China is the world’s largest country in terms of population (at least for now) and one of the biggest regarding territory. Unsurprisingly, the country is really good at some sports, and eSports falls into this category.
According to Nostrabet.com, the eSports market in China will reach 218.6B yuan in 2024, which will make it one of the biggest in the world. “People who follow eSports up close know that the Chinese players and teams are usually on another level. Besides competing in the traditional eSports popular in the west, the Chinese often have their own games where they excel”, said Kristiyan from NB.
Despite its massive population and prowess in the eSports scene, China has had some problems lately. The recent legislative changes made it difficult for young gamers to do what they like. Consequently, this might affect their career in eSports.
Many of you may want to know more about this topic, so let’s go through the most important aspects related to eSports in China. They will give you the answer as to whether the future looks good for it.
China’s Gaming Laws
The Chinese government implemented several intriguing law changes in 2021, and one of them was related to gaming. The legislative changes from August 30, 2021, limited the time people under 18 can spend gaming. The idea behind this law is to restrict minors, so they do not spend countless hours playing games.
Following the changes, people under 18 can only play during public holidays on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. What’s more, they can only do that between 8 PM and 9 PM.
Before these changes, the Chinese government limited how much time people could game in 2019. Back then, gamers under 18 could only play one hour and a half daily from Monday to Friday and 3 hours during the weekend and the holidays. Moreover, the gaming services companies had to ensure that users used their real names when registering.
Following the China gaming restrictions, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that many people are worried about the future of Esports in the country. Even though the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics considers this to be a professional sport, the fact that young gamers can’t play as much as before will undoubtedly affect it.
eSports & China
The fact that being an eSport player makes you a professional athlete in China motivated many gamers in the country. There are loads of Esports players in China, and the best ones are among the world’s leaders.
Unsurprisingly, one of the largest countries in the world has numerous professional eSports players. In fact, some sources claim that there were more than 100,000 professional eSports athletes in 2019. Despite the legislative changes, this number is most likely even more impressive today.
What’s interesting about the Chinese eSports scene is that mobile games are becoming more popular daily. This is true for Asia, but it is prominent in China, especially for some titles.
The fact that China was one of the first countries in the world that recognize eSports on an official level has an effect on the industry. This happened in 2003, and since then, several governmental entities have been responsible for it. Naturally, they invest a lot of money into the industry’s growth by organizing all sorts of events.
The eSports titles that Chinese athletes are good at
Regarding China eSports games, there are a couple of titles that gamers are good at. Starting with some of the oldest eSports, Dota 2 is a game where the teams in China have been on another level for years. Unsurprisingly, the best individual Chinese Dota 2 players won millions of dollars.
Clubs like LGD, EHOME, Invictus Gaming, and Vici Gaming were some of the best in the world. However, the top Chinese eSports teams in Dota 2 haven’t won The International lately because the Europeans have dominated the international scene.
Aside from Dota 2, Chinese eSports players are also good at PUBG Mobile. In fact, the latter is one of the go-to mobile games in the country, with millions of players. The country’s biggest star has to be Zhu “Paraboy” Bocheng.
We must also mention Overwatch, StarCraft, League of Legends, and even CSGO. Even though the Chinese are not the most dominant players in these titles, there are at least a few top Chinese eSports teams.
Betting on eSports in China
The fact that the Chinese government is not keen on allowing sports betting in the country shouldn’t be surprising. Online betting is a delicate topic in many parts of the world, and this is one of them. Nevertheless, thanks to the many offshore online bookmakers, people can wager on many things, including eSports.
Let’s look at most of the industry-leading iGaming operators accessible in China. We can see that they offer eSports. Since these computer/mobile games have millions of fans in the country, they often bet on them.
Punting on eSports has become increasingly popular in the last couple of years. Even though some brands have yet to provide many options, others will have many China eSports markets. The best bookies also offer different kinds of features, as well as special bonuses.
Despite the many regulations taken by the government in the last couple of years, we are confident that eSports has a bright future in China. Since China is among the first countries worldwide to recognize computer games as a sport, the government will want to invest in the industry. That’s one of the reasons why the data show an increase in this market for 2024.
Keeping an eye on the eSports that the Chinese players are really good at will be interesting. This is especially true for Dota 2, where the best teams haven’t won a big event in a while.