February 11, 2014

Silver Medalist Han Tianyu Loves Online Games

With over 67 million people playing League of Legends worldwide per month, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some Olympic athletes competing in Sochi rank it among one of their favorite hobbies. Han Tianyu, who placed silver in this year’s 1500m speed skating competition in Sochi and won China their first medal of the Winter Olympics, admitted in a post-match interview that he was very fond of online games. At seventeen years old, despite his success and dedication to skating, Han Tianyu still enjoys the hobbies of his peers, stating, “I’ve played every game, but the one I play most is League of Legends. I’m in gold division.”

On Weibo, Tencent Sports wrote to Han Tianyu, “Congratulations! When you come back, play a game of LOL with Chen Yibing!” Gymnast Chen Yibing, who won two gold medals in the 2008 Olympics and one silver medal in the 2012 Olympics, is also a League fan. In July 2013, he attended the Star Charity Gaming Challenge in Shanghai, a casual League tournament meant to raise money for charity.

February 2, 2014

2014's Most Anticipated PC Games

QQ Games has been releasing a list of “Most Anticipated PC Games” by genre since the Chinese New Year on the 31st of January. The first list was for most anticipated shooters, the second for simulation games, and today they released their list for most anticipated role-playing games. Each list contains 15, 8, and 30 games respectively; I’ll only list their top five, though I’ll link to the full article—they always include a picture for each game, so some of you should be able to identify each one (consider it a test of your gaming expertise).

January 22, 2014

League of Legends Allows Chinese Players to Feel At Home

 It seems China also picked up on the news on Riot's "Lunar Revel" skins for their game, League of Legends. I reported on it in my last post, but I like what Tencent Games has to say about it,

The rich romanticism that flavors myths and legends in Chinese culture make it highly praiseworthy and cause some of the chuanqi characters to walk out into the global stage and into the line of vision of the world’s gamers. League of Legends (abbreviated LOL), developed by America’s Riot Games and operated by Tencent Games, is celebrating China’s New Year of the horse by recently introducing elements of familiar myths/legends and the year of the horse to LOL. From now until February 15th, rare character skins like Warring Kingdoms Tryndamere, Lunar Goddess Diana, and Mulan* Riven and the approaching year of the horse, all full of Chinese flavor, will allow players to feel at home.
The article continues on the describe the champions and report on the past Lunar Revels. It also states that reports have said users will be able to participate in activities to receive a horse avatar, as they were able to for the Christmas and Halloween events. This puts to rest my hope that the horse theme would manifest in a Hecarim skin...

*The English name is Dragonblade Riven.

January 18, 2014

League of Legends Voted Top Game of 2013, Announces Lunar Festival Themed Event

 A few days ago, Tencent published a list of the top games of 2013. League of Legends placed first in the Hall of Honor, the award given to the overall most popular game. In second place was domestic MMORPG Fantasy Westward Journey (梦幻西游). League also placed in the Ten Most Popular Online Games award in both 2012 and 2011 (it's a per-requisuite that a game has won the same award twice in the past three years to qualify for placement in the Hall of Honor). Of the four other games that League of Legends was up against, it was the only non-Asian game. The other contenders were DNF Online and the MMORPG Tian Long Ba Bu: Shen Bing Hai Yu.

Meanwhile, Riot Games has introduced an upcoming event in League of Legends known as the Lunar Revel, in celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year (January 31st). As part of the event, Riot is releasing three new Asian-inspired skins: Lunar Goddess Diana, Warring Kingdoms Tryndamere, and Dragonblade Riven. They'll be joining the other nine Lunar Revel skins from past years, including Warring Kingdoms Jarvan IV, Warring Kingdoms Xin Zhao, and Dragonblade Talon*. Unfortunately, Riot had an original theme of having some of the skins reflect the Chinese zodiac animal of the according year (dragon themes for 2012, and a Cassiopeia skin in 2013 for the year of the snake)-- this theme might be absent this year, as none of the skins seem horse related. They still have time to surprise us with a Hecarim skin, though.

Read more to see the other awards Tencent gave out.

January 15, 2014

Ban Lifted on Consoles in China-- Definitely This Time, For Real

Grandma's Dirty Little Secret

Almost a year after the Chinese government shut down rumors that claimed they were planning on removing the ban on gaming consoles, the Chinese government is removing the ban on gaming consoles.

As of January 6th, the ban on purchasing or providing consoles has been temporarily lifted allowing new options for the law-abiding, console-curious Chinese gamer. Though a major handicap for gaming's big three, the ban itself was widely considered to be in name only for the average consumer. If a Chinese citizen were determined enough, they could easily find consoles through many of the black/gray/shady import markets readily available throughout the country. The other (more legal) options were Chinese PC, mobile, and web games.

October 5, 2013

Royal Club Loses to South Korea Telecom T1

Although Royal Club lost to South Korea Telecom T1 last night in the League of Legends World Championship Finals, Chinese media has remained positive about their performance. The League of Legends Weibo blog wrote, “China and South Korea fought for the eSports world title; though regrettably the Chinese team failed again, they will hone their skills and fight again in S4!”

Chinese web users, however, showed less pride for Royal Club, writing, “Watching the second match I knew there was no hope for a comeback. When you make so many mistakes during a team fight, how can you win?” In a Reddit AMA, Royal Club’s Pak-Kan “Tabe” Wong (of Hong Kong) agreed with this assessment, stating that the reason he believed they lost to SKT T1 was, “We disrespected the Jax pick and we're just outplayed by mechanics, IQ, and team coordination.” Since they lost their best of 5 game to SKT 0-3, Weibo, user 白巧克力硬糖 asked Royal Club, “Three-nil, don’t you want to delete the game?”

Despite winning against their rivals OMG 2-0 in the quarterfinals, some users wrote, “They’re nothing compared to OMG. I prefer OMG’s style of play.” Another argued that OMG would have fared better because, “OMG is more familiar with the Korean style of play.”

I look forward to Season 4, and hope another Chinese team makes an appearance at the World Championship! Tabe, who played support for Royal Club, will be retiring and has stated about his S4 plans that, "I don't wanna keep playing in China. I will be a coach and do my casting thing to earn a living. But i love the experience in LA, i would love to come to work! I hope i have a chance:)"

October 4, 2013


Good luck to Royal Club 皇族 tonight, as they represent China and face South Korea's SKTT1 in the League of Legends World Championship finals!
Don't forget to watch them tonight at 8pm PDT over at twitch.tv!
You can also check out the League website to learn more about the players.


September 28, 2013

China's Royal Club Wins in Semi-Finals, Star in Playful Documentary

Today, China's Royal Club faced Europe's Fnatic in the semi-finals of the League of Legends 2013 World Championships. In a best of five, Royal Club won three games against Fnatic's 1, meaning that next weekend they're going against South Korea's SK Telecom T1 to compete for $2,000,000. You can read the full recap of the game against Fnatic here.

For the first bracket of the World Championship, Royal Club faced homeland rivals OMG, whom they defeated 2-0.

Royal Club Huang Zu (Royal Club 皇族; their full name) was established in May 2012 and consists of the following members: GoDlike in top lane, Lucky in jungle, Wh1t3zZ (from Hong Kong) in mid, uzi (who happens to only be 16 years old) in ADC, and Tabe (from Hong Kong) in support. Tabe says he plans to use the money he makes from winning to propose to his girlfriend.

Lucky has a Weibo blog where he posted a 10-minute "documentary" about their life so far in the United States: