I've seen Blizzard play a big role in this but, this concept originates from Korea where, believe it or not Gaming is their equivalent of our American football. Yes they also have a TV channel dedicated to serious gaming.
This phenomenon which is quite new but still growing in the form of what they call Esports, seems to be pulling more and more people into it's grasp mostly by analysis commentators and supporters being uploaded onto the internet. It seems to be catching on as many PC games start to rely solely on the development of their multiplayer. There are a couple of examples already of a few games that have fully been integrated into the competitive scene: For example we have Starcraft 2, Team Fortress 2, A couple FPS games in Europe and Kart Riders as well as Dungeon & Fighters online in Korea.
Now the reason why I'm bringing this up?
Check out the prize pool for the first tournament for Starcraft 2.
Do you think esports will continue to grow?