League of Legends considered a professional sport by the US government

League of Legends has been a big deal in the eSports community for years with a total of $8 million doled out to various players throughout its third season, but it’s only now that the US government has considered League of Legends like a professional sport.

We may not have Mario & Sonic at the Olympics, but maybe one day we will have Malphite and Sona instead.

What does this mean, exactly? It’s simple: professional League of Legends players can now obtain work visas in the United States for their contribution to this emerging sport.

“The United States government recognizes professional League of Legends players as professional athletes and rewards[s] visas to essentially work in the United States under this title,” developer Riot Games’ esports manager Nick Allen said in an interview with Gamespot. “It’s revolutionary for eSports.

“We can start looking at international players when they arrive. It’s a much easier process because they’re actually recognized by the government,” he added, before noting that getting that acceptance was a long battle. “It was a long process. A lot of people fought for it. It wasn’t something that happened overnight.”

The League of Legends Season 3 World Championship kicks off September 16 in Los Angeles and ends October 4 at Staples Center. First place will walk away with $1 million in cash and the Holy Grail, I mean the Summoner’s Cup.

Sara R. Cicero