Professional Gamers get ‘Athlete’ recognition in the US

league_of_legendsIs professional gaming a sport? Well its a question that has been asked more and more as professional gaming has grown into a more popular and recognised activity, but recent action by the US Immigration may have just rubber stamped the answer. The US has issued League of Legends players with athlete visas, effectively recognising the video game as a professional sport. Players have been issued with P-1 visas, which are intended for “individual athletes”.

The news comes after Developer Riot Games which have been campaigning for eSport players to be recognised as sporting professionals. UK based Team Dignitas were put in contact with a lawyer by Riot Games and the lawyer after several months of work and speaking with US Immigration, players applications were successful granted an athletes visa.

This now enables gamers to travel easier in ad out of the US to attend tournaments. The move will hopefully be copies by other countries that stage major gaming tournaments.

If  you are not sure just how big eSports has grown over the last few years, then consider that many tournaments are attended by thousands of fans, televised globally and the  winners of the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship starting in September will take home $1 million (£662,000) in prize money.

Remember when you mum used to shout at you for playing too many games and said games will never pay the rent!!


Reporter: Soulfinger

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