Mattia, 20, coach of League of Legends team ESC, at home analyzing matches.
The finals of the 2018 Italian League of Legends championship in Rome. The winner will represent the country on the European stage.
Team ESC takes part in a regional tournament to prepare for the national championship qualifiers.
The team warms up before the final phase of the regional tournament. Preliminary rounds are usually held online and can be watched in streaming. The most important international matches can have audiences numbering in the millions
Teams are presented onstage during the finals of the Italian national championship.
A player adjusts his keyboard before a match of the national championship finals.
Serious e-sport players bring their own keyboards and mouses to competition, since they are used to their feel.
ESC players relax the evening before the tournament.
A presenter warms up the crowd at the national finals. The prize money of e-sport competitions has continued to increase over the years, arriving to several million dollars for the winners of the most important tournaments.
Mattia delivers last minute instructions prior to a match. Each game is played to the best of three or five rounds, with players resorting to energy drinks to stay alert and responsive.
Each of the five team members has a specific role and position in the game map and communicates with the others in real time over headphones.
Commentators analyze matches between rounds at the national championship finals.
The national semifinals get underway. Most players are in their teens and early twenties and struggle to balance a professional e-sport carreer, which very few manage to achieve, with school or university.
The 2017 Italian champions wait to go onstage and defend their title.
Despite their ever growing popularity, e-sports are still not considered by many to be a real sport, despite the high levels of training, concentration and skill they require from players.
A player of team Outplayed celebrates winning against the reigning national champions.
Team ESC suffers defeat in the last stage of the regional tournament.
The new champions will represent Italy at the European League of Legends tournament, which no Italian team has yet managed to win.
Mattia holds a final debrief for the ESC players before returning home to prepare for the next matches.