Bulletins

Chinese fans were giddy at the nation's esports win

Esports has become a source of national pride, with even casual fans and non-fans celebrating in the streets.

An esports tournament

An underdog Chinese team won the 11th season of the League of Legends World Championship.

Image: Activision Blizzard

Even amid tightening regulatory control over gaming, esports is becoming a source of national pride in China. Over the weekend, many Chinese people were surprised by the enthusiastic domestic reaction to the victory of a Chinese esports team.


On Nov. 6, Edward Gaming (EDG), an underdog Chinese team of League of Legends players, won the 11th season of LoL's World Championship. Even though this was already the third time a Chinese team has taken the throne, social media still went crazy. Over one-third of the top 50 trending hashtags on Weibo were about the game, and the main tag has been read over 3 billion times. The livestreamed competition was watched by over 80 million people separately on Weibo and Tencent's video platforms, plus hundreds of millions more on Bilibili. Those who weren't following the game were caught by surprise over how many of their friends were cheering the victory, many of whom didn't appear to be gamers or esports fans at all.

Celebrations in real life were also frantic. Roars from exhilarated fans shook college dorm buildings while others ran around in the streets. Bars and shopping malls hosted watch parties that were soon crammed by fans. The majority of them are young men in their 20s, although a significant number of female fans can also be seen in the videos. Outside of China, this level of fervent national celebration probably only happens after a World Cup victory, but in China, esports is taking center stage.

The parallel between these reactions over the weekend and Beijing's recent moves restricting video games may seem confusing. But as gaming analyst Daniel Ahmad noted on Twitter, China currently has an estimated esports fan base of over 400 million. While the country wrestles with its long-held belief that minors should not be exposed too much to video games, it's also not giving up on esports' gigantic commercial potential and possible global cultural impact. Perhaps most evidently, Chinese authorities are increasingly pushing esports to be considered a serious sport, with it being added to the 2022 Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China.

For a Chinese gaming industry that has struggled this year with looming regulations, EDG's victory and the national reaction to it provides a much-needed boost of confidence. It proves that while few are watching, esports has grown to be a universal form of entertainment among China's youth. With Chinese traditional sports teams like soccer and basketball playing disappointingly on the global stage, esports is where fans are going to get their dose of national pride.

Latest Bulletins

David Hatfield has stepped down as co-CEO of cloud security vendor Lacework but will remain on the company's board of directors, Protocol has learned.

Keep Reading Show less

California’s new pay transparency law, SB 1162, promises to shake up compensation in the tech industry by requiring employers in the state to list pay scales in job ads and reveal pay information to both the state and to current employees. We spoke with Susan Alban, operating partner and chief people officer at Renegade Partners, and compensation consultant Ashish Raina to learn how.

Keep Reading Show less

Pour one out for the Lightning cable.

Keep Reading Show less

Carbon dioxide removal service buyers and sellers are focused on one metric: $100 per ton. It’s one of Frontier’s stated criteria that the fund uses to evaluate its advance purchases. In a survey of the long-duration carbon removal community, CarbonPlan found that stakeholders are focused on the $100 benchmark. The Department of Energy even announced that it would be investing in carbon removal research to bring the cost of the technology down to $100 per ton.

Keep Reading Show less

When Google announced the closure of its Stadia cloud gaming platform last week, the news was delivered at roughly the same time to employees, partners, and players on Thursday morning. Within hours, it had become clear that Stadia’s shutdown, planned for next January, would involve more than just refunding consumer purchases and quietly bowing out.

Now developers are scrambling to salvage planned projects, migrate players to other platforms, and figure out whether they’re still owed money from Google before the search giant puts Stadia out to pasture for good.

Keep Reading Show less

Trading of Twitter shares was briefly halted midday as CNBC and Bloomberg reported that Elon Musk now plans to go through with his deal to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share. The news was later confirmed.

