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>> Ten years ago, screaming media headlines called it electronic heroin with parent staging interventions and enrolling their kids in detox centers. Today, China is hooked on video gaming. Professional eSports tournaments attract huge crowds. The players are enjoying new found fame and the government is cheering from the sidelines.
] in Shanghai at the League of Legends Pro League where China's top players are bringing their A game. The nationwide competition lasts for nine months. The winners will walk away with a big cash prize and a spot in the World Championships. By some estimates China has 100 million eSports fans across the country, many of them watching tournaments live or online.
China stay media now claims the country has the biggest eSports market in the world. Sponsorships, endorsements and tickets to events clocked in at $4 billion last year. Tech giant Tencent already owns Riot Games, creators League of Legends. But other big names have skin in the game, including Alibaba which has put up millions in prize money.
ESports organizer Lee Jin started out as a superstar player and now helps put together tournaments.>> ESports in China is driven by the market and now governments are getting involved. It's helping industries like advertising, retail goods even real estate. So of course, the government would notice this.>> Officials are hoping double digit growth while help contribute to their big project, turning China into a consumer driven economy.
But experts warn that although fans are going crazy about the game today, all the money flowing in could create a bubble. That could mean game over when the money stops coming in.>>