99.6 MILLION people watched the 2018 "League of Legends" championships ... just a few million shy of the 2018 Super Bowl numbers.
And, Rick Fox says it's only a matter of time before "LoL" eclipses the NFL.
Fox is an Esports pioneer who famously founded Team Echo Fox -- which competes in everything from "Fortnite" to "CS:GO" and even "Mortal Kombat."
Fox says he's been watching the sport explode ... so he wasn't shocked when fellow gaming titan FaZe Banks told TMZ Sports recently there will be an Esports event that will pull in a bigger audience than the Super Bowl.
"As much as we love football in North America, it's not international to the level of gaming," Fox says.
"'League of Legends' is a huge global event. It's already got numbers right below the Super Bowl so it's coming ... it grows every year."
"Everything is so online now, technology has unlocked the ability for those people in foreign countries, or regardless of where you are in the world, to connect."
Fox also says the sport is finally growing massive stars with global appeal -- like Faker, who Fox considers the Michael Jordan of gaming.
FYI, Faker is a 23-year-old "LoL" legend from South Korea who's already racked up more than $1.2 MILLION in prize money.
In fact, Fox says he recently had a chance to play with Faker to raise money for the Bahamas Relief Foundation ... so shout out to Faker for that!