RELATED: China Esports Blast: March 2022
Sports digital agency Mailman has released the second edition of its Mailman Esports Red Card: China Digital Performance Index, a report that assesses China’s esports landscape and the performance of international esports teams across its digital ecosystem.
In the report, Mailman CEO Andrew Collins described 2021 as a tricky year for China’s gaming industry, amidst the government’s three hour weekly limit on gaming for minors, and a temporary halt on new game approvals.
By the end of 2021, however, the market was home to 489m esports consumers and 3.4m esports practitioners, according to the report, as well as 21,000 new esports companies since the start of the year.
The Digital Performance Index’s team ranking compares the popularity of international teams according to eight different metrics across their digital presence on Weibo, Douyin, Bilibili, Tmall, Huya and Douyu.
G2 Esports came out on top in the ranking, with the organisation being the number one most engaged and number two most followed team on social platform Weibo. Mailman attributed the success to G2’s focus on the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) — China’s top-flight league — as well as localised memes.
T1 followed in second place as the number one most followed team on Weibo, on which it garnered over 250,000 new followers in 2021. Success was attributed largely to utilising pro player Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok’s star power, and leveraging the team’s strong performance at the League of Legends World Championship.
TSM ranked third. The organisation was the most engaged team on video sharing site Bilibili, with 25 per cent higher engagement than G2 Esports. The report claimed that this was driven by viral content around LoL players, Rainbow Six and Apex. TSM also leveraged the addition of two Chinese League of Legends players to its roster, resulting in record engagement on Weibo.
Also in the report, Mailman commented on the changing social media landscape for international esports entities in China. Weibo remains the number one social platform for international teams to grow brand awareness online in China, Mailman stated, as Weibo allocates increased resources to gaming and esports content across teams, talent and tournaments.
RELATED: China Esports Blast: February 2022
Ranked by number of engagements based on Weibo Esports data, the League of Legends World Championship (80.5 million engagements), Honour of Kings Autumn Split (15.1m), Peacekeeper Elite Series S2 (8.0m), League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational (1.4m), and Dota 2’s The International 10 (345,000) were identified as the most important esports tournaments for China in 2021.
Sum Huang, CEO of Endeavor China, which Mailman is part of, commented: “The new gaming licence approval by the government opens up further business opportunities and injects positivity into the country’s burgeoning esports industry.
“China’s esports ecosystem is truly unique, following a record revenue year and an upcoming Asian Games which includes esports titles for the first time, no country is scaling this industry faster than China. 2022 is set up for a blockbuster esports year.”
The full Esports Red Card: China Digital Performance Index report is available to read here.
Esports Insider says: The China Digital Performance index offers valuable insights into a market often shrouded in unknowns for much of the Western esports market. It was interesting to see that, despite domestic problems within its gaming market, esports had a solid year in China in 2021.