Alibaba, China’s e-commerce giant has announced that they will host the “World Electronic Sports Games” (WESG), an eSport tournament boasting a prize pool of potentially $5,500,000 split amongst titles such as Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Hearthstone.
Aiming to revive the World Cyber Games series, the tournament will see the launching of 1,200 event this years in 15 cities across China. The events, which is a result of a joint venture between Alibaba and Singapore social media site YuuZoo will start next month with the finals to be held in Shanghai.
YuuZoo has also agreed on organizing and assuming an administrative role at WESG, as well as managing AliSport’s eSports Clubs Competition Center.
The announced prize pools for the main events are as follows:
Dota 2 – $1,500,000
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – $1,500,000
Starcraft 2 – $400,000
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – $300,000
The prize will also be subsidized by crowdfunding, which in turn would deepen the already blossoming prize pool.
According to AliSports CEO Zhang Da Zhong, “eSports has been a very volatile market, experiencing great fluctuations and spikes in the industry to date, more recently managing to establish itself as a center for stable growth after a few market crashes.”
But just like any other major eSports tournament, there will be enforcement on specific rules. Regulations will be held with regards to age and nationality of participating athletes, anti-doping measures alongside other established moral etiquette guidelines.
“The essence of eSports is that it is a sport, and it has reconfigured the way we traditionally view sports,” Da Zhong stated during the AliSports launch. “eSports thus needs to be protected with a set of unified rules and regulations similar to how other sports are in order to maintain its integrity.”
“Competition, regulation, fairness; these concepts are vital to AliSport’s mission,” he added.