A Guide To Esports In China

Introduction: Understanding Esports In China

Esports has exploded in popularity around the globe in recent years, and China is no exception. Boasting the world’s largest esports market with revenues of $403.1 million in 2021, China has become a dominant force within the competitive gaming arena.

Misconceptions abound when it comes to this thriving industry, yet unique cultural contexts and innovative policies have propelled Chinese esports to international prominence.

In this comprehensive guide to esports in China, we will delve into revealing statistics, explore emerging trends and opportunities within the sector and discuss governmental influences shaping its growth.

Key Takeaways

  • China’s esports industry is the largest in the world, with revenue streams mainly coming from games, content streaming, and tournaments.
  • Unique cultural contexts within China have helped boost esports’ legitimacy and acceptance among the public. The government’s recognition of it as a legitimate sport has significantly contributed to this growth.
  • Content streaming and virtual reality devices for sports gaming present emerging revenue streams and market opportunities for domestic and foreign investors in this lucrative sector.
  • There are several major players in China’s esports industry, including top teams such as Royal Never Give Up (RNG), Invictus Gaming (IG), FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) in League of Legends, PSG.LGD in Dota 2 along with elite players like Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida.

The Rise And Scope Of Esports In China

The esports industry in China has seen significant growth over the past few years, with a market size of $403.1 million in 2021 and revenue streams mainly coming from games, content streaming, and tournaments.

Overview Of Esports Industry Trends In China

China’s esports market has witnessed exponential growth in recent years, making it the largest in the world. Dominating this thriving industry is revenue from games, accounting for a staggering 83.29%.

Taking advantage of this ever-evolving landscape are prominent video game developers like Tencent and NetEase, along with other emerging startups seizing opportunities presented by content streaming (13.96% of revenue) and tournaments (1.24%).

With global influences extending throughout numerous virtual sports titles, China is now recognised as one of the most significant players in gaming worldwide.

Emerging Revenue Streams And Market Opportunities For Domestic And Foreign Investors

China’s esports industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, creating new revenue streams and market opportunities for domestic and foreign investors. One of the most significant revenue streams is content streaming, which amounted to 13.96% of China’s esports revenue in 2021.

In addition to content streaming, the emergence of virtual sports games with VR devices has created new opportunities for investors. These virtual reality games have become popular among consumers seeking an immersive gaming experience that mimics real-world athletic competition.

Foreign investors also have an opportunity to take part in China’s vast esports market by capitalising on emerging revenue streams like sponsorships and merchandising.

Overall, China’s thriving esports industry provides ample opportunities for both domestic and foreign investors who are willing to take advantage of the many emerging revenue streams available within this exciting sector.

Misconceptions About Chinese Esports

There are various misconceptions about Chinese esports that need to be addressed. Firstly, some people believe that the industry is dominated by males only, but this is not true as there are many female players and team leaders in China’s esports scene.

Secondly, there is a belief that esports is just a hobby in China, but it is a serious business with huge profits and government support.

Moreover, some outsiders assume that certain games like League of Legends or Valorant are the only popular ones within the Chinese market when other local games have their place too.

Lastly, it has been suggested that the digital culture and infrastructure of China makes it easier for cybercrime groups such as hacking teams to exploit these channels often flourishing under illegitimate circumstances which could also influence competitive gaming- although cybersecurity remains an issue everywhere and not specific to China’s practice area.

China’s Esports Scene: Stats And Facts

Recent statistics reveal that China’s esports market is projected to reach $569 million in revenue by 2022, with the majority of revenue coming from mobile gaming.

Analyzing Recent Statistics To Understand The Size Of China’s Esports Market

To truly grasp the enormity of China’s esports market, it is essential to examine recent statistics that reveal its rapid growth and remarkable potential.

Statistic Value Significance
China’s esports market size in 2021 $403.1 million China is the largest esports market in the world, positioning it as a global leader in the industry.
Revenue breakdown Games (83.29%), content streaming (13.96%), tournaments (1.24%) Chinese esports revenues come from a diverse range of sources, with games making up the majority, followed by content streaming and tournament organisation.
Integration of esports into national policy Part of China’s innovation policy Esports is considered a crucial component in China’s efforts to foster innovation and drive economic growth, further highlighting its importance in the nation’s development plans.
Global prominence China is the most prominent nation in the global video game industry China’s dominance in the video game industry translates to a strong presence in the esports arena, with the ability to influence trends and shape the future of the sector.
Unique history and cultural context China’s esports industry boasts a rich history and cultural significance Understanding the unique aspects of China’s esports scene is crucial for both domestic and foreign investors looking to tap into this lucrative market.
Emerging technologies Fierce bodily sports video games with virtual reality devices China is leading the way in developing and integrating innovative technologies within the esports industry, making it an exciting market for investors and enthusiasts alike.

