Without a doubt, the Indian eSports industry has witnessed a mind-blowing growth over the years. The country has a huge potential at the moment and the advent of fast-paced technologies, the significant investments made by the biggest global actors in the industry and the increased interest shown by Indian sportsbooks bettors are all contributing factors to the current state of things.
If you are not sure what eSports is or what is its current status in India, you have reached the right page. We are going to give you a brief rundown of some historical data on global as well as Indian eSports and help you understand what the future may look like for eSports. Without further ado, let's dive straight into it.
What Is eSports?
Generally speaking, esports, also known as e-sports or electronic sports refer to competitions that bring together professional video gamers who compete against each other at a number of multiplayer video games. The games include first-person shooter games, card games that emulate collectable card games, battle royale games and RTS games, to name a few of the most popular options at the moment.
Some of the most beloved and successful e-sport franchises are Overwatch, Starcraft, League of Legends or Fortnite, with tourneys like DOTA 2's International or the League of Legends World Championship Series continuing to turn the heads of millions of players in all parts of the world. Indian players are no stranger to these games and competitions and their passion for fun games and leisure activities is pushing many towards a career in professional esports gaming. For example, Team Soul counts among the best PUBG Mobile teams in the country. The squad has recently won the PUBG Mobile Club Open at the Spring Split, taking home a whopping $60,000 at the end of the tourney. Viper and Mortal, two of the best team members have won around $38,000 each and they are ranked as the top-earning gamers in India.
While some voices still debate the legitimacy of eSports betting and eSports games as genuine sporting competitions, they are, in fact, starting to get the recognition they deserve worldwide. Many experts consider them just as important as the international events that are held in Asia. The International Olympic Committee has also debated the introduction of eSports in the upcoming Olympics.
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eSports Throughout The World
Almost 50 years ago, students at the prestigious Stanford University started competing against each other at Spacewar, a popular video game back then. In 1991, the fighting-oriented Street Fighter II game introduced players to the concept of direct competitions between players. Video games had only relied on high scores when having to decide the winner of a game. Street Fighter II allowed them to do something different. They could use face-to-face competitions and rely on a brand new way of deciding who the grand winner of a game would be. Many people consider this as an essential event in the world of esports since it set the ground for gaming that was more competitive gaming, especially when talking about multiplayer and deathmatch games.
In 1996, the global Evolution Championship Series was organised for the first time and it was one of the most iconic e-sports tourneys that influenced the competitions that were later on organised by Nintendo and other important names in the industry.
At the end of the 2000s, however, video game competitions became truly important as they shifted from events for amateurs to professional competitions that used live streaming, huge audiences online and life-changing prizes.
The fact that the public showed so much interest in these events considerably affected the way game developers started viewing esports. Their fundings started to pour, supporting global eSports tournaments. This further helped competitors from various global leagues come together and compete in games belonging to the same genres. India didn't take long and joined the competitions.
eSports In India: Trends and History
The eSports industry in India has reached $1.1 billion in 2019 and 2023 projections speak about $2.17 billion in net worth. America and Europe are irrefutable leaders of the global eSports industry. However, 2019 was a good year for India and other Asian countries who decided to also join the table. South Asia, South East Asia and even South America started to spin their wheels, especially after the incredible 17-yo Kyle "Bugha" won the much-anticipated Fortnite World Championship in 2019. He proved to be more skilled than other forty million players around the world, which is the number of competitors he had to face. Bugha also won the PC Rookie Player of the Year award and the PC Player of the Year eSports Award during the same year.
Balaji “BlizzarD” Ramnarayan is a pro-Dota 2 player in India who is representing the Global eSports community. He has won the ESL India Premiership six times, gathering a grand total of more than $23,000 in wins, turning him into the second highest-earning esports gamer in the country.
2019 was, without a doubt, an amazing year for other professional gamers in India, with lots of local communities getting involved in offline events. It all started at the end of 2017 when the DreamHack event held in Mumbai was one the first international esports tournament of its kind to be organised eld in the country. A year later, the country was a host for more similar events, such as the DreamHack in Delhi or the COBX Masters, with prize pools of $500,000 million. In 2019, the save prize pool went over $1.5 million.
Popular eSports Games In India
Undoubtedly, PUGB Mobile is one of the most beloved multiplayer games that players in India can access via their mobile devices. It is a captivating battle game with one hundred players and loads of zombie, deathmatches and payload modes that allow players to compete against each other in order to survive. The game was awarded the Mobile Game of the Year title, along with the award for the most competitive mobile game during the Google Play Awards. With mind-blowing High-Definition game graphics and excellent 3D sounds, controls that can be easily customised and voice chatting solutions, the game gives players reasons to rejoice every time they hit “play”.
