At first, it seems like any other sporting event. Parents sip beer from clear plastic cups. Children eat overpriced soft pretzels and pizza, holding giant red styrofoam hands I recognise from baseball games. 

But instead of a grassy field, today the Arthur Ashe stadium in Queens — best known for hosting tennis stars for the glitzy US Open — is anchored by a huge three-tier purple stage attached to the roof by cables. Tens of thousands of spectators are here to witness 200 players fight to the death on a virtual island. In reality, this translates to watching teenage boys — and they are all boys — pound their keyboards for about four hours. The last boy standing will be crowned a millionaire.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.