The Future of Chinese eSports

OnGamers News translates a piece from the original Chinese on the future of Chinese eSports: “Massive streaming contracts for as much as $0.8 million are driving up players salaries and signing bonuses in Chinese esports.”

The piece profiles Wei “CaoMei” Han-Dong: “Starting from junior high, he played DotA for five years before switching to League of Legends after high school. Following three months of play where he paid six RMB per night at a PC Cafe, CaoMei hit number one on the Chinese ladder and was invited to join World Elite Club with the title of “Solo Queue King.” Initially, CaoMei’s mother was against him playing games; she was working part-time in a breakfast restaurant, and the first thing she did every day after work was take her son home from the PC Cafe. When CaoMei started to make money from eSports, she finally realized it’s a serious business.”

“Progamers feel pressured to train all day without breaks. They could be gone any day if they have a poor performance, as well as the pressure they get from the community after a loss. Korea has always been China’s strongest competitor in esports. Over the past two years in League of Legends, Chinese players were almost always beaten by Koreans. A 0-3 clean sweep was a common thing, which has become the focal point for toxicity. Many Chinese forum members lashed out after such a loss, and stated that “Since it’s a clean sweep, I think I can do it as well,” or “Even a dog fight would have the same result.” All of these attacks only add to the stress of being a professional gamer.”

“At the end of August 2014, CaoMei announced his retirement. He had been working for the most famous esports club in China, World Elite, for the past three years. When he was at his prime, he could get 4,000 RMB ($654) every month. After winning IPL 5, he negotiated hard to increase his salary to 7,500 RMB ($1,227), plus prize money. The price of this money is to train whenever he’s not dining or sleeping. During the toughest two months, he only slept 4 hours a day.”

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