Professional gamers have been fighting for their status for years, and the latest advance sees League of Legends gamers being considered professional athletes by the United States government, which would grant them visas if they required to play in the US.
“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,” said Riot Games eSports manager Nick Allen.
“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 added.
Allen elaborated, saying that Riot Games had multiple discussions with the government to convince them that professional gaming is a legitimate sport.