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It pays to play (in South Korea)


The best StarCraft player in history, NaDa Lee, number 2 in the South Korean e-Sports Players Association (KeSPA), was reported to earn US$200,000 in 2005 from gaming alone.

23 year old Lee, who?s been playing StarCraft for 10 years, 6 of those professionally, and training 10 hours a day, says it?s not fun anymore, likening himself to a professional singer, who?s lost the love and enjoyment of singing. Lee is one of a new generation of professional gamers earning 6 figure salaries from prize money, sponsorship deals and appearance fees.

In South Korea, computer games are a spectator sport, being as mainstream as the football or cricket in Australia
NaDa Lee credits television for the e-sports phenomena. "In Korea, we have a special cable channel that focus on playing games," he says. "So lots of people get used to seeing and experiencing StarCraft, so they feel like it's another sport.
Lee goes on to comment that ?while South Korea is the biggest e-sports nation, he firmly believes the rest of the world will catch on and eventually overtake it - in 10 years' time, perhaps.?

So there you go kids, next time your parents tell you to stop wasting your time in front of the computer, you can tell them to find out more about NaDa Lee and his six figure salary.