Video game training booms as Chinese players aspire to go professional

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/29 17:51:01

The 2017 League of Legends World Championship, one of the world's most well-known e-sports competitions, is currently underway in China. The event has attracted millions of fans, many of whom are willing to spend 13,000 yuan ($1,955) for a 480 yuan seat, according to media reports.

With more than 600 million gamers nationwide, e-sports is now undoubtedly the most popular pastime among China's young generation. To cater to this trend, the Ministry of Education has allowed 13 vocational schools in China to add e-sports majors, which began taking students this year.

While playing online games is often viewed by parents and teachers as a waste of time and harmful to mental development, the rise of China's e-sports players on the world stage as well as the emergence of related majors in college has done much to reduce this stigma.

In addition to playing games, e-sports students need to take theory courses including e-sports culture and history, psychology in e-sports and management to gain a better understanding of online gaming.

The potential for high returns has also persuaded many parents to allow their children to pursue a professional path. In 2014, Chinese team Newbee won 31.19 million yuan in the Dota2 international competitions. Two years later, Chinese team Wings won 60.48 million yuan in an e-sport competition.

But not everyone is suited to becoming a professional player. Zhang Xuechen, an e-sports teacher at the Sichuan Film and Television University, told the Chongqing Morning Post that most professional players are male because e-sports competition requires high-intensity training, with students often spending hours at a time in their dormitories honing their skills.

Competition is also extremely tough, and less than 10 percent of students attending e-sports training schools can expect to become professional players.

China now has the world's largest video gaming market, which was estimated to be worth $3 billion in 2016, according to a research project by tech giant Tencent. In 2011, the General Administration of Sport of China approved e-sports as the 78th official discipline for sports.

Cosers play for the audience during the final competition of League of Legends in Hubei Province. Photo: VCG

A female student at the Sichuan Film and Television University sharpens her gaming skills in the dormitory. Photo: VCG

Female and male cosers pose at an e-sports booth at the China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference. Photo: VCG

A professional player concentrates on his game during a League of Legends competition in Hubei Province. Photo: VCG

Students get their fingers at the ready as they attend an e-sports competition class in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Photo: VCG



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