Marseille, France

By Jean-Paul Pelissier

Call of Duty, Warcraft, League of Legends, Starcraft II or even FIFA… I had already heard of these video games, mostly when shopping for Christmas presents for my teenage nephew, but I never could have guessed the different universe that I would discover behind these titles.

I walked into the Holiest of Holies, The Millenium Gaming House in the center of Marseille, to find around fifteen gamers – their eyes glued to their screens.

These gamers are superstars. Revered in the video game galaxy, they are role-models for every obsessive teenager. Aged from 18 to 25, these professional gamers compete in all the major tournaments organized by tech industry giants, with some prize funds worth several million dollars.

So how does one of the tenants in this gaming house spend a typical day? Let’s find out.

Between 10am and 1pm: Time to wake up. Check your Skype or Facebook messages. Next, it’s time for a legendary cheese and ham toastie – more on them later. You start the ladder sessions, knock-out tournaments which happen in two-hour blocks. A Red Bull and a Coke later and it’s one o’clock. You watch an episode of “Game of Thrones”, with the occasional sidewise glance at your neighbors’ gaming sessions.