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Chinese video game commentators making millions

CGTN | Updated: 2017-05-08 09:58

Chinese video game commentators making millions

An attractive voice can get you a recording contract, but in China, talking the talk can get you thousands of followers, dollars and a career as a video game anchor. [Photo/CGTN]

An attractive voice can get you a recording contract, but in China, talking the talk can get you thousands of followers, dollars and a career as a video game anchor.

China is one of the biggest video game markets in the world, having generated 50.46 billion yuan ($7.3 billion) in revenue in 2016.

The tremendous growth in internet penetration rate and the ubiquity of personal devices and handsets have supported the growing trend of the sport at the beginning of the 21st century. In recent years, the popularity of live streaming platforms has led to the rise of a different kind of competition within the gaming industry: battle of the video gaming hosts.

The stakes are high undoubtedly, as anchors have to strike a chord with more than 100 million users religiously following live streaming platforms for video gaming.

JY from Beijing is a celebrity video gaming anchor. The 30-year-old man, known as "the lord of eSports," fell in love with video gaming in high school. He later sacrificed his college entrance exams to focus on becoming one of China's first professional video players… and he made it, eventually.

Chinese video game commentators making millions

In recent years, the popularity of live streaming platforms has led to the rise of a different kind of competition within the gaming industry: battle of the video gaming hosts. [Photo/CGTN]

However, the beginning was not without road bumps. JY told Yangtze Evening Post that his income was around 500 to 800 yuan ($72-115) initially. The financial crisis in 2007 forced him to develop a second career as a video game anchor, which turned out to be a great success thanks to his gaming skills and popularity among online users, which he accumulated after six years of professional gaming.

The average online viewership of YJ's videos can reach 400,000. And today, JY makes a six-figure income annually.

"The money comes from the live streaming platforms I signed with, the Taobao store I run, gifts from fans, advertisements of video game developers implanted during live streaming, and my startups," he said.

"But few people can reach the top of the pyramid in this field. Most commentators don't even have an income," YJ added.

Chinese video game commentators making millions

The average online viewership of YJ's videos can reach 400,000. [Photo/CGTN]

Popularity is a survival key. An anchor's worth essentially depends on the fans they have. But how to get users to follow at times competition is cutthroat?

Gaming techniques, talking styles, good looks and strong commitment are crucial.

Once one tick the right boxes, being the next Han Yiying, an eSport hostess who reportedly signed a three-year contract with live streaming platform Huya at 90 million yuan ($130,000) last year, won't be virtual reality.

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