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Online gamers win US$1 mil. in California

Against all odds, the Taipei Assassins won the “League of Legends” Season 2 World Championship Finals series in Los Angeles on Saturday, U.S. time, bringing home US$1 million in prize money.

The victory has won the team more than just cash but, with Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) Director-General Shen Jung-chin (沈榮津) yesterday lauding the players for bringing glory to Taiwan.

Shen said he hopes that after returning home the gamers can utilize their experience to help local video game companies vitalize Taiwan's online gaming business.

According to Shen, the government will host discussions and conferences as a platform for the gamers and business leaders to expand Taiwan's online gaming industry.

The “League of Legends” finals series was held at the Galen Center in Los Angeles before a crowd of more than 10,000 spectators. “League of Legends” is an online multiplayer game that includes war and craftsmanship between teams on a battlefield. Inspired by the popular online game “Warcraft III,” it was launched three years ago by Riot Games and has since gained immense worldwide recognition. It now claims to be the “most played video game in the world,” attracting 1 billion play hours every month and boasting 32 million monthly active players and 12 million daily.

In a series of playoff games with 12 different teams from around the world, the Assassin team outdueled NaJin Sword from South Korea and Moscow 5 from Russia to come face to face with Azubu Frost, also from South Korea.

In a best-of-five series, the Taipei team led the game in the first matchup, but failed to pull through as South Korea turned the game around and snatched the first win. But the Taiwanese players refused to be beaten, winning three consecutive games to oust the South Korean team and bag the Summoner's Cup.

Team member “Toyz” expressed delight at the unexpected victory of underdogs over favorites. “I'm glad we had the right mentality even when we weren't the favorites,” he said.

Team captain “MiSTake” thanked his company for training him to become a professional online gamer, as well as the sponsors who supported him throughout the journey. He added, “I learned how to communicate better, and to understand people more after going pro in the gaming business. Winning the prize is like a dream come true.”

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The Taipei Assassins pump their fists as they taste victory after beating their opponents in the series 3-1, in Los Angeles, Saturday. The Assassins take home the Summoner's Cup and US$1 million prize money. Beginning the finals series as underdogs, the Taiwanese team surprised spectators with two upset victories before winning the championship game and beating the favored team. (CNA)

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