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WCA works with Youku Tudou and Taobao to better commercialize e-sport

By Want ChinaTime Friday, 15 May 2015 12:00

The World Cyber Arena (WCA), a global tournament of competitive video gamers founded in 2014, plans to work with Chinese video site Youku Tudou and shopping platform Taobao to better commercialize the business of e-sport, reports Shanghai's China Business News.

The WCA, which is operated by China's Geeya Technology, announced jointly with Taobao Games and Youku Tudou in Guangzhou the "WCA Plus" program, which aims to build the popularity and influence of competitive video gaming in China.

WCA spokesman Mao Kankan said that the influence of e-sport stars could be as huge as stars in the entertainment world and that the newly announced program has been established to extend the careers of gamers.

"Everyone knows that the golden age of a professional gamer is between 16 and 20. After that, one's reactions become slower," said a former professional gamer nicknamed Caomei.

Caomei, now in his 20s, was a member of IPL5, the first Chinese team to win the championship for League of Legends. He retired from competitive gaming in August last year and became an e-sport commentator.

The short career in competitive gaming led to WCA's approaching Taobao and Youku Tudou earlier this year in a bid to create new income streams for gamers and the sector, Mao said.

The cancellation of the World Cyber Games after Samsung pulled its sponsorship also shows that a tournament cannot rely on commercial sponsors, Mao added.

According to Ma Chuanzhi, general manager of Taobao Games, his firm can help gamers set up online shops selling various products through platforms run by Taobao's parent company, Alibaba.

Some e-sport stars that own online shops selling merchandise they endorse, such as food, clothing and game-related products, can make up to 1 million yuan (US$161,000) a month, Ma added.

Meanwhile, Youku Tudou vice president Chen Yi said his company plans to offer gamers that stream and comment on their play online training and opportunities to take part in a wider range of TV and film productions to expand their careers.

Mao said a gamer can establish himself through WCA competitions and that the partnership with Taobao and Youku Tudou, which can gather and analyze massive amounts of user data, will help better target audiences and achieve commercialization.

Although the WCA is a newcomer in the market of online platforms that distribute games and broadcast gameplay, Mao said there are not that many rivals in online broadcasting of live gaming and that a business ecosystem has not been established.

Original title by Want ChinaTime: E-sport tournament WCA turns focus on gamers' careers

Tags: eSports


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