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Last week, the biggest development in China’s esports industry happened in the city of Chengdu. Not only was the first Dota 2 Major announced to take place in the city, but a set of exclusive League of Legends Pro League (LPL) team “theatre-masks” were projected on the New Century Global Centre—the single largest building in the world.
Among the top stories: Chinese esports production company Mars Media announced that it will host Valve’s first Dota 2 Major in Chengdu for the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC); the Chengdu government released multiple supportive policies on esports; the LPL partnered with Chengdu artist Li Xue to design four exclusive theatre-masks; and the Chinese and Malaysian governments hosted a culture conference in Kuala Lumpur showcasing Honor of Kings as a Chinese digital culture product.
Every week The Esports Observer presents the biggest esports business news in China, including investments, acquisitions, sponsorships, and other major news from the region.
Mars Media Will Host Valve’s First Dota 2 Major in Chengdu for 2019-2020 DPC
On Sept. 20 Chinese esports production and tournament organizer Mars Media announced that it will host Valve’s first Dota 2 Major in the Chinese city of Chengdu, from Nov. 16-24. The tournament will be named the MDL Chengdu Major, and includes a $1M USD prize pool and 15K DPC points—which will help the teams qualify for next year’s The International tournament in Stockholm.
The MDL is an exclusive esports tournament brand owned by Mars Media. In 2019, Mars Media partnered with Disneyland Paris to host the MDL Major, the first-ever to be held in France and at a Disneyland resort.
The winner of the MDL Chengdu Major will receive $300K and 4850 DPC points. It should be noted that Chinese esports organization PSG.LGD, which placed third at The International this year, has decided to abstain from the MDL Chengdu Major, to give its players a rest. In addition, European esports organization OG, the winner of The International 2019, announced its mid-lane player Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen took a holiday after TI9. At the time of writing, OG has not officially announced that it will attend the Chengdu Major, but the organization did abstain from the Kuala Lumpur Major after winning TI8.
LPL Team Theatre-Masks Projected on Global Centre, Chengdu Releases Policies on Esports
On Sept. 22, the LPL partnered with Chengdu-based artist Li Xue to design four theatre-masks for esports teams Royal Never Give-Up (RNG), Invictus Gaming (IG), FunPlus Phoenix (FPX), as well as the LPL itself. Those four theatre-masks were projected on Chengdu’s New Century Global Centre, which is the biggest single building in the world by floor space (18M sq ft).
This partnership is a part of “LPL Go on Worlds international tour, which will host ceremonies in eight Chinese cities for the three LPL teams competing at the World Championships: RNG, IG, and FPX. Chengdu is the third stop of this international tour. The next cities will be Chongqing, Xi’an, Moscow, Stuttgart, and finally Berlin.
The Chinese theatre-mask is the traditional cultural element of Chengdu. According to TJ Sports, a joint venture of League of Legends publisher Riot Games and its parent company Tencent, the goal of this tour is to combine the LPL and city cultures.
On Sept. 23, the Chengdu government released multiple benefit-based policies for developing sports industry in the city, including esports. According to the announcement:
- Chengdu will offer a maximum ¥8M RMB ($1.12M) allowances for attracting international tournaments into the city. For Chengdu company-hosted tournaments, the allowances will be a maximum ¥5M ($700K). The allowances will not be higher than 50% of the cost of the tournament.
- For Chengdu registered esports teams, if is it named with “Chengdu” and attending a large international tournament in the world, the Chengdu government will offer a maximum ¥20M ($2.81M) allowances.
The policies are significant for esports organizations in Chengdu. For example, the Overwatch League team Chengdu Hunters is owned by Chinese livestreaming company Huya, and naturally features the city in its name. Esports organization Oh My God (OMG) also has its LPL home venue in the city of Chengdu.
China and Malaysia Hold Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Showcase Honor of Kings Matches
On Sept. 20, the Chinese and Malaysian governments co-hosted the “Silk Road Forum on Digital Culture and Tourism Industries” in Kuala Lumpur. The event was in partnership with Tencent Esports and Fighting Esports Group (FEG), the latter of which is the tournament organizer of the Korean King Pro League (KRKPL). Multiple Chinese and Malaysian politicians attended the forum, as well as Zhang Yijia, general manager of Tencent Esports’ mobile business, and Chen “Friend” Qidong, the CEO of FEG.
During the event, Qidong and Yijia introduced the Chinese esports industry, as well as the tournament system developed for Honor of Kings. In addition, two KPL secondary teams, QGhappy and eStarPro, as well as KRKPL team ESC, competed in an exhibition match.
Other Esports Business News:
- On Sept. 20, People Esports, an esports division of Chinese traditional publication People’s Daily, hosted the “Esports China” educational program, in Beijing. Multiple Chinese esports leaders attended the conference, including Wu Jingjing, the CEO of Dido Esports; Lin Feng, the COO of People Sports; Tong Xin, the CEO of esports organization Newbee; Zhou Linxiang, co-founder of esports production company ImbaTV; and Feng Xiao, marketing director of TJ Sports.
- On Sept. 23, BOMI Esports Culture Media Co., Ltd announced that it will host a Dota 2 tournament named the Hainan Master Cup, in the Chinese city of Haikou from Nov. 2-3. The tournament will feature a ¥500K ($70K) total prize pool. What makes this tournament notable is it will be the first-ever modern Dota 2 event in which South Korean esports organization T1 will compete.
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