The Shanghai-based team Edward Gaming (EDG) beat defending champion Damwon KIA (DK) from South Korea 3-2 on Saturday in the League of Legends 2021 World Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland.
EDG hoisted the coveted winner’s trophy the Summoner’s Cup and claimed the pool prize money totalling US$2.225 million, as the group bested 21 other teams which took part in this year’s championship series, which started on the 5th of October. EDG’s mid lane player, Lee “Scout” Ye-chan, received the Most Valuable Player award for the finals.
This is the third world title won by a team from China’s League of Legends Pro League, which is the nation’s top-tier League of Legends professional league. Invictus Gaming won the championship in 2018 and FunPlus Phoenix in 2019.
EDG’s victory became an instant sensation on Chinese social media. Among the top ten topics trending on social media platform Weibo on Saturday night, five were related to the final. The hashtag “EDG vs DK” had been viewed 470 million times by Sunday afternoon.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s League of Legends championship had no spectators. However, tens of millions of fans across the globe watched the matches through online broadcasts.
The Chinese esports sector is experiencing dramatic development and growth. According to the 2020 Global Esports Development Report published by Tencent Esports and Penguin Intelligence, the total number of Chinese gamers and fans reached 400 million at the end of 2020, representing a 14.3 percent annual growth rate. The Chinese esports market was valued at 13.8 billion yuan ($2 billion) in 2019.