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.

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