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Embracing gaming power

July 30, 2017

Cyber career

Cyber career:   Former Institute of Vocational Education student Robert Lee (right) has become a professional gamer after winning an Asian e-sports competition.

Promising future

Promising future:  Professional gamer Isaac Chan (left) says e-sports have huge development potential in Hong Kong.

Fresh competition

Fresh competition:  E-sports are growing in popularity, receiving official recognition in recent years.

Tourism trend

Tourism trend:  Hong Kong Tourism Board Event & Product Development General Manager Mason Hung says the e-Sports & Music Festival will attract young visitors by mixing video games and music.

Young people's obsession with video games is often frowned upon by parents and teachers.


But for former Institute of Vocational Education student Robert Lee gaming has brought him glory.


He was among a five-member team from the institute that won an Asian e-sports competition last year.


The team beat competitors from the Mainland, Vietnam, Singapore and elsewhere to be crowned winner in the League of Legends International Collegiate Championship held in Taipei in November.


Lee has since become a professional player and his parents no longer object to him playing video games.


"The older generation thinks playing electronic games is a decadent activity which is not good for health.


"Since I brought the big trophy back home they started to recognise and support my career. Once they know a famous e-sports player can earn considerable income, they don’t worry about my livelihood anymore."


Legendary game

League of Legends is a multiplayer online video game with more than 100 million players worldwide.


Working as a team, players devise strategies to destroy the base camp of their opponents.


With the rising popularity of e-sports the Hong Kong Tourism Board will hold the e-Sports & Music Festival from August 4 to 6 at the Hong Kong Coliseum.


Former world-class professional League of Legends players from Europe, North America, the Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau will gather in the city to compete for glory.


K-pop groups will perform on August 5 to support the event.


With government funding of $35 million the festival is one of the events to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


The festival is a major summer promotion event aimed at young people, which the Tourism Board estimates will attract 50,000 participants, 10% of them overseas visitors.


Gaming tourism

Tourism Board Event & Product Development General Manager Mason Hung said the festival will appeal to young visitors by mixing video games and music.


He said more than half of the overnight arrivals to Hong Kong last year were people aged 16 to 35.


"After talking to the trade and some industry experts, we believe e-sports, the concert, will be a good item or good elements to target this young segment."


Not only growing fast in popularity, gaming has also received increasing official recognition in recent years.


It will be included as a medal sport in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.


The Government also outlined its development potential in the 2017-18 Budget, saying e-sports is a new sector which will boost the development of the local gaming and innovation and technology industries.


Competitive careers

For young people e-sports has given them a new career choice.


Isaac Chan also turned professional after winning the League of Legends International Collegiate Championship held in Taipei.


"From what I know, we are the only professional male team playing League of Legends in Hong Kong. We are lucky that a company discovered our talent and gave us an opportunity to turn our interest into a career."


He added there is big development potential for e-sports in Hong Kong.


"There's no shortage of e-sports talent here.


"I hope there will be more promotional events like the e-Sports & Music Festival, so more people can learn about it."