Several esports companies, including Tencent, have made significant donations to help combat the spread of the coronavirus in China. Many Chinese sporting events, including esports, have been suspended indefinitely due to safety concerns amid the deadly outbreak.
Bringing in donations
In response to the outbreak, several esports organizations have given some help to the city of Wuhan. Game publisher and software giant Tencent announced in a statement that their Charity Foundation has already donated 300 million yuan to designated charity organizations. These funds have used to purchase 1.5 million face masks, currently being distributed throughout the region. It will also assist in the purchase of advanced equipment for front-line medical professionals.
Tencent’s other efforts
Tencent is also leveraging some of its technology to assist in the crisis by developing an out-patient clinic map. This allows WeChat users to locate nearby fever clinics. As of publication, the map provides information on 1,900 out-patient clinics in 52 cities. In partnership with several online education companies, Tencent is also providing free services to teachers and students in Hubei province. This allows students to study at home without risking their health from being outside.
More help on its way
Along with Tencent publicly donating help, other businesses have stepped up. Esports organization Team Aster previously announced their donation on Weibo:
“On behalf of the management team and all players, Aster esports is donating 200,000 RMB to Wuhan Charity Foundation. We wish this small donation could bring more courage to those who feel feared and desperate by this outbreak.”
Other tech giants involved in helping Wuhan include Alibaba and iFlyTek. Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma has recently donated $14 million in efforts to help China fight the virus. They have also offered free AI computing power to help scientists develop a cure. Meanwhile, iFlyTek has donated over $2 million toward medical help.
Overall, this virus has been a difficult obstacle to overcome in esports. With the beginning of the spring seasons, many organizations are prioritizing safety over competitions. Yesterday, Chinese Overwatch team Guangzhou Charge organized to send their players to South Korea for the remainder of the season. This news disappoints fans, but many show relief that they are taking precaution.
We’ll continue to keep you updated on effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the esports world as the story develops.