Three Group, Razer push forward e-sports expansion in Hong Kong
Three Group, the mobile telecommunications arm of Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison, and popular gaming systems provider Razer on Thursday jointly unveiled the US company’s first concept store in Hong Kong.
The launch of the new RazerStore this Saturday follows the formation last month of a global alliance that targets the estimated two billion electronic game players around the world with specific tariff plans, services and devices.
“This is a great time for gamers, as support of e-sports in Hong Kong is growing tremendously, especially from the Hong Kong government,” Razer co-founder and chief executive Tan Min-liang said at the launch.
The new RazerStore, the company’s sixth worldwide, is located on Cannon Street in the busy Causeway Bay shopping district. Razer’s other shops are in Shanghai, Taipei, Bangkok, Manila and San Francisco in California.
Three and Razer plan to increase sponsorship and promotion for e-sports, which are multiple-player video game tournaments where professional gamers compete for hefty cash prizes.
The global e-sports market is forecast to grow 41 per cent to US$696 million this year, up from US$493 million last year, according to games industry research service Newzoo. It said global e-sports revenue comprises media rights, advertising, sponsorships, merchandise and tickets, and publisher fees.
In February this year, Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po described e-sports “as a new sector with economic development potential, which can help boost the local gaming industry, and information and technology development such as the application of virtual reality technology”.
The new RazerStore in Hong Kong is furnished with Razer’s acclaimed Blade laptop computers, peripheral devices and software for gamers to use, as they play some of the world’s most popular online games like League of Legends and Overwatch.
“The opening of this new RazerStore is our first step to become the most preferred mobile and residential broadband operator for gamers,” said Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong chief executive Cliff Woo Chiu-man.
“We’d love to see young people hang out at the new store, experiencing the best that our mobile and fixed-line networks have to offer, and the excitement of e-sports with Razer’s latest gaming peripherals and software.”
San Francisco-based Razer estimated that 2.3 million of its registered users already reside within the international footprint of CK Hutchison’s Three Group, which has mobile network operations in Austria, Britain, Denmark, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Macau, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Vietnam.
Razer’s collaboration with Three is its first with a telecommunications network operator. Founded in 2005, Razer supplies high-performance gaming peripherals and laptop computers, as well operating gaming software platforms with more than 35 million users.
Apart from building up sponsorships and interest in e-sports events, the Three-Razer partnership “will bring more start-ups in Hong Kong focused on the gaming industry”, Tan said last month.
Razer launched its US$30 million zVentures fund in September last year, which seeks out promising start-ups in the fields of virtual reality, robotics and the so-called internet of things.