China's Beijing E-sports Association eager for collaboration with Pakistan
By Lu Han
BEIJING, Feb.23 (Gwadar Pro) - China, USA and South Korea are dominating forces in the global E-sports arena, and now, electronic sports are in the process of being granted as a official sport for Pakistan.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Hussain, confirmed that discussions regarding the legitimization for Pakistan’s E-sports among Pakistan Sports Board and Pakistan Science Federation are underway, while the memorandum has already been signed. Moreover, the minister also said that the first Pakistan E-sport tournament is set to be held in March this year.
“I am glad to learn that Pakistan realized the huge economic benefits behind E-sports, and stimulated to greater efforts. At the current stage, it will be incredible if Chinese and Pakistani organizations can host championships together. We are definitely interested in the performance of Pakistani E-athletes”, Liu Zhen, Chairman of the Beijing E-Sports Association told Gwadar Pro.
The development of gaming and E-sports industry in Pakistan has been kept under the main-stream media’s radar for decades. General perceptions of gaming remain skeptical.
As the news came out, the majority of Pakistani netizens reacted positively, yet some posted their concerns under the Minister’s Twitter announcement as well.
“I am not surprised that such a proposal triggered public debates. Years ago, the majority of Chinese did not take gaming and E-sports seriously." Liu Zhen reacted to the comments.
“I think people need to understand that, just like in every other sport, there are only a few who can ‘make it’ and become world-class athletes. It takes commitment, concentration and sadly yet most importantly, real talent, to become successful in this industry. We turn down students who wish to be E-sports athletes almost everyday, and being an E-sport practitioner does not mean that you have to be a professional athlete. "
Liu told the reporter that currently in China, many types of careers are generated from the E-sports industry. “Aside from being professional players, E-sports related jobs include shout caster, referee, event organizer, video producer, PR executive, audio engineer, customer/fan base manager, E-sport finance practitioner, etc.”
On July 23, 2020, the Ministry of human resources and social security in China jointly released the development report for new occupations online learning platform with Alibaba group, which indicates that there will be a 2 million career vacancy for E-athletes and 1.5 million for E-sports organizers in the next five years.
“There will always be a talent gap in this industry, we won’t say no to a true talent, regardless of their nationalities. We have many foreign athletes in different leagues.”Liu said.
“I think the charming part of E-sports is that, it is like an avenue to dismantle prejudices. Poor or rich，in the battle field, people can only judge you by your performance.”
The obstacles for China and Pakistan to cooperate in E-sports is that Chinese organizations do not have access to Pakistani official departments or leading enterprises in Pakistan, the reporter learnt.
Currently, China secured 2nd place in the global share of E-sports revenue and has a gaming population of over 500 million with 26 per cent of internet users watching E-sports monthly.
The Chinese E-sports industry can be seen in embryo in underground cyber bars almost a decade ago. As the Chinese government recognized E-sports as a formal sport in 2003, E-sports became a demonstration of China’s soft power and international goodwill. Nowadays, Chinese athletes regularly claim victory on the global stage.
“The governmental level support is inseparable with the success of E-sports in China. Responding to national appeals, Tech giants in China invested tremendous amounts of money and manpower to support the growth of the industry.”Liu said. “Moreover, as a result of China’s rapid development in science and technology, the penetration rate for mobile, PC and console devices among people surged. This also laid a solid base for the development of the E-sports industry.”
“With a similar demographic pool, Pakistan can use China’s experience as a reference. E-spotrs industry can contributes to Pakistan's economic development, provides jobs for the locals and attracts foreign investment.