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The prosperous world behind S10: China’s e-sports, Tencent is in charge



The total score is 1:3. The SN team belonging to Suning from the LPL division staged the wonderful “five kills”, but ultimately lost the finals. However, the story of Chinese e-sports continues. According to the “Global E-sports Sports Industry Development Report 2020”, during the epidemic, the number of Chinese e-sports users increased by about 26 million, and China’s e-sports users reached 400 million, making it the world’s largest e-sports market.

The prosperous world behind S10: China's e-sports, Tencent is in charge 1

The SN team is a League of Legends sub-league team acquired by Suning Group in December 2016, and has become one of the few teams that have successfully upgraded before the LPL implemented the seat system. In addition to Suning, JD.com, Kuaishou and even Weibo have already started their own teams and have entered e-sports. In the Chinese e-sports arena where capital has entered the game, in fact, there is already a player with absolute right to speak-Tencent. .

From the combing of Tencent’s industrial chain layout over the years, we can see that Tencent has already won the absolute discourse of China’s e-sports market through the layout of games, events, live broadcasts and other fields and the tightening of the relationship between the industrial chain. right.

In China’s e-sports, Tencent has long been in charge.

1. Layout

In the entire e-sports industry chain, game manufacturers provide the market with high-quality boutique games to form a user base, which in turn promotes the design of top-level e-sports events; events and alliances are core bearing resources and have powerful content monetization space; downstream live broadcast platforms are As an important part of communication. In these links, Tencent has already occupied an absolute market share.

The path of Tencent e-sports should start from the most upstream of e-sports-content, and midstream-e-sports events and alliances.

At this year’s Tencent E-sports annual conference, Weibo E-sports Club officially acquired the TS team, Kuaishou acquired the King Glory YTG professional team, and Weibo and Kuaishou officially entered KPL. Prior to this, JD.com, Suning and other companies have formed their own e-sports teams.

These actions are seen as a signal for leading companies to enter the game. The games “League of Legends” and “Glory of Kings” behind these actions, as well as their professional leagues LPL (League of Legends Professional League) and KPL (Professional League of Kings), all have a common name-Tencent.

As early as ten years ago, Tencent, Benchmark Capital and Firstmark Capital, as investors, injected a total of US$8 million into Riot Games, the parent company of “League of Legends”, and Tencent also obtained the agent of “League of Legends” in the mainland Chinese market. right. After Tencent’s two share acquisitions in Riot in 2011 and 2015, Tencent currently has 100% holdings in Riot Games.

In 2013, the current Tencent E-sports Games was the former TGA, and the first LPL was incubated on the basis of “League of Legends”. “League of Legends” is the most discussed e-sports project both domestically and globally. Among them, LPL is not only the highest-level League of Legends professional competition in mainland China, but also the mainland China division leading to the annual League of Legends mid-season championship and the League of Legends global The only channel for the finals.

Not to mention Tencent’s own “King of Glory” and the corresponding professional league KPL. “King of Glory” has successfully brought the mobile e-sports industry to the top with its own strength. In 2019, the number of live broadcasts of professional events in the LPL Division exceeded 20 billion, and the number of event content views exceeded 65 billion. On the basis of watching the 2020 Spring Games The data is still improving steadily.

Both of these games made it into the Jakarta Asian Games Exhibition Games, proving their influence. In other well-known domestic e-sports projects, Tencent also actively participates through its own “money capability”: “Stimulating the battlefield” is Tencent’s game; “PUBG Mobile”, the developer behind the blue hole company Tencent holds a share of 11.5%; “Clash of Clans: Clash of the Royals” developer Supercell, “Fortnite” developer Epic Gasmes, and “Heartstone”, “DOTA”, “Overwatch” developers Blizzard have Tencent shareholders position……

As for the downstream live broadcast platform, on October 13 this year, Douyu and Huya announced their merger. According to the “Analysis of the Market Size and User Scale of China’s Game Live Broadcast Industry in 2020” released by Zhiyan Consulting, the current market share of Douyu and Huya are 36.5% and 45.9% respectively, and the combined market share will exceed 80%. . After the merger and settlement of the two, Tencent will own 67.5% of the voting rights of the new company and become the controlling shareholder of the new company. At this point, Tencent has completed the final step in mastering the game live broadcast platform, an e-sports communication platform.

In addition to Douyu and Huya, which occupy a huge share, Station B and Kuaishou also have the blessing of Tencent. Further to the surrounding areas, such as the offline event organizer, VSPN, undertook the execution and production of a number of electronic sports projects at the Jakarta Asian Games. Tencent also announced its investment in game live broadcast platforms Douyu and Huya two months after Invested. A few days ago, Tencent continued to support and led the $100 million Series B financing of VSPN1.

……

So far, the e-sports industry chain has spread all over Tencent’s chess pieces.

2. Tighten

With its leading e-sports projects and events, Tencent already has an absolute dominant share in the huge e-sports market. After mastering 100% of the basic board, that is, upstream games and corresponding head events, Tencent not only strengthened its own control by merging Huya and Douyu, but also strengthened its voice through the establishment of the system.

For example, in the head of the KPL alliance, Tencent is not only the organizer, but also the maker of industry rules. At present, the rules of the KPL Alliance include revenue sharing, salary cap, transfer system, tripartite brokerage model, professional training and content joint production, ranging from revenue sharing rules, minimum and maximum salary standards to transfer rules, and corresponding star players and commentary The models are all formulated by Tencent. The same is true for LPL. LPL is gradually implementing club and player financial fairness rules to control the growth rate of club spending. According to the rules, the league will limit competition and training spending and impose a luxury tax on the excess to control spending.

