A campus e-sports association was unveiled in Shanghai on Sunday with members from more than 30 local universities and vocational colleges.
The association will work under the guidance of education, tourism and culture authorities in the city, which aims to become a global center for e-sports.
The focus will be on education, building competition platforms and operation and regulation standards, as well as promoting green and healthy e-sports ideas. It will also promote exchanges and cooperation in e-sports, such as organizing international competitions, conferences and forums.
E-sports has been developing rapidly in recent years. China’s General Administration of Sport officially recognized the sector in 2008 and set up a national e-sports team in 2013. In 2016, the Ministry of Education listed e-sports management as an academic discipline. Last year, e-sports became a performance event at the Asian Games in Jakarta. Last month, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security recognized e-sports operator and e-sports athlete as professions.u
But as the industry developed, it became obvious there was a lack of qualified talent. In 2017, according to Tencent, China lacked 260,000 e-sports professionals, especially those with management experience.
Jin Lei, deputy director of Shanghai Culture and Tourism Bureau, said Shanghai’s key advantage in developing a global center for e-sports was in its efforts to create a favorable environment.
“The establishment of the association will be helpful in accelerating academic discipline education, cultivating related talent and boosting a clustering effect,” he said. “And the 5G network construction in the world by China’s three communication operators can also provide better infrastructure for all industrial sections. The government is also guiding all districts to develop e-sports as an important part of the modern service industry, providing more space for e-sports programs. We are also working out standards for venue construction, competition operation, athletes registration and game broadcasting, trying to provide Shanghai’s experience as references for other places.”
Li Wei, an official from the city’s education and health committee, said the fast development of e-sports had raised the requirements in cultivating talent.
He said the association will focus on the comprehensive development of the industry and cooperate with enterprises and educational institutions to promote the city’s capacity in cultivating e-sports talent.
Gu Liming, vice president of online gaming company Perfect World, said: “The future development of e-sports will reply on scientific and cultural innovation. The exchanges of talent and creativity will promote cooperation between colleges and enterprises and foster a world-class industrial cluster.”