On March 3rd, Macau-based Grow uP eSports Association contributed with a lecture on Gaming and an esports demonstration at the “One Degree Beyond eSports Workshop”, hosted by the sports company 361º and organized by POHK and Evoloop.

The workshop, held headquarters of Alibaba Cloud in Hong Kong, aimed to provide guests with a deeper understanding of an industry that has been developing immensely over the last 20 years and does not show signs of slowing down in the near future.

Kickstarting this topic was the General Director of 361º, Mr. Wang Lei, drawing the attention not only to the growth of this sport, but also to the fact that esports will be making their debut as a “demonstration project” at international sporting events in the Asian Games of 2022. Mr. Wang further emphasized that society’s vision of the esports industry will change and that we must prepare ourselves for the social consequences that the industry will have in the future.

On the next session, the Chairman of Grow uP eSports, Mr. Frederico dos Santos Rosário, explained his vision of how just over ten years ago, video games were just something that united a group of people to meet; but now it’s bringing together millions of youngsters and has become an immensely profitable industry.

To demonstrate the level of rigor that goes into competitive game to the audience, Grow uP eSports brought in four competitive players – a set of two Tekken players and another set of Street Fighter V players – for a duel among themselves to the best of three victories. After the audience caught on to what was about to happen, the players competed and each second was lived intensely.

After the demonstration, the workshop continued with its third speaker, Professor Peichi Chung of the “Chinese University of Hong Kong”. Ms. Peichi Chung used her vast 12-year experience in studying esports to explain to the audience how the industry works. Results of the esports industry’s rapid worldwide development were presented, comparing the revenue of $194 million USD in 2014 to $696 million USD in 2017, and an audience of 90 million that grew to 191 million fans in the same period. The same study forecasts that 2020 will reach a revenue of 1,220 million USD and an audience of 286 million esports fans.

According to Ms. Peichi Chung, the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 51 percent of the audience in 2017 and in addition China and South Korea had a combined market share of 23 percent in 2016, worth $106 million USD and lastly that China has more than 1000 professional players.

As the last speaker, “Tat Gor”, a Hong Kong celebrity who rose to fame through gaming, spoke about the development of the esports industry in Hong Kong. He believes that Hong Kong is the right place for the development of esports due to its high density population and the high popularity of computers and cellphones was one of the main reasons. He further added that people are easily contacted through the games.

The most striking topic was that the Hong Kong government intends to include esports into the government’s budget for the fiscal year of 2018/2019 with an investment of 100 million HKD to promote the development of this new form of entertainment.