Following the success of SMITE in China under Tencent Games, the industry giant today announced it has signed Paladins for the world’s largest gaming market. Developed by Hi-Rez Studios, Paladins is scheduled to complete localisation and begin Closed Beta in early 2017, followed by an official launch in late 2017. A new map inspired by Chinese culture will also be developed for the China server.
Having tried the early beta phase (the UI and systems have since changed tons), I was impressed by Paladins, even claiming it is better than Overwatch (until the changes kicked in and peer pressure). Obviously, with such a late launch date, Tencent is taking its time to perfect the game before launch. Tencent currently dominates the eSports market in China, and Paladins will definitely benefit from it.
As part of the announcement to expose Paladins to the Chinese gaming community, Tencent announced a series of activities that will be held to distinguish the best Paladins players in China. The top Chinese Paladins team will fly to Atlanta, GA to compete with players from around the world in the first ever Paladins Invitational Tournament at Hi-Rez Expo on January 5-8, 2017.