How many times have gamers heard “Get a job” or “You can’t care for a family by playing games”? Well, the gaming revolution during the past couple of years proved both these statements wrong, and one doesn’t need to look past esports to see that playing games is as much of a profession as any other.

If it weren’t the case, then why would companies spend millions on gaming arenas and tournaments and why would colleges award scholarships to gamers?

HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas

As a testament to the booming popularity of gaming, last year, gamers and fans got an entire arena dedicated to them: the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas.

The state-of-the-art venue, located at the Luxor Hotel and co-created by HyperX, Allied Esports and Esports Arena, quickly became a go-to venue for some of the most significant events around the esports world. Only days ago, the arena hosted the NBA 2K — the first time the tournament played outside its home studio in New York.

On June 18th during the NHL Awards, the Mandalay Bay resort in Vegas will host another major esports battle: the NHL Gaming World Championship Final.

NHL Gaming World Championship

Now that the championship has entered the live regional finals, players had the chance on May 13th to make their picks. The virtual draft saw Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid as the “No. 1 [selection] in all three regional drafts.”

The EU Regional Live Final will take place on May 18th, the Canadian final on May 25th and May 30th for the U.S. regional face-off. On June 3rd, players will make their picks for the final draft. Finally, on June 18th, the winners and runners-up from each region will head to Vegas for the final battle to “win their share of $100,000” and “attend the NHL Awards [and] meet NHL star players.”

Esports Betting

A tournament prize pool of $100 000 is yet another proof to naysayers that gaming does indeed provide a living. The industry has grown so much that now bookmakers accept wagering on esports.

While real-game betting like on the Stanley Cup winner will reportedly be worth more than $150 billion in five years, esports betting will grow to reach $1.5 billion by the next year.

The number might pale against its “real-play” counterpart, but it’s quite an achievement considering it has only been a little over a decade since the gaming world entered the stage of having professional gamers compete for hefty prizes.