Japanese Student Wins (and Loses) $46,000 at Gaming Contest

In recent years, the prize pools given at competitive gaming tournaments have gotten pretty amazingly high. At some competitions, you can win as much as 7 digit prizes for being the best at a particular game. This does, however, get a little more complicated if you’re entering an eSports competition in Japan.

Due to their rather unusual regulations, professional/competitive gamers require a license. It does, however, go beyond that as in a report via Kotaku, a Japanese high-school student who just won $46,000 in a Street Fighter tournament had to forfeit the winnings as he did not have a full ‘pro’ license.

Japanese Student Has To Forfeit $46,000 Prize

So, what exactly happened here? Well, while Japan does issue ‘junior licenses’ to players between the ages of 13-15 part of the stipulation is that they can’t win any money. The rule is designed to incentivize younger gamers to spend more time studying and less time playing.

So, if you are between 13-15 in Japan, and enter a gaming competition with a cash prize, you’re pretty much forfeiting it immediately upon application.

What Do We Think?

To be honest, it sounds amazingly mean to me! I don’t understand why the money just couldn’t be placed in trust or, at the very least, given to his parents as a proxy. On the plus side, he was given a nice trophy, some chocolate almonds and a years supply of energy drink. That isn’t exactly the same as having $46,000 in cold hard cash though, is it?…

Some have, however, cited this strange regulation as a clear obstacle in why eSports is (relatively speaking) a pretty low-level affair in Japan. I mean, for no financial incentive, you are only doing it for the honor. Well, at least until you turn 16.

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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