Video game enthusiasts are becoming wealthier with the popular rise of so-called eSports.
Teenagers and young adults across the globe are now making a living by sitting around playing video games. The good ones catch the attention of game makers who sponsor them in team competitions which can sell out arenas and stream live online all over the world.
“A kid from Georgia, with four of his buddies, took home first prize which was $1.3 million that the five of them split, and he has continued to play and earn a living ever since then,” says Todd Harris, co-founder of Hi-Rez Studios.
“At the the high end, you are playing on a stage in front of thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of cheering fans,” he says. “Many of these events are broadcast over the Internet and watched by millions of people.”
Harris says today's sophisticated games also translate into college degrees.
“The fact that they're engaging with technology tends to, for many kids, light them up and they go on to become computer programs or graphic designers,” he says.
Texas' Southwestern University is among those now offering social clubs, grants or even scholarships to play eSports in college.