People play Age of Empires 2 (AoE2) with tens of thousands of dollars on the line in 2016. Thousands of people spectate the matches online. Crazy, right?
How does it work? Sponsors and fans come together to sponsor what is generally $50–100k of prizes per year. Matches are streamed live on Twitch by spectating commentators. Commentators are able to see the whole map, detailed statistics of each player’s progress, as well as each player’s fog-of-war perspective, which lets them add their own analysis of how the match is progressing. Fans usually bet on the matches for fun with points.
Who are the players? The world #1 is TheViper, from Norway. Most top players are from Europe, Asia, and South America.
Where do I learn more? Come join us at http://reddit.com/r/aoe2. The pro community mostly hangs out at AoCZone.net, but Reddit is more beginner friendly.
How do I know when matches are coming up? I made aoe2calendar.com to help people keep track of upcoming events.