SHANGHAI, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The 9th The International (TI), the world's largest Dota 2 eSports tournament, will be held in Shanghai next year, said the Shanghai municipal government Wednesday.
It will be the first time for China to host the annual event, which will be held in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai's Pudong New Area.
A total of 18 top teams from across the world will participate in the tournament to compete for the prize pool of around 30 million U.S. dollars, said Gu Liming, senior vice president of Perfect World, the Dota 2 operator in China.
The announcement was made among a spate of newly-released rules and policies targeting the development of eSports in Shanghai, including the launch of a trial registration system for eSports athletes in Pudong.
The Pudong district government has signed cooperation agreements with Tencent E-Sports, Perfect World and other Chinese online game giants.
China's eSports market is expected to exceed 88 billion yuan (about 12.7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018 and to increase by another 35 billion yuan in the next two years, according to an industry report by analyst CNG.
"We will keep promoting eSports exhibitions, game platforms and top-tier events," said Wang Hongzhou, head of Pudong's publicity department. "Vocational schools in Pudong will be encouraged to offer courses in eSports and related management in the future."
The first TI took place in Cologne, Germany, and the following seven events were held in the United States and Canada.