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Video gaming finding its market as spectator 'sport'

Video gaming finding its market as spectator 'sport'

The outside world fades away as Vincent Alonso dons his headset and hears his teammates' urgent voices and the exotic sounds of a video game land populated by monsters.

The University of Maryland student believes the rush he experiences from "eSports" — shorthand for electronic sports — is beginning to translate to audience interest as the gaming industry tries to turn mythical-world competitions into events with real-life spectators, sponsors and profits.

"I have absolutely zero doubt it's going to take off," said Alonso, 22, a computer science major and a prominent enough gamer to have been featured on the website of League of Legends, a...