South Korea is famous for its online gaming culture and rightly considered the capital of e-sports. More than half of South Koreans (25.3 million of them) are gamers. South Korea is the sixth largest gaming market in the world, by game revenues. It is preceded only by China, US, Japan, Germany and the UK.

In Korea, professional gamers are rich and famous, adored by their nation and millions of followers, similar to professional footballers in the UK. If online gaming is your dream job too, you should definitely try sports betting with bet365 bonus code 2018. It offers plenty of exciting opportunities to win money while having fun!

Government strongly supports the e-sports industry by investing in its development, organizing competitions and broadcasting them on national television. Working closely with major stakeholders, the public and the academy, the Korean Government is steadily increasing the competitiveness of its gaming industry. The gaming industry is crucial to the Korean economy, generating more than $4 billion in revenues. It was Korean Government that organized the first World Cyber Games (WCG) in 2000, now considered the online gaming Olympics.

Should we then be surprised that the largest game show in the world, G-star, is taking place annually in Busan? Since 2005, it has gathered thousands of people from around the globe. Everyone from investors, to developers and famous players are there. Every game sector is covered: VR, online, PC, mobile, video, indie, console, arcade and board gaming.

Most of the time, professional gamers are males between 20 and 36 years. They are adored by girls like celebrities. Visiting gaming clubs is one of the favourite pastimes for couples in South Korea. It is a common social activity that usually takes place in “PC bangs”, local game centres, open 24/7, equipped with hundreds of high-end gaming PCs. There are more than 20 000 game rooms across South Korea. Dealing with stress and having fun are the top reasons for gaming.

Naturally, South Korea is a global leader in terms of mobile gambling too, preceded only by Japan, with mobile e-sports expected to become the next big thing in the industry. Nexon and Netmarble are the most successful local gaming studios.

On the other hand, gaming addiction is becoming one of the most serious problems for the Korean society, and it is often compared to drugs, gambling and alcoholism. Professionals and amateurs alike are so immersed in gaming that they are even prepared to ruin their health and risk dangerous injuries.

Addictions centres for gaming addicts can be found all over South Korea.

“In Korea, games are the barometer of the generation gap … The best way to avoid addiction is for families to play games together,” said Jun Byung-Hun, a member of the South Korean National Assembly and the head of KeSPA, in a recent interview.

Top three most popular games played in South Korea are League of Legends, Overwatch and Sudden Attack. Massive Multiplayer Online RPGs are the most beloved genre in the county. Sports tournaments in these games take place in giant stadiums with millions of fans cheering on their favourites.

With e-sports amassing millions of followers all over the world, a significant cultural change is already taking place, with South Koreans leading the way, redefining sports and leisure as we know them.