Members of Movistar Riders ESports team pose inside their changing room at Movistar ESports Center in Madrid, Spain, June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
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With global revenues of $500 million in 2016, esports remain financially tiny compared with the combined $450 billion income of the film, television series and sports industries in which those firms already compete for the best distribution rights.According to data compiled by JPMorgan, the number of esports fans is forecast to grow more than 50 percent by 2019 to 500 million people globally, generating revenues of $1 billion.Telefonica, meanwhile, launched in January on its premium TV platform Movistar+, a 24 hour channel broadcasting the best competitions and has created its own team, Movistar Riders, which competes with Vodafone's G2, in which Ochoa plays.Spain's LVP for instance showcases seven games, including hits League of Legends, warfare game Call of Duty and soccer game FIFA, but not Counter Strike, which belongs to the rival ESL league.Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Valencia CF, Schalke 04 and AS Roma are among the soccer clubs which now have esports teams. Next season, the United States basketball league NBA will also sponsor a digital league with 17 of its 30 teams.Vodafone's Ochoa says he could have not taken the plunge to become a professional player just two years ago.He currently earns close to 1,000 euros per month to be the "support" in his Counter Strike team, a backup role for the player who shoots the enemies.
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