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

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of

  • School reopening can’t wait

    With the Covid-19 pandemic now well into its second year, safely reopening schools has become an urgent priority. School attendance is critical for children’s education and lifetime prospects. The long-term costs of closures – both for individual children and society – are simply too large to

  • PM: Herd immunity possible by November

    Within the next few days Cambodia, will have vaccinated three million people towards its target of 10 million, according to Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine. The speedy vaccination campaign has been given the slogan “Cambodia: A small country with a big heart when it comes