Major League Gaming is throwing their esports dollars behind a planned gaming complex in China, according to a press release sent out this morning. It’s part of the V-zone (we’re assuming the “v” stands for video games) in the 18 million RMB (approximately $3 million) “Creative Culture City” development being established off of the coast of Macau.
MLG plans to stream upcoming events from the Hengqin Island arena, demonstrating a rise in esports in China to rival that of neighboring South Korea.
You can read the full press release below:
Major League Gaming to Build First-Ever MLG Arena in China
MLG, Lai Fung Holdings Limited and eSun Holdings Limited to Develop Video Game Destination on Hengqin Island Near Macau
NEW YORK, April 24, 2014 – Major League Gaming (MLG), the global leader in eSports, Lai Fung Holdings Limited (Lai Fung) and eSun Holdings Limited (eSun) today announced plans to build the first-ever MLG Gaming Arena in the “V-Zone,” the first-in-the-world video game destination planned as a centerpiece of Lai Fung’s Renminbi 18 billion “Creative Culture City” development on Hengqin Island. Located off the coast of Macau and part of the city of Zhuhai, China, Hengqin Island is planned as a dynamic new special economic zone and a tourist complement to Macau that will feature a wide array of leisure and recreational activities. The Hengqin Creative Culture City will be the first development in China and in the world to house a permanent visitor attraction dedicated to video game and eSports activity. In addition to being the site of the world’s first MLG Gaming Arena, the V-Zone is slated to include an expo area for game developers to feature new and upcoming games, creative workspaces, gaming-themed restaurants, retail shops and more.
“MLG has been at the forefront of the global eSports phenomenon for over a decade and we’re taking our leadership position to new heights with this expansion into the world’s fastest growing eSports market – China,” said Mike Sepso, President and co-founder. “We’re very proud to partner with eSun Holdings Limited and Lai Fung Holdings Limited to build the first MLG Gaming Arena in Hengqin Island’s V-Zone to house MLG Pro Circuit competitions where we will welcome our fans 365 days per year and broadcast globally via MLG.tv. This is yet another step in our plan to make eSports and MLG a part of mainstream culture worldwide.”
V-Zone is intended to be developed in Phase 1 of the Hengqin Creative Culture City development, jointly by Lai Fung (80% interest) and eSun (20% interest), with a capital commitment of no less than Renminbi 3 billion. Both companies are members of the Lai Sun Group.
“We are very pleased and excited to be working closely with MLG and we hope to crystallize the MLG Arena in the V-Zone and bring it to fruition,” said Chew Fook Aun, Chairman of Lai Fung and executive director of eSun. MLG, Lai Fung and eSun will ensure that the MLG Gaming Arena and V-Zone will comply with all relevant PRC regulation.
MLG, Lai Fung and eSun will work with gaming companies around the world to develop the V-Zone with plans to open the space and the MLG Arena in 2017. The MLG Gaming Arena will be designed to showcase regular gaming competition geared for both a live audience and online viewers on MLG.tv, MLG’s global, digital broadcast network. MLG will work with regional organizations to operate ongoing competitive activity featuring the best players and games in the world.
Over the last few years, China has quickly grown to become one of the largest markets for online gaming, making it a prime location for MLG’s debut MLG Gaming Arena. According to recent reports, China is now the largest gaming market in the Asia-Pacific region and the second-largest gaming market in the world, with the largest online user base in the world. Hengqin, situated in the Pearl River Delta that is home to 64 million people and a center for global tourism, is located just five minutes from Macau, 30 minutes from Hong Kong, and within 100km of five international and domestic airports, making travel to the V-Zone simple for gamers around the world.
The MLG Gaming Arena in China will be the company’s second international expansion announcement this year following the launch of its first international franchise – MLG Brasil. MLG is currently focused on establishing competitive gaming platforms in underserved regions around the globe. Additional details about the V-Zone and MLG plans for further international expansion will be released in the coming months.