eSports is a form of competitive gaming where gamers compete against one another in video games such as League of Legends or Counter-Strike. Millions of people watch these gamers compete live. It’s an industry that brought in $1.5 billion in 2017, but most people either haven’t heard of eSports or only vaguely know what it means.

Here are three reasons why this is likely to change soon:

– eSports rides on a bigger wave. The global gaming industry brought in over $100 billion in 2017 and is taking up an increasingly big percentage of the entertainment industry. eSports is only a small part of gaming, but it will inevitably benefit from the capital that is streaming into all areas of the gaming industry. Already, winning a big eSports tournament can net you multiple millions. Salaries of pro gamers are well over six figures. Such numbers will attract young people.

– Platforms such as Twitch make it increasingly easy to watch eSports. Millions of people already watch competitive video-game tournaments. This is likely to increase dramatically over the next few years. It was no coincidence Amazon acquired video streaming platform Twitch for almost $1 billion in 2014. The numbers are staggering: 100 million people use Twitch every month to watch video games. 15 million of those use the platform on a daily basis. The ease-of-use of a platform such as Twitch, combined with people’s increased awareness of eSports, will only lead to more viewers and more publicity. And traditional broadcasters such as Sky and ITV are looking to live-stream video-game tournaments too.

– eSports has global appeal. Although the trend of watching video games started in South Korea and China, there are no sociocultural barriers that would stop eSports from becoming popular all over the world. Watching other people play video games has a global appeal that some traditional sports don’t have (curling, I’m looking at you). Most popular multiplayer games have no language barriers or difficult cultural references. The rules and strategies are clear to everyone around the world.

If you look at a Youtube personality such as Pewdiepie, it’s easy to imagine competitive gamers becoming famous as well. Combine this with better and more immersive technology, from 5G mobile services to virtual reality goggles, and before you know it eSports will have become a mainstream phenomenon.