The Indian eSports market has come a long way, although it is only recently that it has gained broad attention around the globe. The sector began about a decade ago and has grown exponentially over that time, boasting a massive audience and participation. The large youth population in the country is getting engaged in the sport as mainstream gaming adopts these categories. Thereby increasing the number of people playing the game.
In addition, there has been an increase in the number of professional players that are joining the game. In this article, we examine the development of the Indian eSports scene and its impact on the sports fraternity as a whole.
Currently, the eSports industry has generated over 2.5 billion Indian rupees a year for the last three years, making it one of the major sports industries in the country. As a result, the president, Droupadi Murmu, amended the constitution to enhance the regulations that govern eSports in the country. He then asked the ministry of sports and information and technology to add eSports to their list of multi-sport events. Therefore, eSports is now recognised as a fully-fledged sporting event in the country.
What is eSports?
There has been controversy regarding what eSports entails, given that there are several multiplayer games on the internet and around the country. However, eSports is any multiplayer video game where players compete for prizes and spectators. Therefore, the game may include all forms of video games, from shooting to racing and anything in between.
These eSports are usually organized as leagues and tournaments with prizes for the winner and runners-up. Some of the competitions are local, while others are part of the international circuit of games. Several gaming platforms offer players a chance to bet on the outcome of these games. You may also find an Indian no deposit bonus casino that has an eSports section or a sportsbook.
What is the Background of E-Sports in India?
The eSports scene started with grassroots tournaments that were organized by local teams of passionate players. They were looking for opportunities to show off their skills. At this point, the game did not have much publicity and there were few or no prizes to be won. Soon, these grassroots competitions morphed into small LAN tournaments that had a bigger following. These tournaments did offer winners some prizes and created a gateway for corporate entities to become a part of the movement.
The Rise of Tournaments
These tournaments paved the way for the emergence of popular eSports competitions around the globe, such as Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). Over the years, these games have become the backbone of the eSports scene in the country. These games are available at a variety of regular events throughout the year, allowing players to stay engaged all year. There are still a few local eSports competitions that are played in the local gaming scene to help upcoming players hone their skills before they join the national gaming scene.
Effects of COVID 19 on the Game
Over the years, hosting regular events throughout the year has helped the game gain followers and spectators across the country. In addition, the entry of the corporate sector into the industry has caused eSports to gain immense traction among the young population. In the year 2020, there were about 80 thousand eSports players in the country, but the number doubled in 2021. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused many Indians to remain at home, led to many more Indians joining the sport.
After receiving official recognition on December 23rd, the sport skyrocketed to the top. It gained thousands of dedicated fans and spectators, as well as viewers on the online streaming platforms. Some of the popular online platforms are TwitchTV, ESPN2 and YouTube Gaming, among others. There has also been a rise in the number of entities willing to teach amateur players to become professionals in the field. Some of these avenues include Electronics Sports Leagues (ESLs) and professional eSports companies like NODWIN Gaming. These organizations have created events such as ESL World Champions and DreamHack.
Have there been Downsides?
Yes, there have been several challenges that the industry has faced as it developed. First, it has taken time for eSports to get official recognition. This means that the sport did not get the funding it needed to create the infrastructure and knowledge base needed to get off the ground. Unfortunately, this slowed the game’s growth and resulted in the loss of some talented players.
Second, it is only recently that the internet penetration rate has picked up in the country. Given that this is mostly an online event, its growth has been hampered by the lack of both software and hardware needed to access it. Besides, the investment in market infrastructure, such as dedicated studios or teams, has been slow, which has further hampered the growth. When the investment started trickling in, the game picked up fast.
What is the Current Outlook for the Game?
The year 2022 was the most exciting for the eSports fraternity in India. As it enjoyed a stellar performance in the first Commonwealth eSports Championship. One of the best teams at the competition was the Indian Dota 2 team, which won the bronze medal. The country will also participate in the future Asian Games in the same area and hopes to be one of the leading contestants in the events.
India’s future in eSports looks great given its growing momentum and interest in the genre. Some of the games that are popular in the country include Call of Duty, Valorant, BGMI, Dota 2 and Tekken 7. Many new games are expected in the near future, in which Indians are likely to shine in competitions.