Professional competitive gaming will only continue to grow.
As reported by GameSpot , European eSports group the Electronic Sports League (ESL) paid out $2.5 million in prize money in 2013. The year was described as a "truly global year of competition."
The money was handed out in 21 cities across 15 countries and 5 continents and in 2014, the ESL will host the EMS One Katowice Counter Strike: Global Offensive Championship at the IEM World Championships in Katowice, Poland. This will be held at the Spodek Arena, where the likes of Pearl Jam and Deep Purple have recorded live albums in the past. The prize pool for winning the Global Offensive Championship will be $250,000. As for 2013, here's what ESL CEO Ralf Reichert had to say:
"The last 12 months have brought about enormous changes in the eSports landscape. With production quality reaching ever-high levels and viewership growing at immense rates, public discussion has shifted away from critical evaluation of eSports to the simple question of 'how fast will it continue to grow?"
Competitive gaming just gets bigger and bigger, despite the fact that most mainstream journalists dismiss it as a "sport." Personally, I don't think it's a sport, either, but it's still a legitimate competition, just as much as any other contest that focuses on skill, precision, hand-eye coordination, and lots and lots of practice. I couldn't do it, I'm sure.