Construction of a huge arena for esports competitions has just started in Shanghai. These efforts are part of the ambition of the Chinese metropolis to become the world capital of gambling.
SuperGen, the parent company of Edward Gaming’s esports team, is the main sponsor of the complex, known as the Shanghai International New Cultural and Creative E-Sports Center, which covers an area of 500,000 square meters. It will cost more than $ 828 million to build, and the space seats nearly 10,000 spectators daily, while hosting around 300 sporting events each year. In addition to the arena, there will also be a five-star eSports-themed hotel, breakdance center, indoor skydiving center and many other facilities and attractions. Should construction be completed in 2023, the center will open its doors a year later, in 2024.
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Shanghai hopes to become the world gambling capital. While it has organized the League of Legends World Championships in 2020, it is one of the most important events in international esports. Logically, this new center should attract hundreds of companies in the field and create more than 2,000 jobs there. China is the largest esports market in the world: According to the specialist company Niko Partners, 70% of the 720 million Chinese players play electronic sports. In some cases, gambling in the Middle Kingdom can become a real problem, so an addiction control plan has been put in place to tackle League of Legends addiction. The country has therefore tightened access to video games.
In addition, the Covid 19 pandemic has given the already rapidly growing eSports sector a strong boost. Forced to stay at home, people have turned to new formats to pass their time. During the initial lockdown, the League of Legends and Counter Strike leagues broke audience records in Europe and Asia. According to Newzoo analysts, eSports generated $ 1.1 billion worldwide in 2020.