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Soña Lee for Quartz
STATE OF PLAY

The complete guide to esports

Member exclusive by Luke Winkie for The rise of esports

National carriers like ESPN and TNT broadcast the games. Major NBA and NFL power brokers field teams. International sponsors, like Mastercard, Toyota, and Intel, fill the gaps in broadcasts. And the stars themselves have started popping up on late-night TV.

If you don’t think esports—in your stodgy uncle’s words, “watching other people play video games”—is a big deal, then you haven’t been paying much attention.

Last year, an estimated 100 million viewers tuned into the League of Legends World Championship series. That’s almost as many people as watched the 2018 Super Bowl, and it didn’t involve a television network: It was hosted online on Twitch, an Amazon-owned live-streaming service that is quickly becoming just as influential as any cable network.

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