What happened: Tencent will organize more e-sports tournaments this year in China as local governments seek new economic growth by subsidizing the sector, reported Financial Times, citing Tencent’s e-sports division manager, Hou Miao. E-sports are not particularly profitable at the moment, said Hou, but encourage user loyalty and will increase revenue in the long run. The company is reportedly negotiating with Electronic Arts (EA) to bring its hit game, Apex Legends, to China, a development Hou did not confirm, saying only that cooperation was “natural” between the two companies.
Why it’s important: With changes in public attitude toward video games, mobile users playing online video games continued to rise in 2018, growing 12.7% year-on-year. Tencent is still waiting for a license from China’s top content regulator to monetize its popular battle royale game, “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” though the company has said it hopes to hold tournaments for the game this year. In January, Tencent worked with Shanghai authorities to hold the final tournament for its “Honor of Kings” title, attracting 15,000 fans. In November, Chinese e-sports club Invictus Gaming (iG) won the first “League of Legends” (LOL) world championship for mainland China, igniting an upsurge of online celebration.