Every day, approximately 27 million people on earth take the time to play League of Legends. Some are paid to do it.

The virtual game combines an intense and strategic take on a playground classic, the capture of the flag, with an enchanted storyline and fantastic champions who act as the player’s avatar.

“There are a lot of teams looking for more players to add to their rosters,” said Matthew Rousseaux of the video game.

Rousseaux is the president and founder of SK League (SKL), a new provincial electronic sports association for video game enthusiasts. The group started in April 2015 and is hosting their first League of Legends gaming masters video game tournament this fall.

Matthieu Rousseaux, president and founder of SKL. (Matthieu Rousseaux)

“It’s basically like hockey. You play in smaller tournaments, in smaller leagues and basically trying to get drafted. That’s how it works,” Rousseaux explained of the hugely popular and global world. electronic sports.

“Once that happens, you can make millions of dollars a year if you are good enough and do what you need to do.”

Rousseaux grew up playing video games in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and said he and his friends had always dreamed of starting their own league in the province. He said they tried a few years ago, but the idea didn’t have the strength to take off.

“We just didn’t have the manpower,” he said.

This time it was different.

“There is a much, much bigger group of people who are behind it and who are passionate about it,” Rousseaux said.

He said that currently 33 teams from Canada and the United States, consisting of seven people per team, have registered to participate in SKL’s inaugural League of Legends tournament this fall.

The 231 people will compete in video game test series. The tournament finals will be held at the Matrix Gaming Center in Regina.

Esports, an untapped Canadian market

Rousseaux said SKL believes the unexpected and positive reception of its first tournament is evidence of a growing desire in the province for serious video games.

“Esports is a global phenomenon that has really started to develop over the past six to seven years in North America,” he said. “In other places like Korea and Japan, it’s been a pretty big sport for 15 to 20 years. It’s actually South Korea’s national sport.”

Rousseaux said SKL is planning to host another tournament in early 2016. At this point, they are working on a model that relies on sponsors and continues to play in free virtual trials for competitors.

“Unfortunately, there isn’t much going on for minor leagues in Saskatchewan or even Canada,” he said.

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