The next stop on the League of Legends World Tour brings us to China. As one of the fastest growing markets for PC games, Chinese gamers are some of the most passionate in the world. With more and more and more titles are quickly expanding into the region, the Chinese marketplace has become a hotspot for competitive gaming. In particular, Chinese players primarily enjoy FPS, MMORPG and MOBA style games.
Although there were already well-established competitors in the region, China was quick to embrace League of Legends, citing a quick, reliable update schedule and open, responsive developers as two of their primary reasons for playing. Available as a part of China’s QQ Network – a holistic service that offers social networking, messaging and gaming services to its users – the game quickly soared to the top of the charts when the open beta began in July 2011. By the end of the year, League of Legends had become one of the fastest growing games released by a foreign game studio in the past three years.
League of Legends is also frequently represented at some of the larger gaming conventions in China, with passionate players often turning out in elaborate costumes to view the latest developments to the title. In addition to the cosplay community, a huge number of fan arts and crafts flood the Chinese League of Legends forums each and every day across a variety of media including: illustrations, sculptures and even sand art!
China also boasts one of the most bustling PC café cultures in the world, with over 35% of summoners choosing these venues for their everyday competition. Many of these PC cafés also host the Demacia Training Camp on regular basis, offering training to new players and demo machines where summoners can test their skills at new champions. Additionally, the LoL City Hero Tournament has taken place in 88 cities across China, and Tencent Game Arena sponsors frequent tournaments that are constantly growing more competitive and professional. This vibrant national scene has helped China develop a unique spin on the global League of Legends metagame, favoring fast-paced matches and high-mobility champions such as Ezreal and Lee Sin .
Internationally, China has also fielded a large number of major contenders on the world stage. At IntelEM Global Challenge Guangzhou, a series of Chinese teams shocked the eSports world in their first major international competition. After a hard-fought group stage, two Chinese teams advanced to finish in the top four, with China’s World Elite claiming the championship by defeating North American powerhouse Counter Logic Gaming. All three participating Chinese teams also qualified for the IntelEM World Championship in Hannover, Germany. This makes China the nation with the largest number of teams representing them at the World Championships of this prestigious international tournament series!
With a constantly growing community of passionate gamers behind it, the Chinese community seems poised to impress on the international stage. Moreover, with the IntelEM World Championships on the horizon, we’re thrilled by the prospect of watching these talented summoners once again test their skills in Hannover, Germany. We’re extremely excited to see what China will bring to the global League of Legends community in 2012!