Invictus Gaming (iG), an e-sports club, became the Chinese mainland's first team to win the League of Legends (LOL) Championship on Saturday. China's e-sports finally climbed to the top of the world. The good news soon went viral on China's Twitter-like Weibo service, and a great number of Chinese LOL players and e-sports fans burst into tears at the first triumph in eight years.
As millions of Chinese players hailed iG's great victory, strident comments appeared. Some people kept discussing two of iG's South Korean team members, Rookie and TheShy, who have great gaming techniques. These people just couldn't let go of the two players' South Korean nationality. Snide remarks about iG's victory seemed more like sour grapes: "China just couldn't win without South Korean players" was the kind of thing these people were saying.
But the Chinese champs didn't understand why these people were making such an issue out of it. iG is only a club team in China, not China's national team that only accepts Chinese players. To improve China's e-sports technique, Chinese e-sports clubs have been working on bringing in high-level players. Doesn't that mean China has been positively participating in the international game and actively opening to the world? How come China is to blame?
Whether Chinese or South Korean, iG's teenage players are gifted and diligent at e-sports. This is not gaming addiction. They are hardworking professionals, loyal to their job. With such precious qualities, these players represent a younger generation and deserve their championship.
LOL was released in North America in 2009 and brought to China in 2011. The world's young people have been playing the same game almost a decade. As Chinese players started two years behind, they couldn't handle the game at first. But now the whole world has witnessed a Chinese e-sport club beat a European team in a 3-0 sweep and win the championship.
This is like an odyssey for Chinese e-sports clubs: bringing in and communicating with foreign players, actively participating in the international game and sending Chinese players to South Korea to hone gaming skills. All in all, without reform and opening-up, China would never have been able to win the glory.
Thanks to reform and opening-up, a younger generation of Chinese knows LOL.
China opened to the world and Chinese teenagers can play the game at home and learn how to improve their skills from high-level foreign players. The combination of Chinese and South Korean players contributed to iG's victory. This perfectly explains the importance of reform and opening-up to China's rise.
The championship only represents a small part of China's great efforts in globalization. The year 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up and the first China International Import Expo in November is a major policy proclamation that pushes China forward into a new round of high-level opening-up. As long as China keeps integrating with the world, it will stand more stably on the world stage.