Video games are extremely popular, and now, with internet connectivity a global community of gamers has been united. With that community has come heated competition, and some gamers are even making money playing professionally. Are these gamers the new athletes? Wired reports:
The professional sports world has a new league—the Overwatch League—and, like any other athletic endeavor, the professional videogaming league comes complete with billionaire team owners, devoted fans, and serious players mortgaging their teenage years for a shot at the spotlight (and a whole lot of cash). Stefano Disalvo, a player for the Los Angeles Valiant team, had never even played Overwatch (in which you are a member of a UN task force in charge of quashing a robot rebellion) when he decided to put in the effort to go pro. “‘I saw the esports potential,’ he says with a shrug. ‘I didn’t care if the game was fun.’”
You might not think you’d enjoy sitting in an audience watching teenagers twiddle with their mouses and shoot up supersmart gorillas onscreen. And the Overwatch Videogame League knows that—they’re just betting you’ll change your mind. “It all reminds [former ABC Sports president and NFL Network CEO] Steve Bornstein of the moment in the early ’80s when he came aboard the fledgling ESPN, then only three months old,” writes Nathan Hill. “He says all the critics at the time argued there wouldn’t be any interest in a whole channel devoted to sports. Who would ever watch that?” Spoiler: a lot of people.
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