Rogue Warriors, a club of 90 gamers who train in a three-floor building that includes dorms and a canteen, declined to comment on the expected impact of the new rules.
An executive at another major Chinese club said the new rules will mean many talented people will miss out on being discovered.
“The real top players are usually gifted and don’t necessarily play long hours before joining the club. Others can be very good eventually but they need a lot of practice to get there,” said the executive, who declined to be named citing the sensitivity of the issue.
The new rules are not laws per se that punish individuals but place the onus on gaming companies which will be compelled to require logins with real names and national ID numbers. Experts note that determined Chinese teenagers can still circumvent the rules if they have their parents’ support and are able to use adult logins.
Chinese authorities have not addressed the impact of the new rules on the esports industry, but Chen at Peking University said they have the leeway to grant some young esports players exemptions.
“The country can still introduce corresponding policies,” he said.
($1 = 6.4534 Chinese yuan)
Reporting by Josh Horwitz in Shanghai and Sophie Yu in Beijing; Additional reporting by Thomas Suen in Beijing; Editing by Edwina Gibbs