E-sports business aimed at dissuading students from addicting to online games captures attention of Chinese parents
Published: Jan 19, 2021 07:09 PM


A course aimed at helping children who are spending too much time playing online games restore their school/fun balance by giving them a “taste” of reality has captured the attention of parents in China. 

As the e-sports industry has continued to boom in China, many young people, especially teenagers, have become enamored with playing these competitive online games, sometimes to the detriment of their homework. Some of the better among them may even abandon their schoolwork altogether to pursue dreams of an e-sports career, leading to a major headache for parents.

However, after these hopefuls were sent to the training course, where they got to get a taste of failure at various simulated competitions, they finally realized how large the gap was between themselves and professional players. and became more willing to once again focus on school. 

Yang Hanyu, founder of Edream, an e-sports training institution based in Chengdu, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, told the Global Times on Tuesday that many parents who have learned of the course have expressed an interest in sending in their children for “a lesson.” 

Yang explained that his original intention behind the course was to find talented young people and train them into professional players, but unexpectedly it has now evolved into a service designed to deter students from becoming addicted to e-sports.

“We mainly do short training over two or three months. Each training course includes about 20 students, most of them teenagers from different places around China. If the students are able to achieve the goals we set according to their initial performance, they can qualify to become a professional trainee. But only about 1 percent are able to finish the tasks we set for them,” said Yang. 

He added that most of those who are unable to complete the program can be persuaded to give up on making the industry a career. This latter effect is what ended up catching the attention of many parents. 

Lucas, a father living in Beijing, told the Global Times that he is very interested in the training, and said that if his own child has such a problem when she enters her teens, he would consider sending her to the training session.

However, Yang pointed out that parents should not expect the training to completely solve their children’ issues with studying at school or conflict within the family. 

Chu Chaohui, a research fellow at China’s National Institute of Education Sciences, told the Global Times teenagers often become addicted to games in order to gain more identity from the virtual world, which shows that they are not satisfied with real life. 

“The fundamental solution lies in family education and school education. Parents need to give more attention to their children, and schools should create more diversified courses and a diversified atmosphere,” said Chu.

According to the China Game Industry Report 2020, the actual sales revenue of China’s e-sports game market in 2020 reached 136.55 billion yuan ($21 billion), an increase of 41.83 billion yuan over that of 2019. The number of players reached 488 million, a year-on-year increase of 9.65 percent. 

On Tuesday, news that the first batch of college students majoring in e-sports was about to graduate in 2021 began trending on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo. Many netizens that responded to the news wrote that they believe these graduates’ futures will be very bright. 

However, Yang pointed out that these graduates still need to gain a lot of experience to become professional e-sports players. 

“People in this field have to face huge pressure and high elimination rates. Those who have a passion for this field and a strong ability to learn have the potential to become excellent e-sports players,” said Yang.