Esports will generate more than £1bn in global revenue and almost double its audience to nearly 600 million people by 2020, forecasters predict.
Esports is organised, competitive computer gaming and can be staged in front of a live audience and millions more online.
"It has the potential to become one of the top five sports in the world," said Peter Warman of esport analysts Newzoo.
French football club Paris St-Germain has created an esports team.
Some English clubs - including Manchester City - employ professional gamers.
Esports generated $493m (£400m) in revenue in 2016, with a global audience of about 320 million people.
Prize money of $93.3m (£76m) was won last year, with the winning team at the League of Legends world championship - the biggest esports event - sharing a pot of $1m (£810,000).