Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chinese gaming graduates to new level at universities




Chinese gaming graduates to new level at universities

Students practise computer games in an eSports class at the Lanxiang technical school on January 29 in Jinan, China. Greg Baker/AFP
Students practise computer games in an eSports class at the Lanxiang technical school on January 29 in Jinan, China. Greg Baker/AFP

Chinese gaming graduates to new level at universities

by Shi Futian

CHINA DAILY/ANN - Gaming may still be considered the enemy by many Chinese parents, but that doesn’t mean university students–even those from the country’s most prestigious institutes – are missing out on the eSports boom.

On Sunday, the final of the 2018 University Cyber League’s North Division wrapped up in Beijing, where eight universities, including top schools like Tsinghua University, Peking University and Renmin University of China, fought it out in five different battlefields such as soccer game “FIFA online3”, first-person shooter “Cross Fire” and multiplayer online battle arena hit “League of Legends.”

The East, West and Central South Division finals will kick off before the end of the month, with the winners qualifying for a national championship.

As the only eSports tournament approved by the Federation of University Sports of China, the inaugural 2018 UCL, co-organised by Tencent Sports, is so far the biggest of its kind, boasting the most teams and the nation’s top university players.

Tencent describes the UCL as “a sports and entertainment extravaganza” and one which can facilitate the healthy and sustainable development of eSports in China.

“University plays a vital role in facilitating the standardisation and industrialisation of a healthy eSports industry in China,” said Ewell Zhao, general manager of Tencent Sports.

The birth of the UCL is just another example of China’s booming eSports industry.

According to a 2017 China Game Industry Report published by Penguin Intelligence, the market value of China’s eSports sector reached 20 billion yuan (about $3 billion), generated by gamers’ spending, copyright distribution, merchandising and e-commerce.

The number of registered online gamers jumped to from 170 million in 2016 to 220 million in 2017 – 24 percent of those were from universities, which equates to about 53 million students.

However, while Chinese professional leagues like King Pro League are driving the development of pro gaming clubs and coaches, university eSports remains in its infancy.

“We started the eSports society of our university three years ago, and it was organised by students with no help from teachers or the school,” said Li Jiyun, captain of Renmin University of China’s team that was crowned League of Legends champion on Sunday.

“In order to balance school work and training, we can only train after class from about 6pm-10pm.”

That’s a considerably more structured regime than Peking University’s freshmen-only team has managed.

“Initially, as the freshmen, we just used games like ‘King of Glory’ as a way to get to know each other and we just got it started in 2017,” said Peking’s captain, Ge Jiadi. “In the very beginning, there was just several of us, and now there are over a hundred. We assembled the team by ourselves.”

Ge from Peking University hopes that eSports can become more accepted by the mainstream.

It appears he may get his wish.

The Olympic Council of Asia confirmed that eSports will be part of the 2018 and 2022 Asian Games, while the International Olympic Council has said that eSports “could be considered a sporting activity”. china daily

MOST VIEWED

  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,