Special to LTW from WRAL.com

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Raleigh Convention Center is hosting a major league tournament this weekend: , the largest competitive video-game league in the world.

Raleigh was chosen as one of five cities to host a stop along the MLG Pro Circuit. More than 200 teams are vying for cash prizes up $20,000.

Organizers said they picked Raleigh because it’s a big college market.

"When they said they were going to be in Raleigh, I said, ‘I got to get a team together, got to prepare for the events," gamer Keith Green, of Raleigh, said.

Amateur teams like Green’s are playing against those pros – people good enough to play video games for a living.

Green said that playing against and watching the pros was encouraging.

"Just to test where you’re at as a player," he said. "They have pro booths. You watch them play, pick up tips if you want to keep playing."

Paul Shenkel drove from Dearborn Heights, Mich., to the MLG tournament in Raleigh.

"I just luck that competitiveness, just trying your best against the team," he said. "The teamwork aspect is crazy. I love it."

Shenkel’s fiancee Grace Donnellon said she doesn’t understand gaming but came along for love of her fiancee.

"It’s the same thing over and over again. It’s like if you played checkers, like a hundred times a day," Donnellon said. "I just don’t understand it."

Gamers, mostly male and underage 30, though, were enjoying competing in the virtual worlds and earning bragging rights at the Raleigh tournament.

"There comes a point when you realize you’re not going to be a pro," Green said.

Organizers expect the tournament to draw 15,000 people to the convention center. It’s open to the public and runs through Sunday.

  • Reporter: Renee Chou
  • Photographer: Greg Hutchinson
  •  Web Editor: Anne Johnson