Los Angeles, Shanghai and Paris were ranked as the top three cities in a global esports city evaluation report recently published by a research team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
The report, which was released on Wednesday, surveyed 15 cities that have published plans to develop their esports industry. The ranking was based on an evaluation of five aspects - industry ecosystem, infrastructure, matches, clubs and social influence.
Los Angeles topped the rankings with 100 points while Shanghai came in second with 94.9 points. Paris was ranked third while Beijing took fourth place.
"As the bellwether city of esports in China, Shanghai has held many high-profile esports championships and tournaments, such as the League of Legends Season 10 in 2020 and the International Dota 2 World Championship in 2019," explained Xu Jian, a professor of the school of media and communication who led the research team.
Shanghai was ranked first in terms of esports matches and infrastructure — the city has 47 esports venues and had held 13 esports events, each of which offers over $1 million in prize value, from 2015 to 2020, according to the report.
"The city is also home to diverse esports companies and has a complete industry cluster. It indeed lives up to its name as a global esports city," Xu said, adding that 80 percent of China's top esports clubs and teams are based in Shanghai.
Xu noted that although Seoul, South Korea is commonly regarded as the global capital of esports, it was ranked seventh because of its lack of major IT companies that would contribute to the long-term growth of the industry.
Berlin of Germany, Atlanta and Seattle of the United States were ranked fifth, sixth and eighth respectively. Other Chinese cities that made the rankings include Hangzhou, Zhejiang province (9th) and Chengdu of Sichuan province (10th).
The scale of China's esports industry stood at 150 billion yuan ($23.5 billion) last year, according to an industry report by iResearch Consulting Group. This scale made up 5 percent of the global esports industry which was valued at 2.95 trillion yuan, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Lu Lei, secretary-general of the Shanghai Information Services Association, said that the size of the esports industry will continue to grow over the next decade.
"The development of esports will serve Shanghai's goal of becoming a global digital hub by 2035 as major esports events are globally influential," he said. "The good performances of Chinese esports teams and clubs are driving local companies to develop more and better games."