Keep Reading Show less

The U.S. is set to unveil a fresh set of policies Thursday aimed at choking off China’s access to advanced chip manufacturing technology and the chips themselves, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Keep Reading Show less

Companies like Meta and Lyft have stopped hiring for the year, and that’s music to the ears of other tech companies that are still staffing up. Much of talent sourcing still takes place on LinkedIn, but many recruiters have found their own techniques to use the service more efficiently. We asked LinkedIn’s VP of talent acquisition and three outside recruiters for their best LinkedIn hacks for sourcing talent.

Keep Reading Show less

Kim Kardashian broke the internet, and according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, she also broke the securities laws.

Keep Reading Show less

On Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that makes phone calls from California’s prisons free of charge. The new law places the cost of calls not on incarcerated people — or the people receiving calls from them — but on the state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

California is the second state after Connecticut and the biggest state by far to institute such a law, which is a direct shot at the $1.4 billion prison telecom industry. For years prison telecom companies have maintained rates that “can be unjustly and unreasonably high, thereby impeding the ability of inmates and their loved ones to maintain vital connections,” the FCC said in 2020.

Prison reform advocates argue the new California law will have a hugely positive impact on the families of incarcerated people in California — and potentially other states that follow California's lead.

Keep Reading Show less

Rohit Chopra arrived as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau one year ago today. True to his reputation as an aggressive watchdog from his time as an FTC commissioner and an earlier stint at the CFPB, he has pursued a busy agenda that’s setting up regulatory battles to come.

Keep Reading Show less
Tech salaries are about to get a lot more transparent. On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new law to require California employers to post salary ranges in job postings and report hourly pay data by employees’ race and sex to the state. We spoke with four employment lawyers and other pay transparency experts about what this means, and how to comply.
Keep Reading Show less

Microsoft said Friday it's "working on an accelerated timeline" to provide a patch for two newly disclosed vulnerabilities affecting Exchange email servers, which the company acknowledged have been used in attacks on customers.

Keep Reading Show less

Google is stepping up its push for open video formats: The company plans to force hardware manufacturers to support the AV1 video codec if they want to run Android 14 on their mobile devices, according to comments left in recent commits to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) that were first spotted by Esper senior technical editor Mishaal Rahman.

Keep Reading Show less

A troubling new vulnerability affecting Microsoft Exchange email servers has been disclosed by researchers, though details are still emerging on the severity and exploitability of the flaw.

Keep Reading Show less

The gas-powered vehicle ban dominoes have begun to fall.

Keep Reading Show less

Tech industry groups are once again pleading with the 5th Circuit to block HB 20, Texas' on-again, off-again social media law, which the court recently allowed to take effect.

Keep Reading Show less

Sometimes a major "hack" isn't really a hack at all, such as with some breaches caused by the mishandling of APIs.

Keep Reading Show less

The neobank MoneyLion charged service members excessive fees for loans and often refused to cancel paid memberships, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Keep Reading Show less

Google is shutting down its Stadia cloud gaming service, nearly three years after its launch and roughly 18 months since the company shut down its internal game development division.

Keep Reading Show less

Amazon announced pay raises and the rollout of new benefit programs to warehouse employees Wednesday. But one of those products may pose increased risks to the company’s most precarious workers: the expanded rollout of Amazon’s Anytime Pay Program.

Keep Reading Show less

More pay transparency is coming to California. The Golden State is joining New York City, Colorado, and Washington in requiring employers to disclose pay ranges in job ads.

Keep Reading Show less

Cost-cutting in tech is officially hitting the industry’s titans. After years of ruthless staffing up, both Meta and Google have told some employees to find new jobs within the company or leave, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Keep Reading Show less

Calendly, the $3 billion scheduling startup that everyone likes to periodically fight about, has made its first acquisition: Prelude, a startup specializing in the hiring process. Prelude is specifically geared toward scheduling job interviews or other types of recruitment-related meetings.

Keep Reading Show less

Celsius Network CEO Alex Mashinsky resigned from the embattled cryptocurrency lender Tuesday morning. The lender is in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings after pausing withdrawals in June.

Keep Reading Show less
Bulletins