Global Poker League China to Help Game Reach New Market

December 12th, 2016 | by Kaycee James
GPL China

Global Poker League takes aim at China’s eSports market with new tournament venture. (Image: eSportsBets.com)

The Global Poker League (GPL) is looking to tap into China’s $17 billion gaming market with a new event.

According to the South China Morning Post, China is the biggest gaming market in the world with around 400 million active gamers.

That volume of players generates around $17.6 billion in annual revenue, but more importantly, around half these players now tune in to eSports competitions.

New Market, Same Goals

With gamers wanting to participate, watch, pay for and support eSports events of all shapes and sizes, GPL founder Alex Dreyfus is now looking to take his tournament concept over to Asia.

Following an almost identical format to the international GPL which recently wrapped up, the new event will feature eight teams made up of Global Poker Index ranked players, qualifiers and celebrities.

Interestingly, GPL China will run separately from the central league and will be streamed via a variety of Chinese and international media partners.

Of course, much of GPL China’s future depends on the success of season one, but already the formation of two distinct leagues opens up some interesting crossovers.

Much like other sports that have hosted cross-competition events, i.e. the MLB Japan All-Star Series, a showdown between the winners of the GPL central league and the new GPL China could be possible.

Before that, however, the first event will need to go off without a hitch and the first step took place this week with the announcement of eight teams:

Beijing Great Dragons

Shanghai Golden Tigers

Guanghzou Pioneers

Shenzhen Eagles

Hangzhou Legends

Xi’an Warriors

Chengdu Pandas

Tianjin Guardians

Regional Appeal for All

Each representing a major city in China, the teams will have a nominated captain who will take charge of drafting their favorite GPI players. Of course, to add some added excitement, GPL China will feature a selection of celebrities just as the main league did.

Although there are no names in the hat just yet, Aaron Paul helped generate a huge buzz this season so it’s likely Dreyfus will be aiming to persuade some prominent Asian celebrities when the action gets underway.

As yet the new GPL China doesn’t have a definite start date, fans are being told to expect the cards to fly at some point in the spring.

With China in the headlines recently thanks to David Baazov’s backers and his bid for Amaya, the country certainly seems to be shaping up as the next bastion of poker.

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