News Roundup: Dec 5, 2020 - Please rate your esports professional on a scale of 1 to 5

Vol 3.37 | December 5, 2020

Hello Esports Enthusiasts!

I started my research this week thinking it was a light news week for esports in China. HA! There is never a light news week for esports in China. Lesson learned.

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p.s. scroll down to “The Ecology” if you are puzzled by the email header today


Leagues & Tournaments

Clash Royale

  • The Clash Royale League World Finals begin today at Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, although only 2 teams, Nova Esports and W.EDGM, are competing onsite. The remaining 6 teams are competing online from their home countries, for a mix of online and offline competition, produced in China by VSPN. Fun trailer below – can you name all of the Shanghai streets it was filmed on?

Crossfire Mobile

Dota2

  • Eight of China’s top Dota2 teams are currently competing in the AMD SAPPHIRE OGA Dota PIT China Season 4, which resulted from the need to geographically split the international Dota PIT given the pandemic. The tournament ends on December 12, after which the teams go straight into the Huya Dota2 Winter Invitational, held by Huya with the China Dota2 Professional Association (CDA) and Fuming Wenhe.

Honor of Kings [王者荣耀]

Multi-Title

Global

Club News

Research & Data

A new report from Lanxiong Sports and Esports Business Meta tracked private investments in esports companies globally in 2020, finding a total of 142 disclosed esports investments from Jan through October, of which 111 disclosed amounts raised for a total of $1.187B USD. The vast majority of investments were below $5M USD, largely angel and seed round funding. Only two rounds exceeded $100M USD: U.S.-based SkillZ ($159M) and China’s VSPN ($100M).

Despite VSPN appearing in the top, investments in Chinese companies make up a small portion of the total, raising questions about the amount of undisclosed investment. Also, the preponderance of “toe in the water” investments this year is worth considering next to a recent industry survey by Foley & Larnder LLP and TEO supporting the likelihood of increased investment and deal activity to come in the esports space.

The Ecology

National

China’s esports industry is anticipating the release of national vocational skill standards for the “esports player” [电子竞技员] and “esports practitioner” [电子竞技运营师] professional classifications, established in 2019 by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) [人力资源和社会保障部] , after a final review meeting concluded nearly one year of study by the MOHRSS and the China Cultural Management Association (CCMA) [中国文化管理协]. A highlight of the conference was a presentation by Wei Jizhong, honorary vice president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and a vice president of the Tencent-backed Global Esports Federation (GEF), who endorsed the new standards as leading to “the road of the healthy and orderly development of esports industry.”

The professionalization of esports careers and the adoption of vocational standards reflect the maturity of the esports market in China but also exemplify the top-down focus on esports that is unique to China, and fascinating for international observers. For example, the standards are expected to include basic qualifications, job requirements, and scope, and a 5-level vocation skill rating scale. How might the player salary market be influenced by the ratings, which is generally characterized by low compensation except for the upper echelon of top players, who can command more than $1.5M USD / ¥10M RMB annually? Will the incidence of player and team misconduct, such as match-fixing, be improved? Will the standards help clarify an academic path for aspiring esports talent? Watch this space!

Guangzhou

On November 28, Guangzhou’s Huangpu District announced that it would host the 2020 LoL Demacia Cup from December 21 - 27, bringing together 24 professional teams including 17 from the LPL. At the same press conference the “Greater Bay Area International Esports Innovation Center” [大湾区国际电竞创新中心] was launched, along with a new industrial policy to develop the Huangpu District esports industry, focusing on revitalizing the Yuzhu old town area [鱼珠片区老城市]. A $153M USD / ¥1B RMB esports industry fund will be established, with incentives including:

Beyond Esports


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