The United States government now recognizes League of Legends players as professional athletes and awards visas for them to come to the country to play.
Riot Games eSports manager Nick Allen told GameSpot in a new video interview (below) that the “groundbreaking” decision came about after much back-and-forth between the developer and the government.
“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. “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.
The League of Legends Season 3 Championship Finals will take place October 4 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend.