In partnership with leading Chinese eSports’ specialists WanPlus, some of the biggest names in Chinese eSports will be joining Felix Welling, VfL Wolfsburg Head of Corporate Development at this year’s Soccerex China – April 17/18, Zhuhai – for a look at this exciting market and its synergies with football.
Joining Felix to give an expert’s perspective on the growth of eSports and the opportunities for football, will be Pinqi Zhao, WanPlus CEO & Co-Founder, David Ng, Super Generation Investment Co-Founder & CEO, and Friend Chen, Longzhu.com Co-Founder & CEO. The session called ‘eSports – A whole new Game’ will be hosted by Yang Zitao, eSports columnist for ECOSPORTS and FIFA Online 3 Official Commentator.
Pinqi Zhao is CEO & Co-Founder of WanPlus, one of the biggest eSports media brands in China reaching an audience of over 10 million Chinese eSports fans and business people every month. He is a former business director of LAGOU.com and producer at Tencent. He established the first eSports data training and management platform in China, and is a firm advocator of eSports professionalization.
David Ng is the Co-Founder & CEO of SUPER GENERATION INVESTMENT the holding company for Edward Gaming (EDG) eSports, one of the most successful and influential eSports teams in China with 5 championships in League of Legends Pro League (LPL). Super Generation Group is an aggregative enterprise with the goal of leading the global Entertainment and eSports industry. Its business includes eSports team, entertainment, education, Entertainment industrial park and etc.
Friend Chen is the Co-Founder & CEO of Longzhu.com. He is a Veteran of Chinese eSports industry with years of experience. In 2017, he started new strategic layout of Longzhu.com streaming platform, and has invested billions of resources into game, sports, E-commerce and entertainment divisions and successfully makes Longzhu the only streaming platform in China covering the whole industry chain.
Completing the panel is Felix Welling. Felix has worked for the German Bundesliga Club VfL Wolfsburg since finishing his Business Administration studies. In the club, he started in the fields of Brand Management and Corporate Social Responsibility. In May 2014, Felix initiated the new founded Department of Corporate Development where the club pushes the strategic fields of Internationalization, Digital Transformation, New Business, Brand Management and Corporate Social Responsibility. As part of their strategy, Wolfsburg were the first Bundesliga to launch an eSports team in 2015.
eSports: a rapid growing market
ESports has quickly become a global industry, with plenty of different aspects both challenging and financially benefiting traditional sports’ key stakeholders such as sponsors, broadcasters, players, clubs, leagues and tournament organisers, as well as creating opportunities for newly created ones fully specialized in a whole new audience.
The finances involved in this industry keep increasing year on year due to popularity of the game growing with the global eSports market valued at nearly $696 million in 2017, which should extend to about $1.5 billion by 2020. According to Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report, it has been estimated that 2.2 billion gamers across the globe are expected to generate around $128.5 billion by 2020.
For brands, media, and entertainment companies, eSports provide a chance to connect with digital natives and millennials that grew up playing games and watching game content, many of which learned about football and grew their love for a club through videogames like FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer. This is particularly true in China, a country with over 200 million eSports fans and some the best teams, which has seen billions of dollars invested to grow the market. ESports is big business and has resulted in many football leagues now having parallel eSports competitions and why FIFA set up an Interactive World Cup.
Furthermore, after last year’s first FIFA interactive tournament, clubs such as Paris Saint German, Ajax FC, Manchester City and Wolfsburg have decided to create their own eSports teams which lead to LaLiga and MLS launching their own eSports football leagues this year.
eSports is just one aspect of high level programme at Soccerex China that will cover the different aspects of this exciting football market, including topics such as youth development, facilities and event hosting which are integral to the fulfillment of China’s national football reform plan.