Gaming for $25M in prizes

Gaming fanatics have packed Vancouver's Rogers Arena for a multiplayer online battle eSports tournament.

Track suit-clad players are battling in the game Dota 2, which stands for Defense of the Ancients.

The annual international competition will name the world's best team.

“The winning team gets a little over $10 million U.S. dollars,” says Erik Johnson of Seattle game developer Valve Corp.

“These aren’t people who do this off-hours for fun. This is a year-long event. The prize pool is $25 million USD. It’s very serious, and it’s something the players and everyone take seriously.”

Sixteen teams began competition on Monday, and the winner will be crowned on Saturday.

Teams of five compete in the live-streamed event, with millions of viewers expected around the world.

BC Lotteries even offers online betting on the game.

"We've seen a steady increase on betting in eSports," says BCLC spokesperson Anjee Gill. “We want to be where people are playing. From last April up until this past July we saw a 600 per cent increase on bets being placed overall on eSports.”

– with files from CTV Vancouver


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