The new jobs that are no longer considered freakish oddities


Playing online games is fun, but is it work? Yes, says a Chinese ministry.

In addition to the players themselves, the boom in eSports competitions in China has created a whole new realm of jobs, like sportscasters, hosts and training partners.

They have become a backbone of the genre.

Last year the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security formally acknowledged eSports operators and players as new official job categories — part of a national policy to promote the sport. According to ministry data, there are more than 5,000 eSports teams operating in China and professional eSports players number 100,000.

“These new jobs give young people more choices in deciding their careers,” said Ma Kai, general manager of city’s 666 Esports Center and a member of the Shanghai E-Sports Association.

Dai Yanmiao, an associate professor at Shanghai University of Sports who specializes in eSports, said formally recognizing this work as part of the employment pool will help promote the development of eSports.

We look at some of the people filling these new jobs.

Sportscasters

China has 1,200 certified professional sportscasters in eSports. One of them is Wu Jiahao.

He and two broadcasting colleagues were practically screaming into their microphones last May when the Ghost Owl Gaming team came from behind to beat rival Mighty Tiger Gaming and win the King Pro League Global Tour Spring Finals.

For Wu Jiahao, who hails from Guangdong Province, it was also a major moment in his fledgling three-year career as an online sportscaster in Shanghai.

“Honor of Kings,” released by Tencent Games in 2015, has become a blockbuster online game, with millions of players.

“In the summer of 2017, many companies were organizing commercial matches based on ‘Honor of Kings,’” Wu Jiahao said. “I was asked if I could give running commentary on the competition.”

The new jobs that are no longer considered freakish oddities

Ti Gong

Wu Jiahao commentates on a match involving Tencent’s mobile game “Honor of Kings.” He is one of China’s 1,200 certified professional online sportscasters.

His career was off and running. As an eSports fan himself, Wu Jiahao quickly mastered the skills of sportscasting. The following year, he left Guangdong and headed to Shanghai, where he linked up with Dido ESports, a company that focuses on education and training game sportscasters and hosts.

Shanghai, he said, is currently the hub of eSports development, promotion and opportunities in China.

“It was difficult at first because I speak Cantonese and couldn’t speak Mandarin well,” Wu Jiahao said. “My commentary wasn’t professional enough, and I used too many pet phrases. My instructors kept correcting me. But I made a serious effort. I read Mandarin aloud every day and recorded matches for practice.”

He is now considered a seasoned pro in sportscasting for…



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