LOGAN MCLEAN

Perspective: Tencent And Its Impact On Esports

Logan McLean, Esports Advisor, for NGame Esports talks about the global company, Tencent, and having governance in esports.

Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels

The internet-based technology company, Tencent, hosted its annual esports conference. The focus was around four topics: esports cities, the esports ecosystem, esports talent, and technology in the esports industry. Tencent seems to be a leading organization in China motivated to build the framework in esports. Do you see an organization similar to Tencent in the US with the same esports efforts?

To answer the question, we must first address what Tencent is as an entity. Tencent Holdings Ltd. is a multinational investment conglomerate and the sixth-largest internet company by revenue, which has a plethora of subsidies that make them the largest gaming company in the world. Tencent has a majority stake in Riot Games, creators of League of Legends, and minority shares in game studios Activision-Blizzard, Epic Games, Ubisoft.

The US-based subsidies of Tencent; Riot, Epic, and Activision-Blizzard are leading our domestic esports efforts. This is demonstrated by the geo-franchising of the Overwatch League, the announced franchising of the Call of Duty World League, and the Fortnite World Cup. Ever continued success of League of Legends has sprung a grassroots initiative to create programs at all levels. This mirrors the competitive path to professional for an esports athlete as you would see in traditional sports such as American Football.

In terms of having more governance in esports, should it have a national or global framework?

Governance in esports will always rest in the power of the developer, and it must be international. We will use the Overwatch League as an example. It is a league that until 2020 competes in Los Angeles, with teams in six nations and hosts players of a complete international variety. An American based entity runs the league, that is owned in part by Chinese supercompany Tencent. Esports, while very much a global offering, is not yet of the size where an international governing body similar to FIFA would be beneficial to the growth of esports as a concept.

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