10 Top Influencers in China’s Exploding eSports Industry

Chinese people are obsessed with games. In fact, nearly 560 million people, seven out of 10 of the country’s online population, claim to play games.

So it should come as no surprise that the eSports industry — where professional gamers compete against other teams as spectators watch — is extremely popular in China. Over the past ten years China has seen the number of professional gamers grow from only 50 to over 1,000.

The eSports market is gaining popularity in the US, Europe and other parts of the world as well, but what makes China’s market unique are the fans. China makes up 57 per cent of the global e-sports audience and Chinese gaming fans are extremely dedicated. They treat players and live streamers like celebrities, and are extremely supportive of their favorite gamers and teams.

This loyal fan base makes Chinese gamers very influential, yet it is very surprising that few international brands are active in China’s eSports sector: BMW, Red Bull, and Sprite are among the ones that are.

This industry is a goldmine for brands looking to reach young Chinese consumers (stat on age of players) To help you get started Robin8 put together a list of the top 10 most influential Chinese gamers on Weibo.

To create the list, Robin8’s software crawled all 11 million Weibo accounts and pulled out all personal verified accounts with over 100K followers whose verification contained the keywords: live streamer, LOL, Honor of Kings, League of Legends, eSports, team, game, commentator, or World of Warcraft (主播, LOL, 王者荣耀, 英雄联盟, 电子竞技, 电竞, 战队, 游戏, 解说, 魔兽). We then crawled the KOLs’ posts and selected KOLs that have over 10% of their content related to gaming and gaming is the content category they post about the most. We then ranked the KOLs based on the amount of engagement their gaming content receives. Lastly we manually removed any KOLs suspected of purchasing fake fans and engagement.

Here is Robin8’s list of the top 10 most influential gamers on Weibo:

10. 陈正CatGod

Weibo Followers: 339,802

Game: Honor of Kings

19 year-old Chen Zheng is a professional gamer with QG Club. Besides gaming, his Weibo content is mainly about …you guessed it, cats.

9. 虎牙曹操

Weibo followers: 312,065

Game: Honor of Kings

Huya handle: http://www.huya.com/1778020527

Cao Cao is a gaming live streamer on the popular streaming platform Huya. He is known for his love of exercise (he’s been known to show off his abs during live streams) and flashy fashion.

8. WE_微笑

Weibo Followers: 1,388,817

Game: League of Legends

Weixiao is one of the top professional gamers in China and a member of Team WE, also known as World Elite. WE is a pioneering eSports organization based in Shanghai, China.

7. 解说李九

Weibo followers: 357,074

Game: Honor of Kings

Li Jiu is a famous King Pro League commentator who is very popular with the female fans for his good looks and trendy style.

6. AS仙阁辰鬼

Weibo followers: 225,699

Game: Honor of Kings

Chen Gui is a professional gamer, Douyu live streamer, and the host of a QQ FM radio program. He rose to fame when he led his team to victory in the first ever King Pro League competition and was crowned MVP. Fans respect him not only for his gaming skills but also his strong leadership abilities.

5. 九日I999

Weibo followers: 314,729

Game: Honor of Kings

Jiu Jiu is a popular Douyu live streamer. Even though he’s not a professional gamer, he often competes with professionals on live streamed matches.

4. XQ阿泰AT

Weibo followers: 358,715

Game: Honor of Kings

AT is a professional gamer and XQ Club team member. On top of that he is also a gaming coach, Chushou.tv live streamer and competition commentator.

3. 剑仙

Weibo followers: 1,016,122

Game: Honor of Kings

Jian Xian is a top Chushou.tv live streamer (Chushou is part of Tencent’s QQ) and is very popular among female fans for his sweet smile and cute looks.

2. Misaya若风lol

Weibo followers: 5,746,819

Game: League of Legends

As the former captain of Team WE, Nuo Feng led WE to be the first Chinese team to win the League of Legends World Championship and in 2012 he led his team to 10 competition victories. Nuo Feng’s influence has landed him brand deals with big companies including Adidas and NBA.

1. pdd_liumou

Weibo followers: 5,214,233

Game: League of Legends

Formerly a professional LOL player, PDD is now a commentator and Panda TV live stream host. PDD has become popular not only for his gaming skills but for his personality. His fans (and haters) love creating PDD memes.

About Robin8:

Robin8 is a technology company focused on profiling, ranking and matching people. Robin8 offers a new advertising channel focused on people as media. The Robin8 programmatic platform offers complete automation and scale to Influencer and advocacy marketing. The platform is powered by big data and machine learning and has profiled over 30 million influencers in China. Robin8 specializes in social data collection, analysis, and management. Additional services include third-party digital advertising verification, social media and e-commerce measurement, and data management.

Author: Lauren Hallanan

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.