eSports league pays out $2.5 million in prizes in 2013

Electronic Sports League describes past year as a "truly global year of competition."

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European eSports organization the Electronic Sports League (ESL) paid out $2.5 million in prize money in 2013, a year the group described as a "truly global year of competition."

Throughout the year, the ESL held tournaments in 21 cities across 15 countries and five continents, the group said.

In 2014, the ESL will host the EMS One Katowice Counter Strike: Global Offensive Championship at the IEM World Championships in Katowice, Poland. The action will take place at the Spodek Arena, where bands like Pearl Jam and Deep Purple have recorded live albums, with a prize pool of $250,000.

"The last 12 months have brought about enormous changes in the eSports landscape. With production quality reaching ever-high levels and viewership growing at immense rates, public discussion has shifted away from critical evaluation of eSports to the simple question of 'how fast will it continue to grow?,'" ESL CEO Ralf Reichert said.

The eSports scene is no doubt on the rise, but the competitive gaming phenomenon has not won over traditional sports media journalists just yet. HBO's Real Sports recently took on the eSports scene, and a roundtable of journalists largely dismissed cyber-athletes and their profession.

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