News: America recognizes League of Legends players as athletes

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It’s really nice to see progress in the world of video games, especially when that progress is important people recognizing our work. So, for all the haters out there, guess what? Pro-gamers are now considered athletes and League of Legends is the spearhead!

Pro-Athlete is still an odd word for a gamer, isn’t it? Well, thanks to the US Government, League of Legends team members are now considered athletes as well as pro-gamers.

“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” says Nick Allen, Manager of eSports at Riot Games

Getting to this point was no easy task. Riot have been lobbying to change the status of pro-gamers for a while, because up until very recently, bringing foreigners to compete in tournaments has been fiendishly difficult.

“This is a lengthy process. We had a lot of people fighting for this, and it wasn’t something that happened overnight. This is constant back-and-forth of, like, ‘Show us more proof, is this realistic?’, and that sort of thing. Eventually it got to the point where they were like, ‘Okay, we have no reason to say no. This is legitimate,”

Allen said.

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While some of us may not care for League of Legends, we are definitely happy to hear that there are gamers out there who can now be considered professional athletes.

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