I’ve been an avid League of Legends fan and player for about 3 years now. I didn’t grow much skill-wise and I have been stuck in Platinum tier forever. I quit marathon gaming a couple of months ago but I’m still watching professional League players duke it out on various tournament like the LCS.
That’s why I’m very happy to know that League of Legends professional players are now recognized athletes by the US government.
The journey towards recognition wasn’t complete overnight though; it was a lengthy – and we mean lengthy – debate between the US government and Riot before enough evidence convinced the US government to make it happen.
“So the United States government recognizes League of Legends pro players as professional athletes and award visas to essentially work in the United States under that title,” Allen said in an interview. “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.” He added.
This is definitely a good thing for professional gamers because this enables them to get official visas to travel to other countries. This will definitely widen the gaming industry’s horizons and make the world a wee bit smaller than it was before.
A lot of people are against this though mainly because the term “athlete” doesn’t particularly suit skinny guys carrying laptops. But then again, the US government has a lengthy discussion over this and there’s a term called “mental athletics” (think spelling bees) so they are probably right. We just have to look beyond what we see and think outside the box.
Look at this video and see for yourself. Oh and while you’re at it, read the comments to see the rifted opinions of people.
What do you say? Are league players athletes or just people pretending to be one?