League of Legends has been a big deal in the eSports community for years with a total of $8 million being distributed to various players throughout its third season, but only now has the US government deemed League of Legends a professional sport.
What does this mean, exactly? Simple: professional League of Legends players can now get working visas in the US for their contribution to this emerging sport.
"The United States government recognises League of Legends pro players as professional athletes and award[s] visas to essentially work in the United States under that title," said developer Riot Games' eSports manager Nick Allen in an interview with Gamespot. "This is groundbreaking for eSports."
"We can start looking at international players when they come over. It's a much easier process because they're actually recognised by the government," he added, before noting that achieving this acceptance was a long, drawn out battle. "This was a lengthy process. We had a lot of people fighting for this. It wasn't something that happened overnight."
League of Legends' Season 3 World Championship will begin on 16th September in Los Angeles where it will conclude on 4th October at Staples Center. First place will walk away with $1 million in cash and the Holy Grail- er, I mean Summoner's Cup.