Bets, drugs, and wrists and roll: booming e-sports is the Wild ...

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Bets, drugs, and wrists and roll: booming e-sports is the Wild West

Gaming as an international sport is growing exponentially and so is the spotlight on its dark side

Tom Hoggins

Amid a light show and theatrical smoke in Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, the five members of the OG team embrace after securing their victory at The International, e-sports’ most lucrative tournament.

Teams compete in fantasy battle game Dota 2 for a share of nearly $34m, eclipsing even the $30m prize pool of the Fortnite World Cup held in New York in July. Each individual member of OG took home more than $3m – more than Wimbledon singles champions Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep.

Professional video gaming is on the crest of a wave after the roaring success and untold riches of these recent tournaments. In 2019, worldwide revenue from e-sports is expected to break the $1bn barrier, and is projected to have an audience of 545 million viewers worldwide...

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