ESports has received its biggest sign yet that it is on the way to acceptance as a genuine sport after China’s Olympic body chose two professional gamers to carry the Olympic Torch as part of the international relay.
Through a sponsorship deal with specialist gaming peripherals vendor Razer, XiaoFeng "Sky" Li and Jae ho "Moon" Jang will both carry the torch on its Chinese leg as it nears the Beijing National Stadium.
Both professionals are widely recognised as among the best Warcraft III players in the world, with Sky seen as the top Human-class player and Moon as one of the top Night Elf players.
"The selection of two professional gamers for the honour of carrying the Olympic torch is indicative of the high regard in which eSports is held not only in China but throughout much of the far-east," commented presenter of eSports TV channel Xleague, Paul Vale.
"Being Warcraft players, the traditional run might have to be reduced to a gentle stroll, but it’s still a pointer towards the development of interactive entertainment as a recognized sport."
They were chosen by the Beijing Organising Committee from among ten professional gamers put forward by Razer.