Tencent and the government of Hainan province in China have announced a massive esports fund.
Hainan province is determined to become the biggest esports destination in Asia. The local government announced a $145.6 million fund for esports developments in the province. The announcement took place during the Tencent Global Esports Summit.
The island located in the southernmost point of China is looking to become a haven for esports. China is one of the biggest markets for esports in the world and continues to grow. According to Tencent COO Ren Yunkin, China has generated 350 million esports users in the past 20 years.
One of the goals is to nurture domestic talent in China. The involved organizations have launched programs to recruit up-and-coming talent and the Hainan province development will take these efforts a step forward.
Through the “Hainan Esports Thousands Talent,” the Hainan provincial government will provide the high performing players with opportunities outside of the competition. Higher educational programs and housing are some of the benefits offered.
In order to succeed, Hainan needs to attract private investments. Part of the fund will be destined to support esports companies as they settle in Hainan.
Esports companies will also receive tax incentives. The Hainan province is on its way to becoming the 12th free trade zone in China.
Esports organizations often struggle to sort out visas for their players. This issue keeps players from attending events or joining leagues on time.
To prevent future issues, the Hainan government will expand the visa-free visit program to include over 50 nationalities. The list will expand in the future as the project grows on the island.
Tencent is fully invested in bringing the best Chinese competitions to Hainan. The future Tencent Global Esports Arena Winter Championship, League of Legends Annual Summit, and Tencent Digital Culture Festival will be hosted in Hainan.
On top of that, the government will support the Hainan-located esports tournament. The organizers will receive funds and the approval process will be faster. Hainan is looking to attract international events to the island.
This initiative is one of a kind in the industry.
“Developing an esports industry in Hainan is an important step to reinforce Hainan as a major position [as a destination point] of international tourism,” said Sun Yin, director of Hainan Tourism, Culture, Radio, Film, and Sport. “The Hainan Esports Harbor will combine esports and tourism to build a new “Tourism + Esports” consumption model.”
Tencent made more announcements during at the summit, like the plans to include two more franchises in the LPL. The bid’s price is rumored to start around $11 million, and the developer will only accept buyers with outstanding business backgrounds and reputations.