PUGS periodically upgrades its gaming modes and platers can expect to discover new and exciting features on a monthly basis, similar to the way online real money casinos for India refresh their gaming libraries with fresh titles from top providers. All these have turned PUBG MOBILE into the game with the largest number of downloads. Players in India seem to love playing the game, as they are ranked first in a chart of players worldwide. The game also records a huge audience in the country and this makes it almost impossible to speak about the game without at least mentioning players in India.
However, this is not the only game that has caught the attention of passionate eSports fans here. The country counts over 1.3 billion residents, turning it into a huge and incredibly lucrative market for all forms of online gambling, including casinos and eSports, with an incredible potential for growth for the upcoming years. Nodwin Gaming and Cobx Gaming are just a couple of the most important companies that have decided to recently access the Indian gaming market. In 2019, the country was ranked on the 17th position in an international eSports. Professional eSports are also on the rise thanks to a number of elements, such as the continuously growing infrastructure for gaming or the greater purchasing power that consumers are enjoying in recent years. The fact that 3G and 4G technologies have slowly blended into the lifestyle of people in India and helped them enjoy faster internet speeds is another important factor here. 5G networks are expected to be launched in the country in late 2020 or at the beginning of 2021, which means that while the country might not be yet ready for this technology, smartphone makers are opening their arms for the big launch. In fact, in February 2020, two important smartphone developers launched their first 5G-compatible smartphones. Lots of people choose to take their gaming online using their mobile devices, which is why mobile games enjoying a lot of popularity here.
Professional gamers Tirth Mehta from Gujarat is one of them. She won the very first eSports medal at the 2018 Asian Games, as well as the bronze medal during a collectable video game tourney. Official numbers speak about the net worth of around $820 million for the Indian eSports industry in India and future projections talking about INR 118.8 billion by the year 2023. Lots of giants in industry in various parts of the world are considering the country as their next stop, so future investments are prone to turn these estimated numbers into reality sometime soon.
India Counts Over 4 Million Passionate eSports Fans
We are talking about more than two million active players and another two million people who are part if the occasional viewer category. Without a doubt, India is slowly turning into a genuine eSports hub in Asia with huge events such as the Indian Gaming League or the Electronic Sports League Gaming turning into constants here.
Given the impressive size of the market here, Acer decided to migrate to India and they quickly turned into the ultimate PC gaming leader here. They also made the decision to host Asia’s greatest eSports tournament that is called the Acer Predator Gaming League with a prize pool of INR 15,00,000. HyperX is also connected to the ESL India Premiership League that is the flagship eSports tourney that brings together thousands of pro gamers all year-round. HyperX is universally recognised as being one of the most important actors to show their support to the eSports tournament industry while building and cultivating the most competitive community of gamers in the country.
Yoozoo Games and APUS are just a couple of the esports giants that are starting to make their presence felt in India. Active players and fans alike can expect to see a number of gaming shops spreading like mushrooms after the rain in the upcoming years. With over 120 million gamers who take their gaming online and billions of dollars in the mix, who would miss an opportunity to grab a slice of the Indian pie?
The country also hosts a number of domestic esports developers eager to quench the thirst of big esports fans. The collaboration between Nazara and giants like Google or Yahoo create the perfect breeding ground for a top-notch gaming infrastructure experts will keep a close eye on.
The Future Of eSports In India
With leading gaming brands doing their absolute best to penetrate the Indian market with the help of global trading shows, successful channel marketing solutions, sponsorships for gaming tourneys, gaming cafe collaborations and top-tier gaming device development, the future is looking great.
The offline gaming market is also going through serious changes and growth and, generally speaking, the eSports industry in India is expected to reach impressive numbers faster than some people may predict today. We are looking forward to seeing all these amazing changes happening and we are convinced that eSports will soon be at the very forefront of a large number of leading industries at an international level. For now, you can attend a few fun and exciting gaming tourneys in big cities in the country like Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata or New Delhi. This means teens have plenty of chances to practice and prove their skills and even decide if they should pick esports as a full-time career.
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All in all, the country is doing a great job at setting the ground for a new dimension to be added to the sports industry worldwide. India is helping gaming brands tap into the Indian eSports market share, while gamers can engage with top brands using digital platforms, social media, live tourneys and live-streaming platforms. If you are also a passionate gambling fan or you enjoy sports wagers online, the India Casinos platform is a good starting point for you.