Does Hong Kong need an e-sports league to bring industry and players to new heights?
Insiders say the current absence of one means local players have to travel overseas for competitions
Setting up a league for e-sports in Hong Kong would create more job opportunities for the city and promote career development for talented players, an industry leader said on Thursday.
Speaking on a radio programme, Eric Yeung, vice-chairman of the E-sports Association Hong Kong, said he hoped the city would be able to send a team to the 2022 Asian Games, to be hosted in Hangzhou, China, where e-sports will be recognised as an official event.
He noted that, among obstacles such as a lack of talent or insufficient government funding, the biggest challenge for Hong Kong was the absence of a high-quality league.
“When you have a quality league, you can then provide quality jobs for supporting staff and promote the industry,” Yeung said.
With the city’s first major e-sports festival – funded by the government – set to kick off on Friday, Yeung also urged authorities to acknowledge e-sports as a sport.
“For a league to function, you need venues and there are currently no fixed venues for e-sports,” he said.
Yeung recalled difficulties in renting venues for competitions because of the lack of official classification of e-sports as a sport. This resulted in less priority given to e-sports bookings for venues such as Macpherson Stadium.
Yeung tried to dispel the myth that e-sports is just about gaming, saying that the mental concentration required of players expends a lot of physical strength.
Ice Wong Kwan-yin, a member of the Hong Kong Student Esports Association, said there were already enough teams in Hong Kong to set up a local league.
But the absence of such a league had resulted in local players having to go to Taiwan for competitions, Wong said.