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Chinese gaming's crowning glory

By Shi Futian in Shenzhen, Guangdong | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-27 09:19
No expense was spared as the Tencent-owned King Pro League brought down the curtain down on its 2017 season with a spectacular e-sports extravaganza at Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen, Guangdong province on Saturday. [Photo/China Daily]

Homegrown King Pro League caps stunning year with a final flourish

Booming battle drumbeats and the deafening roar of 11,000 psyched fans reverberate around Shenzhen Bay Sports Center - the sound of a stunning Chinese success story.

The cacophony is being created for the fall season final of the 2017 King Pro League (KPL) - an e-sports competition based on Tencent's homegrown hit King of Glory, which has taken the country by storm.

"A year before, nobody knew if the KPL can go this far," said KPL president and general manager of Tencent's mobile e-sports department Zhang Yijia at the event on Saturday. "But a year later, we have witnessed the growth of the KPL from zero."

"At the very beginning there were no viewers. Then there were 100. Then 1,000. Now, we can hear the roar of over 10,000 spectators cheering for their heroes at the stadium."

As well as the fans in the arena, hundreds of millions others watched online as the QGhappy team completed a clean sweep of 2017's titles by beating team XQ to win 1.2 million yuan (around $182,000).

The league, which was established in 2016, is yet another example of e-sports' rapid rise and underlines the massive popularity of King of Glory in China.

Unlike other titles which form the basis of e-sports leagues, the mobile multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game boasts a pure Chinese gene - it was developed here and features characters from Chinese history.

It has amassed 200 million registered users since its launch in 2015, while the KPL's spring season live broadcasts were viewed a staggering 2.68 billion times.

King of Glory has garnered comparisons with another Tencent-operated MOBA title, League of Legends, which was created by American developer Riot Games.

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