E-sports has become a new topic during this year’s Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference’s Shanghai Committee meeting, with political advisers calling for more recognition towards the sport and social support including talent cultivation system.
E-sports is a form of competition using video games, taking the organized multiplayer form most of the time. It won recognition as a sporting activity from the International Olympic Committee in 2017, and will be included in the 2022 Asian Olympic Games to be held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
Shanghai, regarding e-sports as a cultural and innovative industry, has set a goal of building itself into a national e-sports center. Currently, more than 40 percent of the country’s e-sports competitions are held in Shanghai. Last week, Jing’an District announced the planning of 30 new e-sports venues around Lingshi Road.
However, problems like lack of talent, varied competition regulations, lack of organization and deficient social recognition are among the difficulties e-sports face in the early stage of its development in Shanghai and China.
“E-sports education should be developed earlier than the industry itself so as to build up standards and sustainable system for the industry,” political adviser Wang Yong said during the CPPCC’s Shanghai Committee meeting. “Apart from building new venues and introducing international competitions, the cultivation of e-sports talent is crucial, as well as the public’s correct understanding towards e-sports.”
“Students interested in electronic games should not be repelled. They have potentials and can contribute to e-sports industry as long as proper guidance and education are given,” said Wang. “There have been examples that some electronic game lovers showed great innovative ability, who later became leaders in technology or innovative industry companies.”
Shanghai University of Sport and other educational institutions are already offering courses in the e-sports field. A total of 21 students have been recruited into e-sports commentary major last year. According to the university, they learn basic sports knowledge and commentary skills in the first two years. Courses in the technicalities of game playing will be available only in the last two years.
Du Youjun, dean of the university’s media and foreign language college, said e-sports majors won’t aim at cultivating gamers, but will provide professional talents for the industry.
Shanghai E-sports Association deputy director Zhu Qinqin said e-sports requires talents who know about the games while owning marketing and management skills. He also pointed out that unified regulations and industry standards for e-sports are the needs of the hour. There is no country-level association for e-sports in China, nor international organization like FIFA for football.
Political adviser Gu Jianjun pointed out that Shanghai is lagging behind in self-developed e-sports products which could showcase culture elements of the city and country. Also, e-sports athletes should get access to scientific physical trainings as they spend a lot of time sitting and making repetitive operation.