Sport | Gaming: Video gamers are athletes too, says Japanese government

Gaming: Video gamers are athletes too, says Japanese government

April 8, 2016 6:33 AM (UTC+8)

 

(From Newsy)

It’s official: Professional video gamers are just like other athletes, at least in the eyes of the Japanese government.

Two South Korean gamers are now free to suit up for a Japanese professional e-sports team, thanks to work visas they received from Japan’s Ministry of Justice. It’s the first time e-sports athletes have received such a visa.

League of legends
The Japan eSports Federation, which was founded about a year ago, called the Japanese government’s decision a historic event.

Essentially, Japan is acting as it usually does when foreign athletes are drafted by a Japanese sports team. But this time, instead of playing soccer or basketball, they’re playing “League of Legends.”

“League of Legends,” which features two teams facing off in an online battle, is one of the world’s most popular video games for e-gamers.

And if you don’t think “League of Legends” athletes are worth star treatment, think again. Last year’s world championship final peaked at 14 million viewers, roughly on par with viewership for last year’s World Series here in the U.S. Read More

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