The American Dream: the land of hope, a new life promised by the Mayflower ship which could tell so many stories.
Who could have said that centuries after, a similar exodus would take place?
If you are a bit lost regarding where I am heading with this post, it’s understandable.
Let’s go to the beginning of all of this:
In 2006, the enterprise Riot Games is conceived in Los Angeles, developing video games among other things.
After a few years, a video game is created: League of Legends (LoL).
At the beginning it’s another standard game, being played by youngsters willing to waste their time on it instead of on something more productive, but…
Suddenly, not knowing how or why in 2012 a million viewers were looking at gamers playing LoL in Los Angeles.
An audience gone wild in front of them, treating them as stars.
The adolescents who were “wasting their time” 3 years ago are now competing for a prize of 5 million USD.
This is why in 2013 the US government recognized League of Legends professional players as professional athletes, allowing them to obtain visas under these conditions, just as if they were great tennis players or a new European basketball star.
The CEO of Riot Games, Nick Allen, made the following declaration to GameSpot:
The US government recognizes LoL pro players as professional athletes and will award them visas to work in the US. This is groundbreaking for e-Sports, now we can start looking at international players when they come over, and it is a much easier process because they are recognized by the government”.
Here you have the full video of this interview discussing this historical moment:
The Mayflower may not leave the European coasts with young people loaded with dreams, but they will likely arrive by plane from China, Denmark, Corea or Spain, loaded with a mouse and a keyboard and the same eagerness to succeed as their predecessors.
The American Dream is alive in the eSports!