Last week, with the accelerating novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many countries who have ordered citizens to stay home have had to deal with the financial fallout, including job losses and company failures. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) said March 23:
“It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach 100K cases, 11 days for second 100K cases, and just four days for the third 100K cases.”
Just a day after Ghebreyesus’ statement, the infection cases have passed 400K, according to Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. At the time of writing, there are seven countries that have more than 10K coronavirus cases, including China, Italy, the U.S, Spain, Iran, France, and Germany.
According to China News, the number of infection cases in China increased by 47 on March 24, and all of them came from abroad. The government approved multiple policies to prevent the increase of imported cases, which has led four Dota 2 players from Team Aster to be centrally isolated by the Shanghai government.
Among the top stories in China’s esports industry: team organization Rogue Warriors (RW) fired a League of Legends player for involvement in match-fixing; Royal Never Give-Up (RNG) and its partner China Electronic Corporation will build an esports center in Shanghai; Chinese Dota Professional Association (CDA) partnered with Varena to host a Dota 2 professional league online; esports platform 5E partnered with Long Mobile to support the Auto Chess esports ecosystem; and esports data company VPGAME became the official partner of the King Pro League.
Every week The Esports Observer presents the biggest esports business news in China including investments, acquisitions, sponsorships, and other major news from the region.
Rogue Warriors Fires League of Legends Player Wang ‘Weiyan’ Xiang for Match-Fixing
On March 25, Chinese esports organization Rogue Warriors (RW) announced that it has fired League of Legends player Wang “Weiyan” Xiang over his involvement in a match-fixing incident during the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) Spring Split.
In addition, RW will investigate and provide more information to league operator TJ Sports. TJ Sports also posted an announcement on Weibo that it has banned Wang from any League of Legends related competitions and events moving forward.
Wang recently posted an announcement on his Weibo with several screenshots, and claimed that he accepted the punishment by RW and TJ Sports.
“I lost massive amounts of money playing cards with friends, and I wanted to borrow some money from a guy. But he wanted me to get involved with match-fixing, and I stupidly agreed for the first time,” said Wang “But I eventually refused him and didn’t do it, and he threatened me that if I didn’t do it, he would report me, and he did eventually.”
In June of 2019, TJ Sports punished LGD Gaming League of Legends player Xiang “Condi” Renjie with a 18-month global ban due to his involvement in match-fixing.
CEC&RNG Tech to Build Bund International Esports Culture Center in Shanghai
On March 23, CEC&RNG Tech, a joint company of Chinese esports organization Royal Never Give-Up (RNG) and state-owned company China Electronics Corporation (CEC), announced that ity would partner with the Shanghai Huangpu government to build the “Bund International Esports Culture Center” near to the Shanghai Huangpu River. CEC&RNG Tech would also start to base in Huangpu district.
According to the announcement, the center will house RNG’s new home venue, esports infrastructures, and plans to host one to two international esports events this year. The center is scheduled to be completed this year, and expected to become a global esports culture community center.
Chinese Dota 2 Professional Association Partners VARENA, Four Team Aster Players Quarantined
On March 21 the Chinese Dota 2 Professional Association (CDA) announced that it partnered with online tournament organizer VARENA to host the first Chinese Dota 2 online league between March 23 – April 19.
The league will feature 14 teams, including PSG.LGD, Invictus Gaming, RNG, EHOME, Team Aster, and Newbee, and a ¥400K RMB ($52K USD) prize pool. The league will be streamed on Douyu, Huya, and Huomao.
In our previous China Recap, the CDA was established and expected to bring top-level Dota 2 competitions to fans and sponsors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March24, Pan “Fade” Yi, a Dota 2 player from Team Aster said on Weibo that four players and team manager have been centrally isolated by Shanghai government. There was one infection case on their flight, from Finland to Shanghai.
After Team Aster won the StarLadder ImbaTV (SLI) Minor in Kiev, they stayed in Ukraine and waited for confirmation that the ESL One Los Angeles Major would be suspended. The journey back to Shanghai included a transfer flight in Finland.
According to an interview by People Esports, Zhili Guo, the CEO of Team Aster, said the team will be isolated until March 29, which means that it can not participate in competitions before March 30.
“Our players were in three rows close to the infection case, so the players and team manager have to be centrally isolated between Mar. 22-29,” said Zhili. “It’s hard to make sure the team could get training due to bad internet, and we need to ask our partner/sponsor to give laptops to our players.”
Other Esports Business News:
- On March 19 Chinese esports platform 5E Play signed a partnership with Long Mobile. The platform will help Long Mobile to build its Auto Chess esports ecosystem. 5E Play is considered the biggest esports platform for the Chinese Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) community. It was the marketing and media partner of the 2019 Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Beijing-Haidian as well.
- On March. 18 Chinese esports data company VPGAME announced that it became an official partner of the Honor of Kings’ King Pro League (KPL). Additional details were not disclosed.
- On March 18 Tencent reported a $54.1B total revenue (+21%) and a $13.5B net income (+20%) in 2019.
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