users, market, or capital level, the stable and sustainable growth will be the main tone of China’s game market in the future. “In the long run, the gaming market is like film or entertainment, which may have some ups and downs, but it is basically stable, healthy and developing upward,” Xiao said. 

In November of last year, Hangzhou 2022 organizers officially announced the events for the Esports at the Hangzhou Asian Games in a press conference during the 2021 China International Import Expo.

The eight games disputing medals are FIFA online 4, PUBG Mobile Asian Games Version, Arena of Valor Asian Games Version, DOTA2, League of Legends, Dream Three Kingdoms 2, HearthStone and Street Fighter V.

Source: Global Times

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