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An e-sports competition being broadcast at a carnival in Wuhan city, Hubei province. (China Foto Press)

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.

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“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.

Members of PandaCute, Hong Kong’s all-female professional e-sports team. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

“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.

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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.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: e-sports ‘will benefit from having a league’