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Esports takes Asian Games by storm, but standardization remains key
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Esports takes Asian Games by storm, but standardization remains key

The inclusion of esports in the 19th Asian Games has sparked a new wave of enthusiasm, with players, industry insiders, platforms, and investors all seeing it as a rare opportunity. Insiders pointed out that collective efforts are required to achieve standardization and regulation within the industry.

The 19th Asian Games, scheduled to take place from September 23 to October 8 in East China’s Hangzhou City, will include esports as a competitive event for the first time, with seven gold medals up for grabs.

“This will be a historic and touching moment,” remarked Huo Qigang, President of the Asian Electronic Sports Federation. Over the past six years, the Asian Olympic Council, game publishers, and numerous partners have been committed to making esports a recognized sport, Huo said.

Standardization and regulation have been frequently mentioned since esports’ inclusion in the Asian Games.

Zhang Yati, Director of Esports Business at Tencent Interactive Entertainment, pointed out that the challenges of different gaming habits and competition styles among players and referees from various countries need to be addressed.

“We must have a unified process and standard to ensure fair judgment,” said Zhang. She envisions a standardized system that empowers any individual or organization to hold an esports event, maintaining consistent quality through standardized processes, rules and equipment.

“To this end, we have rolled out a series of platforms and equipment for referees.” She added.

At present, various standards related to the esports industry have been successively issued and implemented at different levels, with some esports companies proactively formulating their own standards.

However, Zhang Yijun, Deputy Director-General of China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association and Director of the Game Committee, emphasized that more collective efforts are required to establish a comprehensive system of industry standards.

The rise of esports in China has been even more dramatic than elsewhere: Money has poured into Chinese esports, and the country now has a pivotal influence in the global market.

According to a report by iResearch, the Chinese esports market reached approximately 157.9 billion yuan (approximately $22 billion) in 2022. However, tapping into the commercial value of esports events remains a significant challenge for the industry.

Jin Yibo, CEO of Tengjing Sports, admitted that brand sponsorship, copyrights, and ticket sales are the main revenue sources for esports competitions in China. However, he hopes to explore more possibilities for consumer-centered and value-added products in the future.

Gaming companies are also trying to integrate gaming elements into other industries, seeking new opportunities. “Beyond traditional consumption scenarios, the emergence of esports-themed hotels and cafes signals a novel driving force, boosting the local economy and fostering innovative development in the cultural sectors,” COO of Tencent Ren Yuxin said.

Ecns.cnGu Yetao

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