When did e-sports+ evolve into X+e-sports?
After experiencing sports, industrialization, and globalization, e-sports has come to a new turning point.
With the improvement of the industrial ecology, e-sports has linked hundreds of millions of users. According to Newzoo’s “2020 Global E-sports Market Report”, the global e-sports industry revenue will reach 1.1 billion US dollars. Specific to the Chinese market, the size of the e-sports market reached 385 million US dollars, accounting for 35% of the global market.
From the perspective of user scale alone, national e-sports is no longer just a concept. Global e-sports users will reach 474 million in 2021, which has laid a solid foundation for the standardization and maturity of the e-sports industry.
As a leader in the e-sports industry in China and even the world, Tencent e-sports released many messages at the 2021 Global E-sports Leadership Summit and Tencent E-sports Annual Conference.
E-sports is becoming a super digital scene
With the development of technology and the progress of the times, e-sports has developed from a niche entertainment method to a popular culture that has swept the world, and e-sports marketing has also changed from a game-affiliated marketing method to an independent development of a new industry.
Ma Xiaoyi mentioned at the conference that it is difficult for pure sports to fully carry the value and boundaries of e-sports, and e-sports is becoming a brand new super digital scene.
In different fields/scenarios, e-sports have begun to intersect with people’s daily lives. New technologies are changing rapidly, and the virtual world and real life are constantly merging. In the journey of constantly challenging themselves and breaking the limit, human beings are not only faced with games or sports, but also the fundamental problem of where the body and mind are going.
How to fully release the value and energy of e-sports as a “super digital scene” in the future, Ma Xiaoyi believes that there are four key words: technology, people, responsibility and value.
Technology has always been the first driving force for the development of e-sports. Every technological innovation will reshape our understanding of e-sports. In the future, how e-sports will develop will also depend on the exploration and application of cutting-edge technology.
At present, new technologies are constantly iterating. Whether it is 5G, AI, AR, or VR, it will be in the early stage, and there are still many uncertainties. However, it is certain that more new opportunities will be born.
The second key word is “people”. How to attract as many people as possible to participate in the construction of the digital scene determines the long-term vitality of e-sports in the future. E-sports, as a digital sport that is popular all over the world, has a natural advantage in this regard.
For example, last year’s “League of Legends” S10 global finals attracted countless people. The viewing time exceeded 1 billion hours, breaking an unprecedented record.
In addition to this, e-sports users also have strong emotional adhesion, and users with clear e-sports players or team preferences account for more than 30%. The same data is only 40% in the football field, which is very close to traditional sports.
It is precisely because of the connection and emotional substitution between so many people and e-sports that the e-sports industry has increasingly strong vitality and social value.
Ma Xiaoyi believes that e-sports is essentially a trust-related industry.
Not long ago, Chinese e-sports encountered a crisis of trust. The establishment of trust takes time and time, but it only takes overnight to destroy it. Improving regulations and safeguarding fairness are important and necessary inputs.
The sustained and healthy development of the Korean e-sports industry is closely related to their high attention to the fairness of the game. For this reason, Tencent E-sports is also actively participating in the formulation and improvement of various industry standards. At the end of last year, Tencent E-sports and the world’s largest non-profit professional technology team, IEEE, initiated the preparation of e-sports direct broadcast technology and e-sports fairness standards.
Of course, responsibility and responsibility are also a powerful guarantee for the sustainable development of the e-sports industry.
Finally, on the basis of technology, people, and responsibility, value is a natural result. As small as a cup of coffee, as large as the food, clothing, housing, and transportation in a city, e-sports is creating new value in different fields and becoming a brand-new way of life.
Based on cooperation with major cities, Tencent e-sports has made many new explorations, trying to use e-sports to link more popular life scenes, including restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, travel and so on.
To build a rich and far-reaching life and cultural circle of e-sports and inject new vitality into the development of the city is the unique value and energy of e-sports as a “new language” that connects different cultures around the world.
Ma Xiaoyi always believes that for the young “super digital scene” of e-sports, it will definitely add more possibilities to our lives and create more beautiful things for the world. The value and possibility contained in it will definitely be greater than the known.
How will the digital industry evolve in the future
Aiming at the new development direction of e-sports in the context of “super digital scene”, Ma Xiaoyi had a dialogue with well-known financial writer Wu Xiaobo.
It is not difficult to find that in the new context, the boundaries of e-sports continue to expand, and there is more and more room for integration with traditional sports. E-sports user emotions are constantly pouring in faster and more frequent exchanges and cooperation, making e-sports a universal communication symbol and building a bridge for cultural exchanges for global e-sports enthusiasts.
Looking back on the development and transformation of Chinese enterprises, Wu Xiaobo believes that e-sports is a very young industry. In less than 20 years, it has been closely connected with cutting-edge technology and the self-expectations and development of the new generation of people, and it has continuously expanded its radiation area. China’s e-sports is going international through the exchanges between young people, and it is expected to form a cultural output.
The development of the e-sports industry is very short, less than 20 years, but it has experienced a lot of cyclical fluctuations. Aiming at the technological change cycle, Ma Xiaoyi divides global e-sports into 4 stages.
The first stage started in 1996 and 1997, that is, the stand-alone Internet PC era.
With the development of the Internet, it came to the second stage of e-sports in 2006 and 2007. At this stage, based on a wave of technological dividends, the scale of e-sports began to grow, and the number of participants became more.
