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Published: September 2, 2021

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • China has imposed new restrictions on gaming for people under 18-years-old
  • Minors will only be able to play video games between 8 and 9 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays
  • The local esports leagues have to be delayed and will likely suffer a long-term damage from these new restrictions

Chinese leagues in Wild Rift, Call of Duty, and PUBG Mobile/Peacekeeper Elite get postponed following new policies on minor gamers.

Three Leagues Get Delayed

The new restriction on gaming in China has dealt a huge blow to the gaming and esports communities. According to the new rulings, minors are strictly prohibited from playing video games for more than three hours per week.

This will obviously severely impact the esports leagues in the country as many teams sport minor players. Those will now be left with virtually no time to prepare for big events. In the wake of this, the LPL Wild Rift Qualifier, the Call of Duty: Mobile Masters, and the Peacekeeper Elite League will all be delayed.

The LPL qualifier will get delayed by 5 days and will begin on September 11. The qualifier is the Chinese gateway to the Wild Rift World Championship 2021.

Following the same logic, the Call of Duty: Mobile Masters will have its starting date postponed by a week as team members try to prepare for the $464,000 event in compliance with the rules. However the money isn’t the only thing on the line as, similarly to the LPL qualifier, the best team will get a slot to the 2021 World Championship Finals. The next competitive week of the COD: Mobile masters starts on September 9.

Finally, Peacekeeper Elite (the Chinese localization of PUBG Mobile) will have its third week’s dates changed from September 2-5 to September 9-12. Once again, the event is very important for the esports scene of its game and will get one team representing the country at the PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2021.

China’s New Policy on Gaming

Despite having one of the biggest markets for video games, China has been quite active in limiting children’s access to gaming. According to the local philosophy, extended hours on a PC or a console can damage a young person’s mental and physical health. Previously, South Korea eased up restrictions on its gaming population.

Because of that belief, China has been taking heavy measures against video games. The policy in recent years was that minors can play games for a maximum of 1.5 hours a day. That playtime now gets shrunken even further as according to the new rules Chinese gamers under 18 can play for only a single hour between 8 pm and 9 pm local time, and that is only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

We are yet to see how the local leagues will cope with the new rules and whether they will manage to keep the younger players on a competitive level in the long run or will have to switch to all-adult teams.

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