Skillz, meanwhile, has quietly become one of the biggest eSports companies, awarding $50 million to players in 2016 and raising $28 million from venture firms, including Sequoia Capital and The Kraft Group, founded by Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots.
The push to attract the core gamer demographic is about more than boosting annual revenues and the total number of users. It's also a drive to widen the larger playing field for eSports, says Paradise.
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At present, there's really no chance for the average fan to earn any cash playing a competitive game of "Street Fighter." Tournaments are won by people who practice several hours a day — at a professional level.
Paradise says he envisions a future of eSports where all levels can compete. So rather than having to play in the gaming equivalent of the NBA, fans of a title could also compete on a college basketball level or even a recreational league. Opening up big games to different tiers of players will widen the appeal, he says.
"I think you can now expect a lot more larger partnerships from the company now that the software and platform have proven themselves," says Paradise.
This story has been updated to reflect that, to date, more than 390 million copies of the "Street Fighter" series have sold worldwide.
— By Chris Morris, special to CNBC.com