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E-sports

Organisers hope cheap tickets and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will lure young fans to Hong Kong e-sports festival

Prices cut by up to 40 per cent while new games added to schedule, as organisers look to attract younger fans

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 May, 2018, 7:11pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 May, 2018, 8:16pm

Ticket prices for August’s e-sports festival in Hong Kong will be cut by up to 40 per cent as organisers try to encourage more youngsters to go along.

And there was more good news for fans on Tuesday, with the announcement that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Zotac Cup Masters CS:GO, would be added to the gaming schedule, on top of the popular Return of the Legends, in which international players will compete at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).

Organisers promised Hong Kong gamers that world-famous musicians would also be in the city at the same time, to play concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hung Hom. 

More than 100,000 visitors are expected at this year’s festival, compared with the 60,000 that showed up to the first one in 2017.

Organisers will also put 4,000 to 6,000 tickets up for sale on the door at HKCEC on each day of the event.

The festival, which runs from August 24 to 26, is being organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, with more than HK$30 million in government funding. Well-known past champions and top international gamers will compete in front of live audiences. 

Matches will also be streamed live to viewers worldwide.

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Mason Hung Chung-hing, the board’s general manager, said prices for tickets, which last year cost between HK$80 and HK$480, would be lowered by up to 40 per cent.

“So far we haven’t decided the final ticket prices but they will be about 30 per cent to 40 per cent cheaper than last year’s. We hope to offer more affordable prices to encourage youngsters to join this event,” he said. 

E-sports has taken off as a form of entertainment in recent years. Annual revenues in the city’s video game industry were forecast to grow at a robust rate of 6.6 per cent and reach US$1 billion (HK$7.8 billion) by 2021, according to accounting firm PwC.

The e-sports event will be held alongside the Hong Kong Computer and Communications Festival, which, along with the two concerts on August 24 and 25, is part of a plan to boost the impact of the three days on tourism numbers.

While the two music acts had yet to be announced, Hung said fans could expect to see artists with an international appeal as the tender process, which ends on May 28, stipulates performers must be world-class, with experience of touring globally.