E-sports spread from PC bang to world stage

Christmas came early for the 24-year-old avid online pro gamer Moon Sung-won this month when he collected a cool 40 million won ($35,000) check for blowing away 26th century opponents from the distant Milky Way at a major e-sports tournament held in Seoul.

Moon aced the Blizzard Cup at Sejong University in Gunja-dong, eastern Seoul, to pick up the prize money by proving himself the best of the best at the tournament, which featured the hugely popular online game StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, created by the U.S. video game developer Blizzard Entertainment.

According to Blizzard Entertainment Korea, the original StarCraft found a huge market in Korea, where it has sold over 4.5 million copies since it was released over a decade ago. Global sales are over double this, or 11 million.

The game’s huge popularity was powered by Internet cafes, known here as PC bangs, which gave birth to a new fad as well as a potential career as a pro gamer.
It also gave birth to the industry and culture dubbed e-sports, with fans tuning in to watch tournaments on TV much as they might watch a game of basketball or football.

For full article see Joongang Daily.

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