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Rise of Esports in India- Facts To Consider


In recent years esports has taken India with a storm. From high-end gaming cafés in New Delhi to the slums in India, you will find young and old alike wanting to be the next Indian Shroud. One can say without a doubt that the Indian esports industry is now PAN India meaning spread across India and it is only more evident by looking at how many Indian esports tournaments have popped up in the past few years.

Esports are not to be confused with online gaming

Before we look at esports in India we need to differentiate between online gaming and esports. People often mistake one for the other as both require having some kind of electronic device and access to the internet to play the game. But esports is different from online gaming. It is wholly dependent on a player’s ability and skills to one up his opponent in a tournament environment.

Just like any other sports you have teams and solo players competing with one another to become champions in a tournament. Only here we are talking about video games instead of cricket or football.

Just like for players in regular tournaments, esports players are judged on their skills and ability to win championships. They are actively monitored during the whole event and ranked accordingly. From hand-eye coordination to attentional detail and visual processing of vast amounts of information in no time are some of the requirements for an esports player and just like a regular sports team, they practice and strategize before any large-scale tournament.

However what sets an esports tournament apart from a regular tournament is how it can vary in scale and frequency. There are far more esports happening in India right now than sports events before they don’t require large scale venues. But that is also changing, as these tournaments grow bigger and bigger in size and scale, you can see arena’s and auditoriums being jam packed with esports fans.

Esports right now in India

One of the main reasons it has gained so much popularity is because everyone in India has a smartphone now and being indoor certainly helps. From watching their favourite streamers to playing themselves, Indian youth have found a new mode of entertainment, which might even surpass Bollywood one day. Not to mention COVID has exaggerated this phenomenon many times, as people have nothing better to do then entertain themselves with video games, during the lockdown.

Its future 

To understand esports future of esports in India, just look at its market size. Already in 2021 esports is earning INR 3 billion and by 2025 that amount will reach INR 11 billion. However, the gaming industry in general is expected to generate a whopping INR 100 billion in India between 2021 and 2025.

If we look at the numbers, it is estimated that by 2025 India will have around 1.5 million esports players and we are not talking about everyday players but those who can compete in large scale tournaments that will be viewed by an average 85 million Indians and broadcasted by 20+ channels and online platforms.

Indian esports players aren’t the only ones who have risen in numbers, video game developers and publishers are also creating more and more games. As of now, 4 of all mobile games are made by Indian developers on the Play Store.

Rise In Indian E-Sports Studios

Owing to these numbers, Indian gaming studios have multiplied overnight, with newer and bigger studios popping up overnight and a lot of them being backed by huge brands. As more and more brands realize there is money to be made in the esports industry, more and more tournaments will be created.

Bigger tournaments mean more prize money and by 2025 it is estimated that 10% of esports earning will be in the form of prize pools from different tournaments and can go as high as INR 1 billion. Out of which about 85% of prize money will go towards mobile e-sports tournaments.

However, the only challenge that the esports Industry in India faces is the uncertainty that comes with any budding industry. This uncertainty comes in the form of regulatory challenges. It is still to be seen how the government will regulate this industry and what check and balances will be put on it and how they will vary across every region.

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