Is Chengdu becoming the esports capital of China this year?

With various major tournaments announced, the Chinese city of Chengdu is bound to become a major esports hub in 2024.

Two major policies called Action Plan on Building A Global E-sports Industrial Base (2024-2026) and the “Eight Articles on E-sports” policy were introduced earlier last year and are already taking effect. The Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone (CDHT) aims to become a true esports hub in the following years, with planned investments in the esports industry fund estimated at RMB 1 billion  (~140M USD), and an esports angel fund of RMB 100 million (~14M USD).

Results are fast, as both LoL’s Mid-Season Invitational, and ESL’s IEM Chengdu events were announced recently

Chengdu Esports

Credit: CDHT

Esports in Chengdu – host of IEM China and League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational

Earlier yester, esports tournament organizer ESL announced that IEM China will be hosted in Chengdu, China. Taking place during April at the Wuliangye Chengdu Performing Arts Centre, 16 teams will compete for a $250,000 prize pool and a direct invite to the IEM Cologne 2024 Group Stage.

Considered one of the most important professional gaming competitions in the world, Chengdu is looking to further establish itself as a leading host for major esports competitions. A few weeks after IEM China, Riot Games will be collaborating with the Chinese city to host the Mid-Season Invitational, the first international tournament of the 2024 LoL season.

Esports, however, are not only on PCs. The mobile game Honor of Kings, one of the most famous titles in the world, recently hosted the Grand Finals of the Honor of Kings International Championship 2023 at the Chengdu Phoenix Hill Sports Park. It also CrossFire’s world championship event—CrossFire Stars (CFS) and NetEase’s Naraka Bladepoint World Championship last month.

Chengdu to become the esports capital in China

Image Credit: ESL

Chengdu’s efforts in developing the esports industry

According to an update by the CDHT near the end of last year, the Chengdu Gaoxin District expects to invest 240 million RMB ($33.5M) to transform the city into the cultural hub of esports within the country.

Their own stated goal is to: “help build Chengdu into a world-class industrial base of e-sports through holding global top e-sports events, introducing and cultivating top e-sports enterprises, planning and building landmark e-sports carriers and supporting the sound development of e-sports talents.”

According to public policy, the government will offer up to 5 million RMB ($700K) allowance to organizers who host large-scale international esports events in Chengdu, which is probably the reason why tournament organizers have been looking to bring their products to the city. Furthermore, up to RMB 30 million is to be given as construction support and RMB 1 million for building and operating professional esports venues in the City.

Finally, subsidies are to be given out on rents for top esports clubs that settle in Chengdu, RMB 1 million as reward for teams that settle in Chengu and win big events.

Currently, the new Action Plan called: “2+2+3+N” aims to construct two new professional esports venues, re-utilize two of the current venues and collaborate with several outside venues. Additionally, a new esports industrial base of 30,000m2 is to be build in Tianfu Changdao.

China boasts one of the largest esports fan bases in the world, with nearly 488 million people. Thanks to one of the most developed economic landscapes when it comes to gaming and esports, tournament organizers are looking to further foster growth in the region while also looking to increase monetization as the industry is navigating through the “esports winter” and its challenges.

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