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Alex Welsh for Quartz
Rush from Echo Fox high-fives the crowd after their winning match at the League of Legends tournament at Riot Studios on Sunday.
PHOTO ESSAY

Photos: Inside the excitement of an esports tournament

Johnny Simon
Member exclusive by Johnny Simon for The rise of esports

If you think esports is just “people watching people play video games,” you’re technically right, but you’re missing the extent to which it’s become a true spectator sport. Fans make signs for their favorite players, the audience is rapt with emotion as they follow every move of the game, and the broadcast is narrated by professional commentators who can break down a team’s gameplay like one would analyze the fielding strategy for a football or soccer team.

Also did we mention that some championships can be watched by massive audiences that rival the Super Bowl?

Quartz sent photographer Alex Welsh to the first weekend of the spring season for the popular Leauge of Legends tournament, held in the studios of game maker Riot. While these early season games are small compared to some of the larger, arena-filling championships, they still have all the trappings and production of professional sports.

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