The longest-running global pro-gaming circuit in the world makes its way back to California this weekend, where gamers will be going head to head for the $500,000 prize. As the eSports industry picks up, Intel is looking to be a major player. John Bonini, vice president of VR, gaming & e-Sports at Intel joined us to preview the big event.
Intel Extreme Masters returns to Oakland for 2 days of eSports action. It will feature two days of "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" and "PlayersUnknown's Battlegrounds". The first VR eSports circuit created by Intel, Oculus, and ESL will make its IEM debut.
Bonini also hits on the emergence of collegiate eSports, which is creating scholarship opportunities for star gamers. There is so much growth in eSports, it's easy to see colleges creating their own tournaments and leagues.
However, he says it not the same system as leagues like the NBA. Bonini points out that many of the best players are 16 or 17 years old and sometimes skip college in order to go straight to the pros.