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Another kind of sporting challenge

Updated: 2018-01-03 07:37:52

( China Daily )

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Communication University of China students take part in the university's first DRS esports competition that was held over three weekends on campus in Beijing from Oct 28 to Nov 12. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Huge demand

According to a report released in June by Tencent, one of the country's major internet companies, 170 million Chinese are involved in esports, including players and viewers, and the industry produced more than 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) in 2016.

However, the industry faces a shortage of talented professionals.

The China Electronic Athletics magazine and Tencent E-sports jointly put out the Esports Industry Talent Supply and Demand Survey in September, indicating that the industry had only 50,000 practitioners and was seeking 210,000 more.

The survey also predicted that by 2020, the number of people who were working in esports would hit 570,000.

Esports management is interdisciplinary, meaning it requires people with knowledge of different fields, and it is a new field for Chinese universities, says Chen.

Separately, Chen's school has been cooperating with Tencent, Perfect World, NetEase and other game companies for many years.

The companies help the school update its courses and offer internship opportunities for students to hone their skills.

Xu Li, a professor from the Broadcasting and Anchoring School of the Communication University of China, added the esports commentary module to his sports commentary class in 2015 when he saw the craze for esports in the country.

Xu says that while traditional sports commentators are familiar with mainstream sports, they do not know how to handle an esports game, because they are unfamiliar with it and do not know what the audience wants.

Xu's classes now include an introduction to esports, commentary skills and future development. He also works with Tencent E-sports on textbooks for esports-commentary classes and seeks opportunities for his students to work as commentators.

In October, Hu and his classmates organized an esports competition, which ran for three weekends, attracting more than 160 students who competed in nine games. Students from the university's Broadcasting and Anchoring School were invited as hosts. The live broadcast on Douyu, a popular online-broadcasting platform, has been viewed more than 70,000 times.

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