There’s no question that the world of eSports has grown quite a bit over the past few years, becoming a phenomenon for both die-hard and casual fans alike. Now, according to a new Global eSports Market Report from Newzoo, it’s about to reach even bigger heights.

The report indicates that the total number of consumers worldwide that know about eSports will reach one billion this year, which is a staggering 36 percent increase from 2015. This is drawn from data taken from 16 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, including Japan and Korea. Meanwhile, general awareness of eSports has reached 65.7 percent for this year, up from 53.7 percent the previous year.

According to Newzoo, there are many factors to consider when looking at the success of eSports, including explosive growth in coverage from global media, increased efforts from game publishers responsible for a number of eSports-friendly titles (from League of Legends to Call of Duty), and the rise in new leagues and events catering to both pro players and newcomers.

Both “Occasional Viewers” and “ESports Enthusiasts,” as categorized, have seen a jump, with 144 million Occasional and 148 million Enthusiasts, for a grand total of 292 million viewers.

Newzoo CEO, Peter Warman, spoke to [a]listdaily to provide more insight into the growth of eSports. “Firstly, with the enormous increase in the number of events and leagues on a global and especially on a local scale ensuring there are top games to watch at most times of any given day.

“A second reason, directly related, is that there are now more teams and players competing, meaning there are more ‘heroes’ for people to admire and follow. For instance, the local Spanish G2 eSports team is hugely popular in Spain itself and sponsored by telecom giant Vodafone but not as famous on a global scale as their top team that recently won the G2 LCS Europe finals. So, the fragmentation into national leagues and events has a huge impact on the number of people eSports will entertain. By the way, this is happening on a global scale, from the U.S. to Spain, from China to Malaysia.

“Thirdly, traditional consumer media has seriously picked up on eSports only recently, drawing in hordes of new viewers and increased awareness amongst non-gamers. A nice example is the Top 10 Plays of the Night, broadcasted end of April, that includes a moment from a Dota 2 match.

As far as where the potential for eSports can go following this year’s record reach, Warman states, “ESports will be in the DNA of any game that even has the slightest multiplayer competitive play mode. Communities now have the tools to set up tournaments or leagues online, stream each game and build an economy around that. Some of these consumer-driven initiatives will take niche games all the way to eSports events in stadiums, if the community wants this and is big enough to support it. When it comes to the games that already are acknowledged huge eSports franchises, things are going to get much bigger. Not the size of single events, but in terms of frequency of events and local granularity of leagues.

“Ultimately, a sports bar needs a top eSports game to put on the screen at any moment of the day if the eSports economy wants to come close to generating revenues per fan known in traditional sports. Soon, you will see serious initiatives that will aim to structure and connect local, regional and global competitions in a way we see with sports. These new bodies will also play a key role in legislation, player protection, etc.

“And a thought that I am floating at the moment is that teams will become the most powerful parts of the ecosystem—even more powerful than the publishers. Teams and their players could potentially have more fans than an individual game has players… not a prediction I will write in stone, but definitely one to think about.”