The world of elite athletes has become increasingly one of metrics – bench press stats, 50 metre dash times and blood oxygen counts. Not so for Simon Papamarkos, an Australian talent well known to legions of e-sports fans.
If the idea that people watching others play video games doesn’t qualify as a sport, you’ve been away from the real word for far too long. E-sports is a billion dollar industry with purpose built arenas, millions of rabid fans and rock-star gamers with followings to rival your Ronaldos and Lewis Hamiltons.
Under his tag “Swiffer”, Papamarkos’ domain is League of Legends (or LOL if you’ve been paying close attention) – a sprawling cyber battlefield requiring teamwork, strategy and the ability to ruthlessly dispatch anyone who dares cross you. 25 million people play it every day. At just 24, he’s already made more coin than most people his age can only dream of and travelled the world playing his trade. If the future is digital, so are its athletes and Papamarkos is flying the Australian flag in the international arena. Game on.