Professional gamers draw big-name sponsors


Is “frags per round” going to be the batting average of the 21st century?

Professional computer gamers certainly hope so.

Players of Counter Strike, a popular title in competition at the U.S. finals of the World Cyber Games last week, count their prowess in how many enemies they can shoot to pieces, or “fragment,” in a frantic two-minute round of virtual gunplay.

Time and demographics, boosters say, argue for videogame tourneys becoming the next big spectator sport in the United States, where more than 108 million Americans now play computer games, according to the Yankee Group.

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