Online game League of Legends has been officially classified a professional sport in the US, developer Riot Games has confirmed, allowing esports players from overseas to obtain working visas.
“The United States government recognises League of Legends pro players as professional athletes and awards visas to essentially work in the United States under that title,” said Riot Games esports manager Nick Allen in a Gamespot video interview.
“This is groundbreaking for esports.”
Allen added: “We can start looking at international players when they come over. It’s a much easier process because they’re actually recognised by the government.
“This was a lengthy process. We had a lot of people fighting for this. It wasn’t something that happened overnight.”
Last year League of Legends dev co-founder Brandon Beck said he believes esports will be an Olympic event in the future.
Former Fragdoll Morgan ‘Rhoulette’ Romine previously said the games industry must do more for pro gamers and esports.