Japan Taking Big Steps Toward Recognizing Gaming As A Profession. That's A Big Deal
Japan is about to have one of its first major professional video game tournaments, Japan Times reports.
Despite how big gaming is in the country, and how big the esports industry's become in recent years, Japanese laws prohibiting illegal gambling have also "prevented paid video game tournaments in Japan." However, now, thanks to amended laws, Japan is getting its first shot at growing a professional competitive gaming scene.
This weekend at "Tokaigi 2018" hundreds of players in Japan will get the chance to go head to head for prizes totaling over $300,000 USD.
“This is the first big step,”head of game magazine publisher Gzbrain Inc. Hirokazu Hamamura told the outlet. “What’s really important for the esports movement is whether our players can become stars. And I think that’s coming.”
Japan's interest in professional gaming is being helped, in part, by the country's ruling party – currently ran by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Those advocating for esports to proliferate in the country are also optioning for esports to join the Olympics as soon as the 2024 games.