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After protracted negotiations the United States government is now recognizing gamers as professional athletes, and is awarding them visas accordingly.

US gaming news source Gamespot is reporting League of Legends players, ahead of the upcoming Season 3 Championship Finals in Los Angeles, are finally being categorized as 'athletes', a positive move for the gaming industry as a whole.

Riot Games eSports manager Nick Allen told the website that the "groundbreaking" decision came about after much back-and-forth between the developer and the government.

"So the United States government recognizes League of Legends pro players as professional athletes and award visas to essentially work in the United States under that title," Allen told Gamespot.

"This is groundbreaking for eSports; now we can start looking at international players when they come over. It's a much easier process because they're actually recognized by the government. This is a huge thing."

"This was a lengthy process; we had a lot of people fighting for this. It wasn't something that happened overnight," Allen said.

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David Swan

David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. He also writes for Junkee and Fasterlouder. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan

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