Many sceptics scoff at the concept of playing computer games as a "sport". Whether or not you see competitive multiplayer gaming as a sport or not, the undeniable fact is that there is some serious cash to be made on the gaming circuit these days, and prize funds are only likely to increase.
Perhaps most famous of all is the CyberAthlete Professional League (CPL) based in America, but earlier this month saw the birth of what could become a very big name itself, if the ambitions of its backers are realised. That name is ACON, primarily driven by ABIT (hence the A; the CON is short for conference, made famous by QuakeCON), and Shanghai, China played host to the first ever Final, dubbed ACON4.
Most professional LAN gaming tournaments start small and grow as their name grows. With ACON4, ABIT have thrown this formula out the window and started not just big, but HUGE. Qualifers were held in 50 cities around the world (check out our UK Qualifer coverage) and 15,000 gamers where whittled down to just 18 National Champions. These elite gamers were flown to Shanghai for a no-holds barred, battle-to-the-death final.