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Japan Isn’t Getting Its Share Of Gaming Gold

Laws from the 1980s keep players on the sidelines as tournaments elsewhere become big business
Competitors at the AOC Open e-Sports event in Tokyo on July 1 battle over a total purse of $4,300

This summer, 12,000 spectators paid $200 apiece to crowd into the Seattle KeyArena to watch a video game tournament with a prize pool of $25 million. Five million more watched online. Winners each earned $2.2 million, about as much as tennis champion Rafael Nadal won at this year’s French Open, for besting rivals at Valve Corp.’s sword-and-sorcery game Dota 2. Players came from all over the world, with one big exception: As usual at these so-called esports events, none of the competitors was from Japan, the

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