Source: China State Council Information Office
Despite the freezing weather, passersby were intrigued by the intense atmosphere of a CrossFire (CF) regional final held on Wednesday in Lanzhou, northwest China’s Gansu Province.
More than 100 e-sports enthusiasts participated in the event, cheered on by an interested crowd.
Swiping on the 6-inch screen with his thumbs, Zhang Hongyue, 29, led his team to beat their opponents 3-0 after nearly an hour’s battle.
“Such a game! It was all about teamwork,” Zhang said after the victory. “We trained very hard and I am happy to see our efforts paid off.”
Zhang also won the title of best player on Wednesday. After being a part-time e-sports player for more than two years, he now has more faith on his career choice.
“The past days were hard. I started competing in matches with only small prizes and little attention. The worst thing was my parents’ disapproval. I had to persuade them all the time. But with little income and rewards, my words were not convincing,” recalled Zhang.
In recent years, China’s e-sports industry has become more recognized and standardized, leading youngsters to view it as a promising career. To address the shortage of professionals, China’s Ministry of Education has incorporated e-sports as a major in universities.
Zhang was admitted to Sichuan University of Media and Communications in 2019 and received systematic training on the electronic sports sector.
“I am happy to see my interest become my occupation. Thanks to the help given by my school and teachers, I am more open-minded and patient,” said Zhang.
“The professionalization of e-sports in underdeveloped regions like Gansu is helping to solve problems caused by a lack of organization, competition systems and rules. The whole industry is heading in a friendlier and more sustainable direction,” said Li Zhaolin, chairman of the Lanzhou Electronic Sports Association.
After the event, Zhang and his teammates planned to celebrate that night. With an armful of flowers, he smiled brighter than usual, as he saw his parents sitting in the audience and smiling back to him.