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League of Legends championships sell out Staples Center in an hour

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(Credit: Riot Games)

Still need proof that eSports are the Next Big Thing? League of Legends has just made a pretty convincing argument.

The online game's October world championships sold out LA's Staples Center -- the home of the Lakers, Clippers and Kings -- in roughly one hour this weekend.

Even for the most popular online game around, that's an incredible accomplishment. And, as if to underscore the popularity of the event, scalpers are already commanding prices of up to $2,000 per seat on StubHub, having paid somewhere between $45 and $100 originally.

Exactly how many seats were sold isn't clear. The Lakers typically pack roughly 19,000 people in per game, but since the championships will use 'event seating' (as the arena does for concerts), the number's likely a bit lower. One thing is certain, though: it's significantly higher than the 8,000-plus who attended the event last year at USC's Galen Center.

Developer Riot Games, in a statement on its website, thanked its fans.

"We're humbled by the overwhelming response and enthusiasm for the Season 3 World Championship," they wrote. "We thank you for your continued support of League of Legend esports – we’re putting every effort into making the entire three-week Championship event the best possible experience for fans."

League of Legends is a class-leading multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, a competitive genre in which players try to destroy and guard bases using fantastical heroes and defensive structures. According to Riot, over 12 million gamers play the game on a daily basis, making it one of the biggest online games in the world.

The championships will bring together 14 teams. North America, Europe and Korea will field three teams apiece, Southeast Asia and China will both have two competitors, and an International Wildcard entry rounds out the card. While the qualifying rounds begin September 15, the finals won't take place until October 4.

The winner takes home $1 million and has his name etched onto the Summoner's Cup.

Fans who didn't score a ticket aren't entirely out of luck, of course. Riot Games says it will stream the events online, allowing anyone to watch.

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