“Esports is blowing up, right?” says Clark as soon as we’ve shaken hands. “We’ve been doing IEM for a dozen years, but the last two or three, it’s exploded in popularity, the size of the audience is bonkers.”

Clark says that Intel sees a path where the size of the global esports audience could become a billion in the next five years. It seems feasible: 172,000 people attended IEM Katowice in 2017, well over half of the 297,197 people that call the city home, esports events are drawing vast virtual crowds on Twitch.

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