Videogame players, the next Olympians?
It's not exactly an Olympic sport - not yet, anyway - but as the London Games drew to a close this past Sunday, thousands of professional videogame players geared up for an event that for some can be as lucrative as winning a gold medal.
Videogamers have gathered in Cologne, Germany this week for the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) competition, a professional videogame tournament that runs through Aug. 19.
Professional electronic gaming, or eSports, is relatively new and has been gaining popularity around the world in recent years. Germany and South Korea are two hot markets, and the United States is quickly catching up.
Pro gamers can earn anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 or more in winnings and make even more in product endorsements, teaching and other sponsorships. Videogame makers say participating in an event can boost a game's popularity.
The IEM event in Germany is expected to attract over 250,000 fans, about 10 percent more than last year, to watch the best videogamers in the world compete in games such as "StarCraft II" and "League of Legends". An additional 20 million people from more than 180 countries will tune in to streams on the Web provided by ESLTV, TwitchTV and CBS Interactive (CBSi) Games...