The third stage is from 2015 and 2016, opening the era of mobile Internet. The vision of mobile e-sports has become a reality at this stage. Mobile smartphones have allowed more and more people to participate in the e-sports industry, leading to huge changes in the scale and overall form of enterprise users.
The fourth stage is currently facing cutting-edge technological changes such as AI, VR, and 5G. Using these technologies can combine virtual reality with e-sports and provide users with a new viewing experience. This will greatly expand the viewing value of the entire e-sports industry.
When asked whether future e-sports will become a new element in personal life or the real business and social structure? Ma Xiaoyi said that the super digital scene is a prediction of the future direction of the Internet.
At present, more and more users are moving activities from offline to online, and more production, activities, and value will be generated online in the future. With the development of technology, people can move more space.
Working with the public and the government to regulate their respective responsibilities and boundaries in the entire digital scene is Tencent’s vision for the future of humanity.
Many players and practitioners have always hoped that e-sports can enter the Olympic Games. In next year’s Asian Games, e-sports will become an official project. Wu Xiaobo is curious, what does it mean for the future of e-sports when e-sports become more and more independent?
In Ma Xiaoyi’s cognition, the world’s largest cultural content industry is not Hollywood, but sports.
In the 1950s, thanks to economic reshaping, there was the first wave of globalization. Recently, because of television technology, a new form of sports industry, e-sports, has emerged. Today, riding the new wave of information technology revolution, mankind is standing at the crossroads of the fourth industrial revolution.
E-sports entered the Asian Games and became an official event, which is a manifestation of China’s e-sports strength. Only at the forefront of the world can we have the opportunity to define the business model, boundaries and rules of the new content industry.
Ma Xiaoyi hopes to mobilize more people in the industry to participate, lay a solid foundation for the e-sports industry, and pave the way for the future with more rules.
As a digital sports industry, e-sports, in addition to emphasizing higher, faster, and stronger, also needs to inject innovative genes into sports.
In the future, with the development of computer technology, this area of imagination will be very large.
In addition, similar to traditional sports, in e-sports, when the audience is emotionally substituted, and when they have a sense of belonging to the team and the players, the investment will increase. Now the home and away system of e-sports has been fully rolled out, with more and more cities landing.
Ma Xiaoyi also hopes that these cities can become everyone’s spiritual home, so that the audience will have a more sense of belonging to watch the game. From another perspective, this will make the game more energetic.
E-sports + when did it evolve into X+ e-sports
E-sports is a placebo for the soul and a booster for the development of the industry.
The resilience of the gaming industry can be seen from the trend of not falling but rising in the epidemic.
The data will not lie. In 2020, the total number of Tencent e-sports content views will reach 186.4 billion, the copyright revenue will increase by more than 58%, and the top event sponsorship revenue will increase by more than 36%.
Tencent E-sports is also proactively playing its advantages in helping the industry revive. Its head events have landed in major cities and replaced them with new urban development engines, such as the Glory of the Kings World Champions Cup in Beijing, and the League of Legends S10 Global Finals in Shanghai.
Standing at a new starting point, Tencent E-sports is also facing new opportunities in the post-epidemic era. The 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou is undoubtedly a huge opportunity for Tencent e-sports and even the global e-sports industry.
From Jakarta Asian Games performances to Hangzhou Asian Games official competitions, e-sports is moving step by step to the mainstream sports world.
Hou Miao, vice president of Tencent Games and general manager of Tencent E-sports, said that the Hangzhou Asian Games is an opportunity for China E-sports to show its charm to the world, and it is also a way to reshape the communication among young people around the world.
To this end, Tencent e-sports will fully support the Asian Games e-sports projects from the latitude of version development, athlete training and management, event organization and operation, venue support, and anti-doping.
Compared with the Jakarta Asian Games, we have reason to believe that Tencent E-sports will have more mature experience and capabilities in event items, technical reserves, and personnel management.
You can’t lose the chain in the competition, and you can’t do without usual training and actual combat. For Tencent e-sports, the e-sports sports city development plan is an excellent training ground.
As early as 2018, Tencent E-sports officially proposed the “E-sports Sports City Development Plan” for the first time. As the first practitioner of this plan, Tencent E-sports is closely cooperating with Zhuhai, Xi’an, Chongqing and other local governments in terms of competitions, venues, and ecological construction.
Three years later, the e-sports city development plan has also evolved to version 3.0.
Miao Hou shared that in version 3.0, Tencent e-sports will focus on supporting the conscious development of the city’s industry. Through the sorting and opening of e-sports intellectual property rights, it will establish industry-oriented system solutions and platforms to help cities build their own IP events.
Specifically, the measures include IP openness, building a one-stop e-sports event platform, and launching functions such as the start of the game in seconds.
In addition to the competition, Tencent E-sports also intends to help the digital transformation of traditional industries, trying to create a new engine for the regional economy by uniting internal and external partners.
Take hotels as an example. As early as last year, Tencent E-sports and Tencent Games reached a strategic cooperation with Shangri-La Group to jointly launch 100 e-sports and game IP-themed rooms in 18 cities across the country.
The author has learned that Tencent’s e-sports theme room is priced at 1588 yuan per night, mostly for post-95s/00s.
It is not difficult to find that Tencent e-sports is penetrating into the clothing, food, housing and transportation of young people, bringing players a one-stop e-sports life experience.
Perhaps in the not-too-distant future, e-sports+ will gradually evolve into X+ e-sports and become the infrastructure for industry development.