From the article: "Video games are only getting bigger and more pervasive," says Michael Kane, author of the book Game Boys: Professional Videogaming's Rise from the Basement to the Big Time. "So the question is, what about the kids who are the best at it? Will they be rewarded for their ability? That's the attempt being made now, and they are moving forward with baby steps." As recently as two years ago, he says, some 15 young aspirants were making roughly $20,000 each. Today, as many as 90 full-time professionals make as much as $90,000 a year.
The World Cyber Games (WCG), which get under way in Cologne Nov. 5-9, is one of three international leagues devoted to promoting, showcasing, and ultimately profiting from video-game competition. (The Championship Gaming Series and Major League Gaming are the others.) Every sport has its Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods. But a young sport may need a superstar just to let the world know it exists. Enter Johnathan Wendel, aka "Fatal1ty," the top professional video-game player, or "cyberathlete," in the West and the first to be considered a full-time pro at the sport.