As the data indicates, China’s esports market is a thriving and diverse industry with immense growth potential. This offers a wealth of opportunities for investors, developers, and esports enthusiasts looking to become involved in this rapidly expanding, highly influential global market.

Unique Cultural Contexts Of Esports Within China

Esports has a unique cultural context within China that sets it apart from other countries. In traditional Chinese culture, gaming is seen as an inferior activity, associated with wasting time and lack of productivity.

The government’s recognition of esports as a legitimate sport has helped boost its legitimacy and acceptance among the public.

Another cultural aspect unique to China’s esports industry are the fans themselves.

Overall, understanding these unique cultural contexts is essential for foreign investors looking to enter the Chinese market successfully.

Popular Esports Games In China

China is a hub for esports and has a thriving gaming industry. Here are some of the popular esports games in China:

  1. Honor of Kings: This multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game saw over 100 million daily active users in 2020 and generated $2.4 billion in revenue.
  2. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG): This battle royale game has gained immense popularity in China since its release in 2017, with millions of players across the country.
  3. League of Legends (LoL): LoL is one of the most popular MOBA games globally and has a significant player base in China.
  4. CrossFire: A first-person shooter game that has been popular in China for over a decade, it continues to maintain its popularity among Chinese gamers.
  5. FIFA Online: The Chinese love football, and FIFA Online is one of the most popular sports games played on PC or mobile devices.

The popularity of these games adds to the already vast gaming industry in China that generates billions of dollars each year.

Major Players And Infrastructure In Chinese Esports

China’s esports industry boasts several major players, including top teams and players, and is supported by a strong infrastructure that includes major Chinese leagues and competitions, as well as government policies promoting innovation in the sector.

Top Teams And Players In China

China has a thriving esports scene, with numerous teams and players making waves both domestically and internationally. Here are some of the top teams and players in China:

Royal Never Give Up (RNG) – this League of Legends team is one of the most successful in China’s history, having won numerous domestic titles.

Invictus Gaming (IG) – also a League of Legends team, IG has had significant success both domestically and internationally, winning the 2018 League of Legends World Championship.

FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) – another successful League of Legends team from China, FPX won the 2019 World Championship.

PSG.LGD – this Dota 2 team is one of the strongest in China, having achieved consistent success at major tournaments.

Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida – this Chinese Dota 2 player is widely considered one of the best in the world, having won multiple major tournaments throughout his career.

Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao – Uzi is a retired League of Legends player who remains one of the most popular and beloved figures in China’s esports scene.

Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei – another retired player, BurNIng was an accomplished Dota 2 player who helped pave the way for China’s dominance in the game.

These teams and players represent just a few examples of the incredible talent within China’s esports scene, which continues to grow and evolve at a rapid pace.

Major Chinese Esports Leagues And Competitions

China has an extensive esports infrastructure, with several major leagues and competitions that attract millions of viewers. Here is a list of the most significant ones:

League of Legends Pro League (LPL)

King Pro League (KPL)

  • China’s leading mobile game tournament
  • Features games like Honor of Kings and PUBG Mobile

Overwatch League (OWL) – Asia-Pacific Region

  • A global esports league owned by Blizzard Entertainment featuring Overwatch
  • Has six teams from China

Honor of Kings World Champion Cup (KCC)

  • The largest international tournament for the mobile game Honor of Kings
  • Features teams from all over the world

CrossFire Stars Invitational (CFSI)

  • An annual international tournament for the first-person shooter game CrossFire
  • Hosted by Tencent Games, a Chinese multinational conglomerate

These leagues and competitions have helped establish China as a global leader in esports. With huge prize pools and high-quality gameplay, they continue to attract players and fans alike, both within China and around the world.

The Role Of Government In Esports

The Chinese government plays a significant role in the development and regulation of esports within the country. In 2016, it was announced that esports would be officially recognised as a profession by China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, providing legitimacy to professional gamers and their careers.

However, with great power comes great responsibility, as seen through China’s strict regulations on game content and player behaviour. The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) monitors games to ensure they align with Chinese values and principles while also enforcing age restrictions on certain titles.

Despite some criticisms, China’s supportive policies have undoubtedly contributed to its position at the forefront of global esports development.

Esports Infrastructure In China

China’s investment in esports infrastructure is unparalleled. The country has made significant investments in esports venues, with some featuring state-of-the-art technology and amenities.

