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The astonishing rise of Esports—in numbers

Millions of people watch the finals of video games sports tournaments—and the money involved is rocketing

By Chris Tilbury   July 2019

The finals of an Esports event in Hamburg. Photo: Chris Emil Janssen/Imago/PA Images

There was a time when the term “video games” brought to mind the opposite of glamorous sporting success—the spotty teenage boy bolted up in his bedroom, away from all sunshine and any hope of romance.

But now that millions of youngsters while away hours by watching other people play video games against one another online, yesterday’s joystick warriors have been reborn as heroes of so-called “esports.” Buoyed by a burgeoning games industry with global revenues of…

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