Final of League of Legends World Championships Held in China for First Time

The final of the world championships for League of Legends (LOL), one of the world’s most prestigious tournaments, was held Saturday in Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest,” the main stadium of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

That marks the first time the final came to China, attracting more than 100,000 spectators across the world.

Two Chinese teams were among the final four who were shortlisted for the championship, the best performance for teams from China in recent years.

To host such a global tournament will cost almost 100 million yuan (15 million U.S. dollars), including costs for venue, broadcasting and event organization. Basically, 70 percent of the total revenue come from licensing, 30 percent from sponsorship, and the remaining 10 percent from admission and derivatives from intellectual property.

Industry insiders said the business mode of eSports industry has become much more maturely commercialized nowadays.

“Initially we did the eSports to better serve our games products. We didn’t do it for profits, we did it for product promotion. Now the eSports develops quite well, so that we started to think about its commercialization. To me, our business model down the road will use the model of traditional sports for reference, like NBA and Premier League, and integrate some characteristics of our games, fit it with the Chinese market, or fit it with the eSports industry,” said Jin Yibo, person in charge of League of Legends Chinese branding and eSports

China’s eSports industry reached a total market scale of 50 billion yuan by 2016, which is expected to rise to over 70 billion yuan in 2017, according to data from the country’s relevant institutions.

“The eSports industry down the road will grow up to be three-layered: the first at the top of the pyramid-like structure is for vocational, like the LOL Pro League; the second layer is for professional, like provincial sports games, the national games, the Asian Games, and the Olympic Games; and the other one is for entertainment, for those eSports fans to take part in to reach a large popularity among the public,” said Yang Xinshuang, CEO of ESPTV, a new Internet E-sports TV channel in China.
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