NetEase has announced its plans to invest over RMB 5 billion (around $ 725 million) in building an Esports park in Shanghai. The news was made on Saturday 3 August during the 2019 China Digital Entertainment Congress (CDEC).
NetEase has officially started the planning and construction of the first stage of the Esports park. According to NetEase, “China’s first large professional e-sports stadium” will be located in Shanghai’s western Qingpu District and also host facilities for game development, team building, and talent training.
NetEase’s rival, Tencent, is currently leading the Esports sector thanks to its two professional leagues for the game “League of Legends” and the “Honour of Kings”. In January, Tencent signed a deal with Shanghai’s Oriental Sports Center, appointing it the primary host stadium for its Esports tournaments. Last year, Shanghai’s Minhang district unveiled its collaboration with Tencent and Super Generation Investment in building an international Esports industrial park. The “Shanghai International New Cultural and Creative E-sports Center,” is scheduled to begin use by 2020. Shanghai is currently host to a number of Tencent’s biggest esports competitions.
The Shanghai government is also highly invested in growing the Esports ecosystem, hoping to make Shanghai an “Esports capital” within the next three to five years. The government’s guidelines encourage companies to invest in three to four Esports stadiums capable of hosting top-tier tournaments.