Under these rules, if you want to enter the upstream field of e-sports, whether it is a company or an individual who wants to build a dream in the e-sports circle, Tencent is a mountain that cannot be avoided.

In addition to formulating industry rules, Tencent is also strengthening the connection between the upstream and downstream of the e-sports industry, such as grasping the control of downstream through the copyright system.

Live broadcast can well drive the development of the game. One of the more classic cases is the world-class hit “PUBG Mobile”. Creative director Brendan Green attributed the success of this game to the live broadcast industry. However, after the game became popular, copyright became one of the ways for the live broadcast platform to stand in line.

In 2014, the YY anchor broadcasted his own battle on NetEase’s game “Fantasy Westward Journey”. After NetEase’s complaint, in 2017, the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court ruled that YY Live should stop disseminating game images through the Internet and compensate NetEase. The economic loss was 20 million yuan. Subsequently, Tencent sued Toutiao’s Watermelon Video in November 2018, claiming that its conduct of the live broadcast of the game “Glory of the King” without authorization seriously violated Tencent’s copyright and constituted unfair competition. . In February, the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court ruled that Watermelon Video immediately stopped broadcasting the game content of “Glory of the King”.

With legal support, Tencent set out to establish its own game-derived content authorization system: In November 2019, Tencent and the game live broadcast platform Tenshou formally reached an official cooperation, and Tencent was the first company to pass a license agreement with the full-volume of Tencent’s game-derived content authorization. A live broadcast platform for game-derived content cooperation with Tencent. The game-derived content involved in this cooperation refers to the production and production of the overall game screen based on Tencent Games, and its main content does not deviate from the overall game screen live broadcast, video and graphic content.

This means that the future live broadcast platform will not be able to broadcast its games without Tencent’s permission.

This is the only way for the industry to move toward standards, but in this process, Tencent has also strengthened its right to speak among industries. Nowadays, in the progressive process from competition cooperation, content derivation to offline integration, and team management, Tencent may deploy or connect. This means that if you want to engage in the e-sports industry, no matter which details you are in. , Tencent will be your dealer.

China’s veteran event organizer, Netease Culture Neotv, although NetEase is among the owners, CEO Lin Yuxin also bluntly said in an interview, “If a third-party comprehensive event does not make Tencent games, the future is slim. After all, Tencent is an e-sports competition. Things have a large market share.”

3. Expand

In this process, Tencent actually had competitors.

Compared with Tencent e-sports, Alibaba has spared no effort in promoting e-sports to enter Asia and the Olympics in the past: As early as April 2017, OCA and Alibaba Sports announced a strategic partnership. At that time, Alibaba Sports said that it would cooperate with OCA. Work together to create a new model for market development and promote the further development of e-sports in the traditional sports field. Subsequently, e-sports joined the 2017 Ashgabat Indoor Budo Games, the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games and the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games as an official sports event.

At the WESG Global Finals hosted by Ali, IOC member Angela Ruggiero said that the current e-sports is actively moving closer to the Olympics, and the IOC is also discussing and considering the inclusion of e-sports in the Olympics in the future.

However, Ali does not have Tencent’s games and rich industries. In May 2018, six e-sports events including “League of Legends”, “Arena of valor” (King of Glory International), and “Royal Clash”, including three Tencent e-sports events, became official performances of the Jakarta Asian Games , Tencent became the biggest winner, and Ali’s figure slowly disappeared from the e-sports industry.

Nowadays, head games and competitions are the source of Tencent’s absolute right to speak, and the resources and capabilities of the upper and lower industries of e-sports owned by Tencent will become the absolute barriers to competition in the future. If an e-sports event enters the end of its life, Tencent can also Start other projects quickly.

At this point, when we look at Tencent’s e-sports strategy, we will find that its vision is no longer just the layout within the industry, but is trying to go outside, go to the heights, promote the development of the industry, and expand the e-sports industry. The basic disk promotes the commercial and liquidity of e-sports.

Because the e-sports business community has been formed, there are more and more participants, and the capital of the bookmaker will also increase. In terms of commercialization, long-term user habits are the real invaluable treasure of the industry. Today, Tencent is also the treasure digger.

In 2019, Tencent’s TGA platform was upgraded to Tencent’s E-sports Games, hosting various games of national events, international events and customized events, making e-sports a national sport. Tencent is defining the scope of e-sports so that ordinary players can join in. Even the “Happy Landlord” and “Happy Mahjong” events have also been included.

One is sinking, and the other is to make e-sports break the circle more and become mainstream culture: from the performances of the Asian Games in Jakarta to the official competitions of the Southeast Asian Games, and on December 16, 2019, the International E-sports Federation will Singapore was formally established, and Huang Simian, executive member of the International Olympic Committee and former vice chairman of the International Olympic Committee, served as the first chairman of the Global E-Sports Federation…Tencent has not been absent in these processes.

At the same time, Tencent has also made many breakthrough attempts around the commercialization of e-sports. For example, the implementation of the urban development plan, the new path of the “e-sports + city” cultural and tourism industry, has built a bridge that connects tens of millions of traffic and consumption scenarios; or it can operate LPL and KPL as a sports league like the NBA. Actively introduce various commercial sponsorships.

Tencent is getting results, but we must also admit that Tencent is planting trees.

“No matter how our generation views e-sports, we must admit that the era of e-sports has come.” Table tennis Olympic champion Deng Yaping once said. “China Game Industry Report” shows that in the first half of 2020 alone, China’s e-sports revenue has reached 71.936 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 54.69%.

Hou Miao once said that Tencent E-sports hopes to be the promoter of China’s e-sports industry. Tencent is a vested interest and a promoter of this era.

E-sports in China is ushering in the best era, and Tencent has already taken the lead.

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