Moreover, China has embraced innovative approaches to broadcasting live tournaments. Tencent – a Chinese multinational conglomerate- has taken advantage of various platforms such as streaming sites Douyu and Huya to widen its audience reach.

As for training facilities, many top teams operate in-house training bases managed by coaches who offer personalised training programs for team members.

In summary, China’s esports infrastructure is world-class and continues to evolve with modern technology emerging each day.

Challenges And Opportunities For Esports In China

China’s esports industry faces several challenges, including government regulations and industry competition, but it also presents various opportunities for foreign investors looking to tap into the world’s largest esports market.

Government Regulations And Industry Challenges

The esports industry in China is heavily regulated by the government, which can pose challenges for both domestic and foreign investors. The Chinese government has strict policies on content, with restrictions on violence and political sensitivities, which can limit the types of games that are allowed to be played competitively.

Industry challenges go beyond just regulation as well. With an increasingly crowded market, competition among teams and organisations is fierce. Sponsorship deals can also be difficult to secure due to concerns over the reputational risk associated with violent or addictive gameplay.

Despite these challenges, the future of esports in China looks bright thanks to ongoing support from the government and growing interest from consumers. As the largest market globally for gaming and esports, there are still plenty of opportunities for growth and innovation – especially as new technologies like virtual reality continue to emerge.

The Future Of Esports In China And Its Global Influence

The future of esports in China is bright and promising, with the industry showing no sign of slowing down. In fact, it is expected to continue growing significantly in the coming years, largely due to government support and investment.

China’s dominant position in the global esports market also means that its influence on the industry as a whole is set to become increasingly important. As Chinese teams win more international tournaments and events, they will further establish themselves as powerhouses within competitive gaming.

Conclusion And Key Takeaways

In conclusion, China’s esports industry is a phenomenon that cannot be ignored. Its growth has been remarkable over the years and continues to attract both domestic and foreign investors in the market.

Despite some challenges related to government regulations and cultural differences, there are still major opportunities for growth within this industry. With its unique history, booming economy, and dedicated fan base, it’s easy to see why China is leading the way in the global esports scene.

It’s safe to say that esports in China is more than just a hobby; it’s a massive cultural force with vast potential for continued expansion.


What is the current state of esports in China?

Esports has become a massive industry in China, with millions of people taking part in tournaments and watching events online or on television. With government support and investment, there is enormous potential for growth in this arena.

What are some popular esports games played in China?

Popular esports games played in China include League of Legends, CrossFire, Honor of Kings, PUBG Mobile and Dota 2. These games have large communities that compete regularly through both casual and professional leagues.

Are there any regulations or restrictions on esports competition in China?

The Chinese government regulates the organisation and operation of esports competitions to ensure fair play and safety for participants. Additionally, players under the age of 18 are not permitted to participate professionally without permission from their parents or guardians.

How can I get involved with esports culture in China?

There are plenty of ways to immerse yourself into the world of esports culture when visiting or living within Chinese society such as attending live matches at many stadiums located throughout major cities like Beijing & Shanghai; participating in various gaming forums where discussions revolve around the latest trends/news related eSports scene; joining groups/communities specifically focused towards gamers which feature matchmaking resources plus other socialisation activities/events geared towards enthusiasts looking connect each other find fellow e-sport enthusiasts alike!

Is China good at esports?

Yes, China has established a strong reputation in the global esports scene. The country’s teams and individual players have achieved significant success in various esports titles. Here are a few noteworthy achievements:

League of Legends (LoL): Chinese teams have consistently performed well in the League of Legends World Championship, one of the biggest esports tournaments in the world. Teams like Invictus Gaming and FunPlus Phoenix have won the championship in the past.

Dota 2: Chinese teams such as Invictus Gaming, Newbee, and Wings Gaming have won The International, the biggest Dota 2 tournament with the highest prize pool in esports.

Honor of Kings: This is a hugely popular mobile game in China (known as Arena of Valor in Western markets), and Chinese teams dominate its esports scene.

CrossFire: This is another game where Chinese teams have a strong presence, especially at the CrossFire Stars tournament.

It’s also worth noting that China has a massive esports market, with millions of esports viewers and numerous professional teams. The country has invested heavily in esports infrastructure, including training facilities and stadiums.

Who is the best gamer in China?

As of February 16, 2023, the highest earning esports player in China is Wang Chunyu, also known as Ame. Throughout his esports gaming career, Ame has earned around $3.9 million. He, along with many of the top Chinese esports players, specialises in playing Dota 2, a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game.

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