Chinese e-sports club OMG won the championship at the first PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) Global Invitational (PGI) in Berlin, Germany, in late July. It is considered a landmark event for China's e-sports industry as it marks the first time a Chinese club has won the PUBG Championship at an international competition.
E-sports have as much influence as traditional sports today. The PGI finals attracted 200,000 comments on the bullet screen—a phenomenon whereby real-time comments from viewers fly across the screen like bullets—of a single video sharing platform.
On July 24, the State General Administration of Sports announced that China will host the 2018 National E-Sports Open, where PUBG will be listed as an exhibition competition and League of Legends, StarCraft 2 and Hearthstone will be categorized as formal competitions. The final will be held in December.
Moreover, six video games, including Arena of Valor, were included in the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, in late August.
According to the market research firm iResearch, China's e-sports market value was 65 billion yuan ($9.5 billion) in 2017, indicating that the industry had embarked on high-speed growth.
Currently, the industry has formed a value chain incorporating game development, competition hosting and the production of byproducts.
Figuring out how to make the industry more professional and reduce its underground nature has become the concern of industry members.
In addition, the training of e-sports-related talent should also be strengthened to keep up with the development of the industry. To this end, several domestic universities set up e-sports majors last year.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article originally published in Oriental Outlook on August 23)