In recent years, India has witnessed a significant rise in the popularity and recognition of esports, which refers to online gaming. Esports has emerged as a mainstream phenomenon, influencing players and youngsters worldwide. In India, with the penetration of the internet at 52%, the youth has got its attracted to Esports. In this blog post, we will look at how the government is booting the players, establishing professional leagues, and supporting gaming companies and sponsors in the best possible manner. As the ecosystem continues to rise in prominence and establish itself as a mainstream sporting phenomenon in India.
Factors Shaping Esports in India: A few factors are shaping and growing the love for esports in India here. Let’s have a look.
- Technological Advances: The availability and affordability of high-speed internet connections and smart gaming equipment have played an important part in making esports more accessible to a broader audience in India. With the development of smartphones and low-cost gaming PCs, many people may now easily participate in and watch esports tournaments.
- Youth Demographic: India has a large population of young people who are enthusiastic gamers and tech-savvy. The youth demographic’s enthusiasm for gaming has spurred the expansion of esports in the country, as they actively participate in competitive gaming and watch major esports competitions.
- Increase in the Gaming community: Gaming has been deeply established in Indian society, with many people using it for enjoyment and social contact. As the competitive component of gaming, esports has naturally gained popularity among gamers looking for a more competitive and immersive experience.
- Esports Infrastructure and Events: The creation of specialised esports infrastructure, such as esports arenas, gaming cafés, and tournament venues, has considerably aided esports growth in India. Major national and international esports competitions and leagues have also been staged in India, offering exposure and possibilities for prospective esports players. Also supports various platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook gaming, which has played a vital role in showcasing and popularising Esports in India.
- Government support: Corporate and government sectors in India have recognised the potential of esports and are actively supporting its growth. Major corporate investments, sponsorships, and collaborations with esports organisations have supplied the financial backing and resources required for the country’s esports development. Government attempts to promote esports have also been initiated, such as forming esports governing organisations and including esports in official sporting events.
- Growing Popularity and Recognition: Esports in India has witnessed a significant surge in viewership and fanbase, all thanks to online streaming platforms such as Twitch, YouTube which have provided a convenient way for fans to watch live esports events at home and at high-definition quality social media platforms let the fans to interact with their favourite players and stay updated on the latest esports news and events.
Esports Leagues in India
The organisation of esports tournaments and leagues in India has increased, with the IGL being one of the largest and most popular. The ESL India Premiership is a major esports event the Electronic Sports League organised in collaboration with NODWIN Gaming. Viacom18, a well-known Indian media business, established UCypher, an esports league. It focuses on a range of gaming games such as CS: GO, Dota 2, and Tekken in order to promote esports as a professional sport in India. All of these platforms provide professional players with a venue to compete and establish their profile in the esports industry.
India’s Performance in Esports to Date
Indian esports players have achieved remarkable global success, including outstanding results in prominent events and leagues. Individual Indian esports players’ success stories illustrate their talent, determination, and India’s ability to flourish in the esports sphere. These accomplishments contribute to the worldwide esports landscape’s awareness and growth of Indian esports. To add the name of the players and their success stories that have bought pride to India, they are Tirth Metha, Known as “Ritr”, a CS:GO player, Abhijeet “Ghatak”, Ankit “V3nom”, Saloni “Meow16K”.Apart from this Indian women’s team has also done exceptionally well in CS:GO and has made it to the finale.
Government and Corporate Sectors support: The Indian esports business has received backing from the government and corporate sectors, contributing to its growth and acceptance as a genuine sport.
Government Initiatives: The Indian government has expressed increased support for esports through different initiatives. This involves recognising esports as an official sport, establishing esports regulating organisations, and incorporating esports into national sports federations. The government has also announced steps to give financial assistance, subsidies, and infrastructure development for esports, therefore providing a favourable environment for the industry’s growth. Recently, Kalyan Chaubey, joint secretary and acting CEO of the IOA, personally gave the athletes cutting-edge training gear during this occasion, providing kits to the players. The kit includes the following:
- Advanced gaming mouse.
- Keyboard built for quick responses.
- A smooth mousepad
- A headphone for crystal-clear communication
- An eSports bag to carry the equipment.
Corporate Sponsorship and Partnerships
Indian corporations have recognised esports’ promise and actively sponsored and collaborated with esports organisations, tournaments, and individual players. Companies from various industries, including technology, telecommunications, and entertainment, have invested in esports to capitalise on its success and connect with the esports community. These sponsorships and collaborations give financial support, resources, and visibility to esports in India. The leagues and championships provide opportunities for young players to showcase their talent.
Challenges and future
While esports provides great job opportunities, several obstacles must be overcome in order for the industry to expand and gain recognition:
- Infrastructure & Training Facilities: Ensuring the availability of high-quality training facilities and infrastructure is critical for developing talent and allowing players to realise their maximum potential. Continued investment in esports venues, training facilities, and academies is critical for the industry’s long-term success.
- Fostering a culture of skill development and giving outlets for formal education in esports would improve the professionalism and competitiveness of Indian esports players. Collaborations between educational institutions and esports organisations can result in the development of specialised programs in areas such as game analysis, team management, and sports psychology.
- Establishing a thorough legal framework and governance structure for esports will help it gain legitimacy as a professional sport. Clear standards on player contracts, player rights, anti-doping procedures, and fair competition policies are all part of this.
Conclusion: Esports in India provide massive professional opportunities and growth possibilities for aspiring esports athletes. The sector’s prospects are based on overcoming infrastructure, perception, talent development, and regulatory barriers. Esports may establish itself as a viable and acceptable career alternative in India with continued support, investment, and stakeholder collaboration.
Author : Ms. Tanushree Saxena, Trainer, CyberPeace