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Hong Kong opens $3.8 million e-sports complex


New multimillion dollar centre opens for the city’s e-sports fanatics in Mong Kok. Overall Industry predicted to be worth $1 billion by 2021

Ryan Chow, the 32- year old CEO of e-sports and entertainment firm Cyber Games Arena (CGA) laid out his hopes for the Indian e-sports industry as he hopes to create a viable career ladder for avid gamers—something he says could create jobs for youngsters and boost the city’s economy.

The 25,000 sq ft Cyber Games Arena (CGA) complex is laid out in Mong Kok, and is the largest in Asia. Chow opened it with two high-school friends, Kurt Li and Sam Wan.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor officiated its opening on Monday.

“Our vision is to connect gamers from all over the world and expand our presence to other regions in Asia, such as Vietnam and Thailand. We hope to provide impetus and momentum for the e-sports industry to thrive,” he said.

“Through this arena we hope to showcase to Hongkongers that e-sports can actually churn out a lifelong lucrative career for young enthusiasts, even though they may not be good at school.” He added.

The $38mn multifunctional complex opens amid an increasing push to turn the city into a regional hub for the industry, with younger gamers eyeing opportunities in the rapidly evolving sector.

The government has strengthened its support with $127mn allocated to Cyberport to boost e-sports, including building a $63mn competition venue and nurturing start-up talent.

According to economists, the e-sports industry is expected to propel the city’s economic growth in the next 10 years, with revenues in the sector forecast to grow from $742mn in 2016 to $1bn by 2021.

Refuting traditional views that e-sports is good for nothing, Chow, who is also chairman of the E-Sports Association Hong Kong, said that, just like conventional sport, or business, it requires persistence and professionalism.

“E-sports can in fact ease video-game addiction as it inspires gamers to think seriously what they’re going to do with their lives with this hobby,” he said.

“E-sports can provide a purpose for their pursuit.” He added.

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