Electronic sports, known as eSports or a competition of video game, is booming in China. The market has become the world leader in recent years.
In the first half of 2017, sales revenue of eSports reached 36 billion yuan (5.1 billion US dollars), up 43.2 percent from the previous year.
Fifteen years ago, parents and teachers regarded eSports as "heterodoxy," which was only played by bad students. They believed gaming's potentially addictive nature could harm young people.
But, in March 2013, the General Administration of Sport of China established the China Electronic Competitive Squad, which initially had 17 members. From that time, eSports officially became a competition of games, similar to physical sports, such as basketball and football.
More investors are aware of Chinese eSports' promising future. Selling video games and investing in eSport teams can now make a huge profit.
The Chinese eSports market generated revenue of 4.4 billion yuan (630 million US dollars) in 2010. In just six years, it grew by more than 10 times.
Since the revenue of eSports has risen rapidly, the incomes of game players have climbed as well. The combination of cultural and financial incentives means that more people, especially China's youth, aspire to become game players.
According to the Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television, the total number of Chinese game players surpassed 500 million at the end of June.
Between January and June this year, China launched more than 100 large and medium-sized eSports tournaments. Thirty-five percent of Chinese video game enthusiasts spend about six hours every week watching professional eSports tournaments.
The game industry has also expanded into Internet, film, television – and other cultural and entertainment sectors in the country. At present, China leads the world in gaming sales.