Inside the Lucrative World of Professional Gaming

PHOTO: Professional video game players can pull in a six-figure income as the gaming industry grows in the US.
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What if life was all fun and games -- and even came with a six-figure paycheck?

Professional video game players are collecting big pay days as part of a booming industry fueled by big advertisers and a growing audience.

"I just get to play games all day," Will Hartman, a professional gamer, told ABC News.

What some people think is a pastime symbolic of slackers and teenagers is serious business for Hartman, who said he lives with his "League of Legends" teammates. The group spends countless hours on perfecting their craft.

"It's not just messing around all day," Hartman said. "It takes a lot of discipline. We go into practice with things we want to accomplish."

The skill of Hartman, his teammates and other professional gamers brings in huge audiences, so much that an entire online broadcast network, Major League Gaming, is dedicated to the e-sport.

Gaming events draw thousands of spectators and sell-out arenas, but Major League Gaming also makes it a point to focus on the day's highlights from gamers playing at home.

"You want to follow your favorite team, your favorite player. See how they're doing, see how they're performing. Just like Sports Center," said Chris Puckett, executive producer at Major League Gaming.

Even more casual players, like Jason and Bill Munkel, can make a couple thousand dollars a month just by live-streaming their game time to the Internet.

The father and son try to stream every day, running advertisements and offering a subscription to fans who log in to watch them play "Call of Duty."

"The fact that I actually have a college fund because of gaming, that's nuts," Jason Munkel said.

Next month, for the first time, e-sports will be included in ESPN's X Games, a sign some say gaming is one step closer to becoming a "mainstream" sport.

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