Hong Kong’s enthusiasm the e-gamer carrot for Macau

The recent increase in interest by the Hong Kong Government in the development of eSports events could lead the MSAR to realise the sector’s potential for its tourism industry

Representatives from the local eSports community hope Hong Kong’s increased efforts to organise eSports events will help the MSAR realise the potential of the sector in attracting a growing young consumer segment to its tourism industry.
“These events attract young consumers with money to spend. People that take part in eSports tend to have good education and a good job so they make a good target profile,” the Chairman of the Grow uP eSports Association, Frederico Alexandre dos Santos Rosario, told Business Daily.
Recently, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced that as part of the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR it would launch the ICBC (Asia) eSports & Music Festival Hong Kong, an eSports event to be held from 4-6 August on the city’s Central Harbourfront.
The event will bring together music, gourmet offerings and an eSports showcase tournament between online professional players of popular game League of Legends from the United States, Europe and China.
Owned by Chinese company Tencent Holdings Ltd., League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena video ranked first globally among all PC client games in terms of revenue in 2016, with US$1.7 billion (MOP13.6 billion) in generated revenue.
“This Hong Kong bet on eSports underscores the importance and impact that this new form of youth entertainment can have on the region’s tourism,” the President of Grow uP eSports, Fernando Pereira, told Business Daily.
The event seems to be part of an increase of awareness by the Hong Kong Government of its possible economic benefits, with the city’s Financial Secretary, Paul Chan Mo-po, having described eSports as a sector with great potential during the presentation of the city’s 2017/2018 HK$10 billion (US$1.28 billion) budget for developing information technology.
In his speech, the Secretary declared video game competitions could increase the city’s gaming industry and the application of relevant technologies such as virtual reality.
“Macau often follows Hong Kong trends, and I believe that the government is giving due attention to this global phenomenon,” Pereira added.
Grow uP eSports is currently planning a large scale event for September in the MSAR and hopes the recent increase in interest in the neighbouring SAR could lend momentum to the eSports scene in Macau.
“The Macau Government has helped us a lot already and we’ve received support from the [Macao] Government Tourism Office (MGTO). We hope that help can continue,” said Mr. Rosario.