On June 9, the CBA team, Liaoning Hengrun Flying Leopards had officially launched its eSports team, the Liaoning Flying Leopards Esports Club, according to the Liaoshen Evening Paper (辽沈晚报).
On the same evening, the Flying Leopards Esports Club kicked off the first Esports Basketball Association (EBA) League Northeastern China games at the Shenyang Olympic Center’s tennis venue.
Liaoning are not the only CBA outfit that have formed their own eSports team. CBA teams such as Liaoning, Beijing, Shenzhen, Jiangsu, Sichuan and Zhejiang have all set up eSports teams. In April, these six clubs also formed the Esports Basketball Association League in collaboration with Zhongjing Huyu (中竞互娱) and Tencent. The content of the tournament will not be basketball related but the clubs will play Tencent's mobile game King of Glory, adopting the 4-quarter basketball format with winning teams receiving ranking points.
The General Manager of the Flying Leopards, Li Hongqing, says that they are trying the eSports model adopted from NBA clubs. “How the eSports club develops we can not be 100% sure yet and the focus of the club is still on CBA. We will pay every attention to preparing for the new season in the summer and trying to be the champion again."
Liaoning Flying Leopards won the 2017/18 season CBA league by beating Zhejiang Guangsha Lions 100:88.
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick