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Esports, used shortly for electronic sports, refers to video games that are played in a highly organized competitive environment. They are played on various gaming platforms, such as computer systems, gaming PCs, gaming consoles, and mobile phones. Esports in India has witnessed tremendous growth and popularity in recent years with a growing fanbase, increasing participation, and notable achievements in international tournaments. The rapid growth in the population of gamers, widespread availability of high-speed internet, and affordable gaming hardware have contributed to the surge of e-sports in India.
Esports events and tournaments are a central component of the industry, serving as platforms for competitive gamers to showcase their skills, compete for prizes, and engage with fans. These events are organized at different levels, ranging from local and national competitions to large-scale international tournaments, representing India on the global stage. Despite the remarkable growth, the esports industry in India is still facing many different challenges that require attention. Here in this article, we will be exploring every key driver behind the growth of e-sports in India, we will also look at the challenges faced by the esports industry in India and the opportunities esports is providing to Indian gamers.
Factors contributing to the rise of esports in India
The rise of esports in India can be attributed to several key factors that have accelerated its growth and popularity. These factors include:
- Availability of high-speed internet connection
- Growing gaming culture
- Rise of mobile gaming
- Growth in the population of gamers
- Affordable gaming hardware
- Sports marketing and sponsorships
- Supportive government initiatives
- Esports tournaments
The Growth of the Esports Industry
Based on a KPMG report, it is projected that the esports industry in India will experience significant growth, reaching a value of INR 11,900 crore (approximately $1.6 billion) by 2025. This expansion can be attributed to factors such as the rising penetration of smartphones and internet connectivity, as well as the development of esports infrastructure within the country.
Also, According to the State of India Gaming Report 2022, jointly published by AWS and Lumikai, the esports industry in India is projected to witness substantial growth, increasing from $40 million in 2022 to $140 million by 2027. This signifies a significant expansion in the market size, indicating the rising popularity and economic potential of esports in India.
Events and Tournaments
The country has seen a surge in competitive gaming events and tournaments featuring popular games like Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), PUBG Mobile, Free Fire, League of Legends, and many more. Esports tournaments and events have provided Indian gamers with a platform to showcase their skills and represent their country at various national and international tournaments. The popularity of these events and tournaments is growing rampantly, attracting a dedicated fanbase and garnering significant attention from sponsors, media outlets, and investors.
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Esports tournaments in India have gained significant attention, with the Indian Esports League (ESL) emerging as one of the country’s premier esports tournaments. This event draws top esports athletes from India and boasts an impressive prize pool of INR 1 crore (approximately $136,000). Even, India’s first-ever franchise-based Esports League, “Skyesports Masters” announced a whopping prize pool of Rs 2 crore ·
In a significant development, Tencent introduced the Indian edition of its renowned global esports league, PUBG Mobile Club Open, in 2019. This tournament witnessed an astounding participation of over 400,000 individuals from various regions of the country, showcasing the widespread enthusiasm for esports in India.
Here is a list of some prominent esports tournaments and events that take place globally.
- The International (Dota2)
- League of Legends World Championship
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Majors
- PUBG Mobile World League
These are just a few examples of the many esports tournaments and events that take place worldwide. The landscape of esports is continuously evolving, with the emergence of new tournaments and events that offer opportunities for players and fans to engage with their favourite games and teams.
Sports marketing and Sponsorship in esports
The involvement of brands and companies through sports marketing and sponsorship has provided a crucial boost to the esports industry in India. Esports offers a wide range of sponsorship opportunities for brands to gain exposure and connect with their target audience. Brands can display their logos and branding in tournament broadcasts, on team jerseys, or through collaboration with players for content creation and promotions. Sports marketing has brought financial investment, infrastructure development, and increased professionalism to the industry.
Moreover, sports marketing has created opportunities for players and teams to secure better contracts, training facilities, and resources, thereby fostering talent development and raising the overall competitiveness of Indian esports. The esports industry also provides opportunities for product placements within games and live-streaming platforms, further expanding the avenues for sports marketing. Overall, sports marketing has not only fueled the esports industry in India but also established a sustainable ecosystem for professional players, teams, and tournaments.
Challenges the esports industry is facing in India
Despite the rapid rise of esports in India, there are still some challenges that need to be addressed. Inadequate internet infrastructure and connectivity issues remain the crucial challenges that can hinder the overall gaming experience and limit the growth of esports. Additionally, the implementation of clear guidelines and governing bodies are needed to ensure fair play and success in the industry.
A favorable regulatory environment can provide stability and encourage further investment in the esports ecosystem. The lack of government recognition has also hindered the growth of the industry, with players and organizations facing issues such as tax implications, visa issues for international tournaments, and lack of funding. For the continuous growth of esports, it’s important to build widespread acceptance and understanding of esports as a viable career option.
In conclusion, esports in India has experienced a remarkable rise, driven by the passion and talent of gamers, increasing access to technology, and growing support from sponsors and the government. The future of esports in India looks promising, with the industry poised for significant growth in the coming years. With increasing investments and infrastructure development, India is set to become a major player in the esports sporting landscape.