Netizens hail as Chinese team wins esports global final, trends top on social media
Published: Nov 07, 2021 11:15 AM

Photo: screenshot from Weibo

Photo: screenshot from Weibo

China's Edward Gaming (EDG) team earned their first-ever League of Legends World Championship title with a 3-2 win over South Korea in the League of Legends (Lol) World Championship final on Sunday, winning netizens' cheers of joy and trending top on Chinese social media.

In the just wrapped-up Worlds 2021, EDG team from Shanghai defeated the defending champions South Korea DK and created the best record in the team's history.

EDG became the second grand slam club in the world and the first grand slam club in Lol Pro League. Player Meiko became the first grand slam player to win all the international and domestic tournaments he participated in, Lol official account said on Sina Weibo.

Shanghai Esports Association congratulated the EDG club for winning the Worlds 2021.

Chinese netizens have congratulated the team with topics about the victory trending on various social media platforms. The topic "EDG wins" has been viewed more than 1.9 billion times as of press time.

Several fans of the EDG told the Global Times that they didn't go to sleep Saturday night and were glued to the screen watching the final game from Saturday night to early hours of Sunday morning. 

A Shenzhen-based fan surnamed Yang said he and six of his friends gathered together in front of the TV, shouting and hugging each other when the EDG claimed the victory of the final. Yang immediately congratulated the EDG on his social media account.

Some netizens said the EDG witnessed the development of China's esports industry with its own experience.

The e-sports industry, which attracts about 488 million game lovers in China, saw skyrocketing growth in recent years, with revenue rising from 94.73 billion yuan in 2019 to 136.56 billion yuan in 2020, jumping by 44 percent.

In the late 1990s, the World Cyber Games were established in South Korea and they introduced the concept of e-sports to mainstream consciousness. However, most people at the time did not regard e-sports as genuine sports, and some professional players were disregarded by family and society. At the time, video games were considered "electronic heroin" in the eyes of older generations. 

Since then, e-sports has been growing in China. After the establishment of an e-sports club alliance and a live broadcast platform, the Chinese e-sports industry emerged under an influx of capital. Cities have been competing to become the Chinese esports hub, hoping to grab more market shares in the industry. 

Shanghai is one of the most ambitious cities to become the center of the e-sports industry in China. At the end of November 2018, Shanghai became the first city in China to adopt a registration system for e-sports athletes.

Video games have long been criticized by parents and teachers in China, who are concerned about teenagers' addiction, as some spend too much money and time on these games. That has prompted scrutiny from Chinese authorities, who have intensified regulations to protect teenagers. 

In late August, China launched regulations to limit online gaming for minors so as to help protect teenager and ensure sustainable development of the industry.
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