2018 League of Legends World Championship, one of the annual eSports extravaganza with high-attention around the world, kicked off in Busan, South Korea yesterday.
eSports, short for “Electronic Sports”, are a form of competition in video games, whose commonly genres are real-time strategy(RTS), first-person shooter(FPS), fighting and multiplayer online battle arena(MOBA). As an emerging industry, eSports grow up with an incredible speed. Global eSports revenue will achieve to a newly-highest peak of 905.6 million US dollars in 2018 and be predicted to reach 1,650 million dollars until 2021, as stated in 2018 Global eSports Market Report by Newzoo, a global professional company providing insights in eSports.
2018 League of Legends Worlds kicked off on Wednesday in Busan
Teenagers are the main force to build eSports industry structure. There are more than 300,000 eSports players in Hong Kong, with nearly 90 per cent aged between 13 to 21, according to a City University study in 2017. However, with large number of fanatics, eSports in Hong Kong are in infancy, not form a relatively integrated industry chain as in the neighborhood like Mainland China, Taiwan and South Korea.
Take League of Legends for an example. Teenagers in Hong Kong can find a tougher way to the professionalism compared to Mainland China, where the popularity of eSports is tremendous with high investment from corporations. “We built a youth training system for potential eSports talents in Hong Kong,” said Mr. Derek Cheung, the founder and owner of Hong Kong Attitude, the first professional eSports club in Hong Kong, “Most of the talented players usually choose to join in a eSports team in Mainland China after we’ve trained them for 2 to 3 years. Finally we tend to do the transaction with other teams for players rather than youth training.”
Mr. Derek Cheung (Left) Talked about Hong Kong eSports Environments
Hong Kong Government invested 50 million HK dollars to create a multifunctional venue at Cyberport. The venue will feature with undertaking large-scale eSports tournament and as an incubator for cultivating younger talents. Furthermore, HKU SPACE launched a eSports Programme of Diploma in eSports Science incorporated with Cyberport in early June, aiming to train behind-the-scene talents for the emerging industry in Hong Kong.
“There are limited positions for eSports in Hong Kong,” said Derek, “what a game company or a eSports club focus on is not whether you own this diploma. What you learned on the course is far away from what the TMT industry is.” The staffs engaged in eSports are mainly the former professionals who retired from the professional competition. Internet of Things(IoT) are supposed to be added in the requirements of courses in secondary schools in Hong Kong instead of eSports, in Derek’s statement, “eSports relies on the large platforms such as Facebook, Google applications, WeChat.”
Lots of people only see the high salary a professional could bring to a family during the area in flourish of eSports. They are blind to push their kids to the path to eSports professionals without evaluating the uniqueness of the industry. In fact, the quotas for qualification of eSports professional players are tiny in Hong Kong. Players not only have internal characteristics like talent in video games, unique perception of games and counter-parties, perseverance, but also gain the awareness of the theoretical insights of eSports industry and figure out the revenue generating mechanism.