*By Amanda Weston* One of the fastest-growing segments in sports takes place behind a computer screen. And as players and fans flock to the eSports, so does the money. According to a [new Deloitte report](https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/industry/telecommunications/capitalizing-on-growth-of-esports-industry.html), the eSports market is poised to generate $1.5 billion in annual revenue by 2020. Most of the cash will come from sponsorships and advertising that targets 600 million fans worldwide. Pete Giorgio, Deloitte's U.S. leader for sports, told Cheddar Friday that arena e-competitions often achieve the same scale as more traditional, major-league fare. "I think there is an overlap of traditional sports enthusiasts, but also this whole new wave of people who have probably never been to a traditional sporting event, and really being pulled into this same type of environment," said Giorgio. While in-person events comprise a large part of the fan base, the majority of viewers choose to stream competitions and interact with their favorite gamers online. The most popular game on Twitch, "Fortnite," has 4,500 streams with 140,000 viewers on average at any given moment. In just one week earlier this month, "League of Legends" fans watched a combined 17.7 million hours on Twitch. Giorgio's upbeat assessment of eSports is reflected in what has happened with the [Overwatch's League](https://www.barclayscenter.com/events/detail/overwatch-league-grand-finals-2018). Only in its inaugural season, the league is holding a [two-day championship tournament](https://cheddar.com/videos/overwatch-finals-notch-record-high-attendance-as-esports-fan-base-soars) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where 20,000 seats sold out within days and a $1.4 million prize pool is at stake. Giorgio expects to see that kind of momentum continue. "An eSports event, you can in the morning conceive of it, in the afternoon let a bunch of people know about it, and that evening you can get a whole bunch of people online watching that event in a way you literally can't do in the physical world," said Giorgio. Businesses and media are also angling to enter the game. Entire online news sites like [The Esports Observer](https://esportsobserver.com/) bring gamers the latest from the industry. ESPN has an [entire section of its site](http://www.espn.com/esports/) devoted to the subject. Giorgio doesn't know exactly where the market is goingーbut he thinks it's going somewhere. "There has been exponential growth. It's going to keep going." As for investors, Giorgio also thinks now may be a good time to act, lest they miss the growth. "You can sit back right now and say, 'am I seeing the birth of the next NFL? Am I seeing the birth of the next English Premier League? How do I get in on the ground floor of that and ride that wave?'" said Giorgio. For Full Interview, [click here] (https://cms.cheddar.com/videos/VmlkZW8tMjEyNTI=).

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