|29 Sep 2012||#1|
How video games are becoming next great North American spectator sport
I'm standing on the edge of a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd—the kind of crowd where you have to apologize to seven people just to move a few feet—frantically snapping pictures, because I've got the distinct feeling that what I'm looking at is one of the stories of the year in video gaming.
It's a video game tournament, but it looks more like a rock concert, complete with a huge stage up front, tons of lighting equipment overhead, and a large merchandise booth off to the side. As the tournament reaches the finals, the crowd continues to flow in until every seat, aisle and empty corner of the two linked ballrooms of the Seattle Convention Center is filled with a throng comprising thousands and thousands of people. Even when the room seems completely full, the people don't stop coming, and the hallways outside of the ballroom begin to clog as fans continue streaming up from the lower floors of the Penny Arcade Expo.
They're all here to watch professional gaming teams battle it out in the North American regional finals in League of Legends, a PC action-strategy game that has exploded in the competitive video gaming scene over the past year. The tournament's winning team will take home $40,000 and a trip to the World Championship in October, where the victor will net $2 million and international fame.
How video games are becoming the next great North American spectator sport | Ars Technica
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