New cool action in e-sports fest

Local | Amy Nip May 16, 2018
Amy Nip

Gaming activities at the Hong Kong e-Sports and Music Festival are shifting indoors to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center from August 24 to 26.

As competitions for video gamers, e-sports has experienced a meteoric rise as a professional pursuit and in general popularity and will even become a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Hong Kong held its maiden e-sports festival last year at the Hong Kong Coliseum.

There were three parts to the festival: the Return of the Legends tournament, where former world champions featured in a league of their own; the Experience Zone outside the Coliseum, where visitors could play games; and a concert featuring K-pop stars. This year, the e-sports and music elements are at separate venues.

The tournaments and Experience Zone move to the HKCEC, running side by side with the Hong Kong Computer and Communications Festival, an annual consumer event featuring products and gadgets running from August 24 to 27.

The concert stays at the Coliseum, but there will be two gigs instead of one. They are being staged on August 24 and 25.

Tourism Board executive director Anthony Lau Chun-hon said the decision to shift the Experience Zone to the HKCEC was based on visitor preferences to go indoors. "Sometimes it was hot, other times it was raining," he said of last year.

The e-sport events are to feature two new games this year.

One is PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. In that, 16 teams - including two Hong Kong line-ups yet to be recruited - will be squaring off in a championship.

Another is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, where the winners from four area competitions face an ultimate showdown in Hong Kong.

As for Return of the Legends, that will be a battle between two teams - East and West.

Tickets cost from HK$80 to HK$480 last year, but the Tourism Board revealed prices could be 40 percent cheaper this time.

And the purchase of an e-sports ticket also opens the door automatically for admission to the computer festival.

The HKCEC will offer no more than 6,000 seats compared to the 7,000 available at the Coliseum last year.

The Tourism Board expects an e-sports turnout of 20,000 - similar to 2017.

As for the concert, organizing work continues for a line-up to be announced at the end of this month.

But Lau said the concerts will feature "world class musicians."

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