The athletes of online gaming

2014-05-11 20:25
(via Web)

(via Web)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Paris - They train hard, have their own fans, sponsors and managers, and transfer to rival teams: Online gaming pros are not dissimilar to athletes, adopting rigour and dedication to win and cash in on their success.

Some 30 of these professionals travelled to Paris this week for this year's four-day League of Legends championships in an indoor multi-purpose arena attended by thousands of fans of the popular online battle arena game.

Sitting next to each other facing an audience of rapturous fans, team players wearing headsets and eyes riveted on computers battled it out in a game broadcast on a giant screen overhead.

"The life of a professional player is fairly similar to that of a high-level athlete," said Kurtis Lau, a retired online gaming star from Hong Kong better known under the pseudonym "Toyz" in the League of Legends world.

"You have to train several hours a day and travel across the world to compete in matches."

League of Legends pits champions against each other in a fantasy world and has become hugely popular with over 67 million people playing it every month, according to the game's developers Riot Games.

The 2014 championships that kicked off on Thursday in Paris featured teams from North America, Europe, South East Asia, China and South Korea.

They crescendoed on Sunday in a final session pitting South Korea's "SK Telecom T1 K" against China's "OMG".

Fame and rigour

In the sold-out arena, thousands of spectators chanted the names of favourite players before the online battles began.

Each team had its own coach, who dished out last minute advice and encouragement to players.

Backstage, some warmed up in private rooms, others ate fruit and carbs to get ready.

"You need a healthy lifestyle to be a professional player," said Nicolas Laurent, in charge of international development at the California-based Riot Games.

"In fact, there are real differences between the Asian teams that are much more serious and the Americans or Europeans. And that often comes through in terms of results."

The winning team of this year's All-Star Paris 2014 championships will take home $50 000.

"Professional players often earn hundreds of thousands of euros a year," said Laurent, pointing to prize money or sponsorship deals.

Before integrating a professional team, the best of the best are often spotted on game servers by managers looking for the next big thing.

And once on the circuit, League of Legends players sometimes transfer to the competition.

Last week, for instance, Russia's Alex Ich left his team "Gambit Gaming" to join Sweden's "Ninjas in Pyjamas".

The United States has even decided to facilitate the visa process for foreign players in a bid to attract new talents to US teams.

As for retirement, it can hit early.

"Toyz" retired from the professional circuit when he was just 21, and has already decided what he wants to do next.

"I plan to become a team coach. That would be a natural evolution."

Read more on:    gaming
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
18 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Bellville - 06:09 AM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    SLOW TRAFFIC between the R300 Highway and the Durban Road exit
  • Friday Paarden Eiland - 06:07 AM
    Road name: Marine Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Neptune Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2508.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.