Tracking company: 427 million people will be watching esports by 2019

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Newzoo, a market tracking company, estimated that esports will reach a global audience of 1.1. billion people in 2016 and 427 million people will be watching video gaming by 2019, according to the company's release.

This year's expected viewership is projected to jump from 230 million people to 292 million. The revenue generated by the sport may also climb from $463 million in 2016 to $1 billion by 2019.

BBC, ESPN, SkySports and Yahoo are among the companies that have started broadcasting the sport and its tournaments. About 27 million people watched the 2014 League of Legends World Championship finals, which is more than the 23.5 million that tuned in to catch Game 7 of that year's World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals.

Esports federations have been formed and are pushing for videogaming to be taken more seriously as an occupation.

• APSTEIN: E-sports nation: How competitive gaming became a flourishing sport

Universities have also started their own offline local competitions. This week, Midland University added esports as a varsity sport and will offer scholarships to its student-athletes.

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