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US Governments Deems Pro 'League Of Legends' Video Game Players Professional Athletes, Awards Work Visas

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After a crusade by League of Legends developer Riot Games, the US government now recognizes the game's professional players as professional athletes, and will award them visas to come to the country and work (read: play the game). MUST BE NICE.

"This is groundbreaking for eSports; now we can start looking at international players when they come over. It's a much easier process because they're actually recognized by the government. This is a huge thing."


"This was a lengthy process; we had a lot of people fighting for this. It wasn't something that happened overnight," Allen continued.

He further explained that Riot went back and forth with the government multiple times before enough evidence was provided to prove that the game is a legitimate sport.

Heck yeah! It's about time video gamers receive the professional athlete status they deserve. And I'm not just saying that because this is the best chance I stand of ever becoming a professional athlete, but I did score in the other team's goal playing for my middle school basketball team.

Thanks to Fortune, who only video games in athletic shorts.

There are Comments.
  • Ameya Vaidya

    To all the people who are either trolling or just plain denying that esport pros are not athletes should be asked 2 questions: Why is Chess a sport then? And why is pizza a vegetable?

  • GForce

    Wow we have some narrow minded dimwits here....

  • Care to expand?

  • Daoyi Liu

    Just as with any pro-sports, LOL and DOTA premier league tournament games exist due to the players dedication and for the viewers entertainment. People who find this concept difficult to grasp need to take some steps
    outside of the narrow little corridor of their headmeats.

    In both cases, (sports and computers) the game was invented by a group of young people trying to not be bored. The game got picked up by other people who thought it was pretty cool too. People got good at it. People started watching other people play it. People started paying people to get people to watch people play it.
    Players dedicate much of their waking hours honing their skills. Money is made from sponsorship and advertisement. The only difference is that one involves physical strain while the other requires mental and tactical prowess. Calling either inferior or undeserving as a title for professionalism is just being incredibly dense and narrow-minded. Perhaps "Athlete" just may not be the best term they could have used, but for lack of a better term, it'll have to do. At least until people start taking their heads out of their arses and notice that the gaming industry is an incredibly big and real and rapidly growing part of modern society and "professional gaming" is an untapped goldmine.

    Huge corporations have started taking notice and have already begun hosting these tournaments. The only thing left that needs some working on is Perspective.

    I'm not inherently a business-minded person. But to anyone out there with a bit of entrepreneurial genius: you're welcome. The End.

  • I think it's the terms 'sport' and 'athlete' that is the problem.
    Professional gamers they may be. Professional athletes they are not.

  • Daoyi Liu

    Mah there are plenty of "sports" that are internationally recognized that require just as much physical exertion as Dota, if not less. The only blame can go to the limits of Colloquial English,

  • Adil Ali Chaudhry

    we should rename those sports to casual leisure time activities. because lets be serious. sweat is not involved in LOL ...

  • Daoyi Liu

    You're just not playing it right

  • Video game players recognized as professional athletes before porn stars?? What is the world coming to?
    ...
    Yeah, I said it.

  • Nate Henley

    It's an endurance sport... and hey people have died trying to break their playing records... if you can die its a sport ;D

  • If we said anything that can kill you is a sport, we'd have some pretty weird sports.

  • asdfasdfasdf

    we do and should have more

  • joevsyou

    gamers win 100's of thousands of dollars= let them in with ease = tax

  • I'm confused.
    The Oxford English Dictionary defines Sport as: an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment, and Athlete as: a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.
    I'm guessing the US Government is using some other, special, dictionary.

  • Aaeron Jhonson-Whyte

    Esports, ladies and gentlemen. Not sports. In any case, words are redefined on the regular. I'm so gay after hearing these news.

  • Alchemykillr

    And understanding of game mechanics, knowledge of champions, knowledge of strategy and teamwork. Patience, stress, and several other aspects of the TOURNAMENT ATMOSPHERE, don't constitute it as a sport either? It may not be physically taxing in the way YOU think if you watch sports. But it is mentally taxing, stressing, and complicated once you get to their level of play. Yeah it can still be fun, but with that much money on the line and other factors. It's a lot to take in.

  • asdfasdfasdf

    its from the "we can tax it" dictionary

  • Drake Featherwing

    The key part there is "team [competes/competing against another]" It may not be a true sport, but playing LoL or DOTA or Dota2 are still sports by that definition as you are part of a team.

  • No, the key parts are "physical exertion" and "physical exercise".
    Sitting on your arse and wiggling your fingers barely counts.

  • asdfasdfasdf

    chess. target shooting. archery. nascar. skeet. darts

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