Chinese team wins LoL global final in tough battle against South Korea, highlights nation's high-speed esports devt

(Global Times) 09:49, November 08, 2021

Two days after eight esports games were officially announced to be included in the 19th Asian Games, China's Edward Gaming (EDG) team earned its first League of Legends (LoL) World Championship title with a 3-2 win over South Korea in a tough battle on Sunday morning, immediately drawing netizens' cheers of joy and trending top on Chinese social media.

The victory in the LoL Pro League (LPL) is undoubtedly a reflection of the high-speed development of China's esports, said industry practitioners, who believe that the esports players in the upcoming Asian Games are likely to win medals for the Chinese delegation.

On Friday, eight esports games - including the LoL - were announced to be included in the events of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022. This will be the first time that esports has been an official competition event in the Asian Games, and the medals will be counted in the national medal tally of the Games, the organizing committee announced at a press conference held during the 4th China International Import Expo.

Video games have long been criticized by many parents and teachers in China, who are concerned about teenagers' addiction, as some spend too much money and time on these games.

The relevant government department has required developers to jointly come up with regulations in attempts to better protect teenagers' health, while promoting the healthy development of the industry.

Chinese industry insiders said that the victory sheds light on the charm of esports and will further boost the integration of digital sports and traditional sports.

In the just-concluded 2021 League of Legends World Championship (Worlds 2021), the EDG team defeated the defending champions South Korea DK and set the best record in the team's history.

EDG became the second grand slam club in the world and the first grand slam club in the LoL Pro League. Player Meiko became the first grand slam player to win all the international and domestic tournaments that he participated in, the LoL official account said on Sina Weibo. The Shanghai Esports Association congratulated the EDG club for winning the Worlds 2021.

Chinese netizens congratulated the team, with topics about the victory trending on various social media platforms. The topic "EDG wins" had been viewed more than 2.63 billion times as of press time on Sina Weibo, ranking top for a long time.

The victory made fans' blood boil. Photos that went viral on Chinese social media platforms showed hundreds of fans on the streets on a playground, crowding in front of a screen livestreaming the game at midnight.

Several fans of the EDG told the Global Times on Sunday that they didn't sleep on Saturday night and were glued to their screens watching the final game, which took place from Saturday night to the early hours of Sunday morning.

A Nanchang-based fan surnamed Cheng posted a video showing him standing on his head at home to make good on his promise and celebrate the EDG's victory.

However, some crazy fans went a bit too far. A video of several fans walking on the street naked to celebrate the victory, and another video showing many shouting with joy from a residential building and disturbing other residents made the rounds on social media.

A vocational college in Xianyang, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province announced on Sunday that several esports fans were trying to hang the EDG team flag on the campus but were stopped by the school staff.

In response to these crazy acts, LoL put a post on Weibo and called on fans to have a rational celebration and obey public order.

Some netizens said the EDG has witnessed the development of China's esports industry with its own experience.

The esports industry, which attracts about 488 million game lovers in China, saw skyrocketing growth in recent years, with revenue rising from 94.73 billion yuan ($14.8 billion) in 2019 to 136.56 billion yuan in 2020, jumping by 44 percent.

According to media report, nearly 95 percent of graduates from esports majors in the Communication University of China in Nanjing, succeeded to find a job after gradutaion this year and 62 percent of them devoted to the esports industry, including video game clubs, game design companies and game competition operation companies.

(Web editor: Liang Jun, Hongyu)