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The final of the International 2018 in Vancouver, where teams competed in the game Dota 2
The numbers are dizzying: more than $33m (£27m) in prize money at an upcoming tournament. Competitors from around the world, many still in their teens. And the pressure that comes from knowing that millions of viewers are watching your every move. The world of e-sports is not without its detractors – including Prince Harry, who said it’s “more addictive than drugs” – but for young, talented players, it’s a chance to make it big in an almost billion-dollar industry.Kyle Giersdorf, aka Bugha, is a 16-year-old high school student from the small town of Pottsgrove in Pennsylvania – and as of last month, he is a multimillionaire. In July Kyle won the Fortnite World Cup, which had a record-breaking $30m (£24.6m) prize pool. His first place prize, of $3m, was also the highest ever individual win for an e-sports event.The figures are overwhelming – but those records are set to be dwarfed in just a few weeks. The International (TI), a tournament of the game Dota 2 in Shanghai from 20 to 25 August, has already surpassed Fortnite’s prize pool. At the time of writing, the pool is more than $33m. But it’s not easy money to make. ‘A test like no other’Anucha Jirawong, also known as Jabz, is a 20-year-old professional gamer from Bangkok. His team, Fnatic, are among the elite few now in training for TI.Jabz tells BBC News that he’s been gaming since he was 13. Even when it was just a hobby, he was playing for about seven hours on weekdays, around s
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