Chinese teams with significant advantage at Honor of Kings International Championship 2022

The Honor of Kings International Championship 2022 was set to be a historical event with teams from around the world. However, as the competition entered the Playoffs stage, one thing has become clear, it was no different from past Honor of Kings events as all the remaining teams are Chinese.

To give a bit of background into the game, Honor of Kings was released in 2015 only for China. A global version of the game called Arena of Valor was later revealed with Western themes. However, earlier this year, Tencent announced that it would be releasing Honor of Kings globally as well.

Surprisingly, the company also decided to include global teams in the Honor of Kings International Championship despite the game not being available globally. The result, on the other hand, wasn’t unsurprising as Chinese teams have dominated. takes a look at how the championship favored Chinese teams.

All global teams are out of the competition already

While eight teams were decided based on the Chinese competitions, Tencent conducted separate qualifiers for the remaining eight international teams.

These 16 teams were seeded into four groups where they competed in the Group Stage from Dec. 3 to 13. The result – all non-Chinese teams placed in the bottom two of their group to be eliminated from the competition. In fact, LATAM’s Isurus, Arabia’s YaLLa Esports, and Brazil’s Red Canids went 0-0-6 in their group.

The results weren’t really surprising. The biggest problem with the competition was the game being used. Tencent had said earlier this year that it would be using a Global Tournament Version of Honor of Kings to ensure that the competition is even.

However, this tournament version was closer to Honor of Kings than Arena of Valor. The same build used in the King Pro League, a competition for Honor of Kings in China, was used. Only two Honor of Kings’ heroes were replaced by Arena of Valor heroes.

While most of the heroes are similar across both games, many have some dissimilarities which gave Chinese teams a significant advantage.

Adding to this advantage, the Chinese teams are all established big-money organizations competing in the biggest mobile esports title in history. The individual players in the team likely have huge financial support along with state-of-the-art facilities and a bootcamp to practice.

This wasn’t the case for global teams, though.

Honor of Kings International Championship 2022 – a $10 million marketing event

While many would say that esports is just marketing by the developer towards the game, Tencent took that to a different level for this tournament.

It seemed the developer just wanted to show the scale of esports for the game before its global release with a big-money tournament. While the $10 million prize pool certainly turned heads, it doesn’t seem worth it to embarrass teams by putting them at a significant disadvantage.

Read also: Mobile esports bursting the bubble: the next big esports are on mobile

Honor of Kings gameplay

Nonetheless, the tournament did display Tencent’s commitment to Honor of Kings outside China. The game is one of the most played worldwide and reportedly has 100 million daily average users in China alone.

It seems Tencent wants to capitalize on esports from the early stages of the game itself. Established orgs like Gen G have realized that and already entered the game.

The game is currently in a closed beta. An official release date hasn’t been announced yet.

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