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Movie Adaptations and Official Recognition Help Esports to Go Mainstream in China

Niji Narayan

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Photo source: forbes.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In recent years, China’s esports industry has gained ground in terms of cultural acceptability, especially when it brings in money.

Multi-platform esports club Invictus Gaming (Ig) has been one of the driving forces behind esports’ push for mainstream respectability.

Invictus Gaming sponsored the winning team at the International Dota 2 tournament in 2012 and League of Legends World Championship 2018. Their successes have helped prompt the authorities into action, with a raft of announcements in recent months aimed at professionalising and popularising esports in China.

On July 31, 85 players of Dota 2, FIFA Online 4, Warcraft III: Frozen Throne and four other major esports titles received registered athlete certificates from the Sports Bureau of Shanghai, Sports Federation of Shanghai, and Shanghai Electronic Sports Association. The registrations were also joined by proclamations of plans to turn Shanghai into a “global esports capital” and an announcement from NetEase that they would soon be starting construction on a new esports park in the eastern Chinese city.

The King’s Avatar, a 6-million-character-long novel written by Wang Dong and serialised on online literature site qidian.com, has become one of China’s most successful pieces of original intellectual property. The title, which began publishing in 2011, has been adapted into graphic novels, animated series, a stage play and a mobile game.

The story might not seem so innovative at first glance. A legendary professional player, Ye Xiu, leads his team to three consecutive national championships for a multiplayer online battle arena game called “Glory,” but is marginalised by the team manager for his low-key and unprofitable lifestyle. Ye Xiu quits and becomes a worker at an internet café, where he meets different kinds of players, builds a new team, then fights his way back to the professional league.

The King’s Avatar live-action adaptation has been viewed over 960 million times as of this writing, less than halfway through its 40-episode run. The first season of the title’s animated adaptation on Bilibili, meanwhile, has been viewed 120 million times by 4.66 million unique Generation Z viewers.

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Google Briefly Removes Paytm App for Betting Violations

Niji Narayan

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Google Briefly Removes Paytm App for Betting Violations
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Google has removed the Paytm App, one of India’s biggest digital payment apps, for several hours from its online store for breaching gambling rules, a day before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament.

Betting is illegal in India, but the countdown to the 53-day IPL has seen a profusion of online ads for fantasy sports sites, which are allowed in many parts of the country. Paytm had recently launched a fantasy cricket tournament that involved cash bets and violated the Google Play Store’s policies.

“Today afternoon, we received communication from Google that they are suspending our app because they believe this to be a violation of their Play Store policies on gambling,” the company said.

However, the app was back on the platform Friday evening after removing a “cashback” feature on “a recently-launched game on the application,” the Press Trust of India reported.

“Update: And we’re back!” Paytm tweeted.

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Maharashtra Government to Consider Legalisation of Online Betting

Niji Narayan

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Maharashtra Government to Consider Legalisation of Online Betting
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The Indian State of Maharashtra is planning to legalise online betting. The proposal has been mooted over by the ruling party NCP and it wishes to follow the footprints of Sikkim.

The state is eyeing the legalisation of online betting to generate revenue for overcoming the COVID-induced financial crisis.

An NCP cabinet member stated that the online betting and gambling market is booming in India despite the fact that it is illegal. There is no way to completely stop these activities; therefore, it would be better if the State capitalises on this industry.

“If we impose GST on the transaction, we expect to mobilise at least Rs 2500 crore from the operators,” said the cabinet minister.

A high task committee was set up by the government which studied the idea of legalising gambling.

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Petition to Withdraw Yokohama IR Bid Gains Only Less Number of Supporters

Niji Narayan

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Petition to Withdraw Yokohama IR Bid Gains Only Less Number of Supporters
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The Yokohama city has examined a petition regarding an IR bid from its residents at the City Council Building, Urban Development and Road Committee on September 11. The petition was titled “Withdrawal of Casino IR Bid Plan and Formulation of New Business Plan Independent of Casino.”

It made two demands – the withdrawal of the IR bid and implementation of a new business plan that does not include an IR and which can be implemented even in a post-COVID-19 world.

Masato Yamashita, a member of the city council (Liberal Democratic Party), said, “I do understand the sentiment of the petitioners. I hate gambling and do not gamble. There are some in the LDP as well who do not like it.”

However, he continued, “This opposition campaign from residents when nothing has been decided is only based on liking or hating gambling. I do not want to have a conversation that will divide Yokohama city.

“Regarding an IR, I would like you to try and understand more [because there may be misunderstandings among the residents].”

He asked the city to promote more understanding among its residents.

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