Another major esports tournament in China is seeking to supplant the defunct World Cyber Games (WCG), gaming’s version of the Olympics. And this one is taking a page from one of the WCG’s more questionable ventures.
The World Cyber Arena (WCA) plans to host a yearly event in Yinchuan, China with the first edition set for October, featuring around $3.2 million in prizes. WCA will assemble 3,200 players from 21 different countries.
The event will feature Dota 2, Hearthstone, World of Tanks, CrossFire, and Warcraft 3. The Dota 2 tournament will be worth $470,000, a sizable chunk of change, while Hearthstone clocks in next with $190,000.
But the bulk of the prize money will go to two Chinese mobile games—Dota Legend and CQB Online. WCA will award around $1.1 million in prize money for each game, with about half a million dollars going to the champions.
While it may come as a surprise that Dota 2, one of the most watched esports in the world, is taking a backseat to two mobile titles, it’s not as shocking when you consider the people behind the venture.
Former WCG CEO Brad Lee organized the group hosting WCA, and the WCG was one of the only major esports events to include mobile games in its competitions. WCG almost went fully mobile in 2012, before community backlash caused the company to change their mind. While the WCA isn’t going that far this time, it seems odd to host an international event with a stated goal of including over 20 countries, when the two headlining titles are Chinese games on the mobile platform—regardless of the size of the titles.
Yes. “Refresh the global individual gaming event history the highest prize” with the WCA. As legendary Warcraft supersar Li “Sky” Xiao Feng puts it in the promo, WCA is the “arena of heroes.” Even if the arena fits on a bite sized touch screen.