China becomes the largest esports market, creating $360 million of revenue in 2020

Eight esports titles are finally confirmed as medal events on the 2022 Asian Games, including League of Legends, Dota 2, and FIFA. The Games will be held in Hangzhou from 10 September to 25 September 2022.

This is not the debut of esports in the Asian Games. In 2018, Arena of Valor and League of Legends were already featured at the Asian Games in Jakarta as demonstration events, meaning medals from the competitions are not included in the official overall medal tally. However, China’s two gold medals won in the games served as a powerful boost in esports’ popularity, attracting 174.4 million Chinese people to esports events.

Over the past five years, esports has seen rapid growth in China, thanks to favourable policies and a growing player base. In February, esports players were officially recognised as a profession in China. And in 2021, esports users reached 474 million, amongst whom 234 million are core players. With such a large user base, China has become the largest market for esports tournaments, creating $360 million of revenue in 2020.

The promising future of esports also indicates possible cooperation in other sectors. As a major player in esports, Tencent proposed the concept of building “Superdigital Scenarios” around esports. “We want to bring more possibilities to this industry. From a cup of coffee to travel and culture, we can connect esports with everything and make it a new type of lifestyle”, said Ma Xiaoyi, the senior vice president of Tencent.

Take esports hotels, the past year has seen over 9,000 new businesses registered with online travel agents in China. Although with a price that is normally 10% to 30% higher than normal ones, those esports rooms are very popular amongst young people, particularly Gen-Z.

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