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Business trends

Merger means it's 'game on' for Japan's esports groups

Licenses for pro gamers expected to draw fans and big cash prizes

The esports market is expected to be worth around $1 billion this year, but its growth has lagged in Japan compared with places, such as China and South Korea. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- Japan's three esports organizations have merged into a single entity, as stakeholders look to pump up the country's nascent esports market.

Esports, or competitive gaming, is rapidly growing in popularity around the world, with Asian countries, especially China and South Korea, leading the way. Japan has so far lagged behind, but the newly formed Japan Esports Union, or JESU, will try to change that.

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