Pro video gaming reaches NZ shores as newly-crowned national champ prepares for career overseas

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Traditionally, playing sports is about getting off your backside and getting physical outdoors.

Massey High and Mt Roskill Grammar battled it out on a virtual playing field, to win the first ever Secondary Schools Gaming Championship.
Source: 1 NEWS

But eSports, or professional computer game competitions, are building momentum and those in the industry say it's just as good because gamers can work up a sweat without leaving your seat.

And now schools are behind it.

"It's much like F1 racing," competition organiser Duane Mutu said.

"They sit in the car for long periods of time but you know how much strain and how quickly you will have to react and obviously the pressure that has to go with that."

Massey High School faced off against Mt Roskill Grammar in the first ever secondary schools gaming championship yesterday, with the school’s competing in popular computer game, League of Legends.

"It's just like a normal team game," one student said.

"We would have our own strategies and stuff - we had a vague idea of what we were going to do when we went in but I guess it didn't work out."

League of Legends it's one of the world's most popular video games with more than 100 million active players each month.

The game is no different to a sports game; you've got your two teams, referees and the object of the game is to get across the enemy line.

And like any athlete these guys train hard.

"I play around seven hours on week days because I have school," newly crowned champion Vinson Feng said.

"And around 12 to 14 hours [a day] on the weekend."

Vinson is about to go pro - he's off to a gaming house in Sydney where he'll be paid handsomely to play in front of thousands online in a professional-run competition.

"My parents weren't really supportive at the start because they didn't know what gaming kind of was," Vinson said.

"They didn't know you could earn money from it."

He'll be joining 15 other Kiwis gaming professionally.

And Vinson is carrying good form into his new pro career after he snatched Mt Roskill a national title.

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