PARIS (AP) — Just like athletes, the champions got a big shiny trophy. Their most ardent fans screamed with delight over their crushing victory, while the vanquished opponents had the bitterness of defeat written all over their young faces.
Esports still have some way to go before winning mainstream acceptance. But the growing business that's gone from niche to global phenomenon in just a few years took another step forward when thousands of gaming fans packed a Paris arena Sunday for the biggest esports event of the year, the world championship finals of the League of Legends video game.
The Chinese team FunPlus Phoenix were crowned champions, wiping the floor with European outfit G2 Esports with a 3-0 shutout to secure the Summoner's Cup Trophy. The packed 20,000-seat AccorHotels Arena throbbed with excitement. Some fans came dressed as characters from the game.