Contrary to what the name leads you to believe, esports aren’t limited to electronic sports games. It’s bigger than that. Esports is the world of virtual, competitive, organised gaming. It includes games like League of Legends, Overwatch and Call of Duty, as well as various sports games like basketball and badminton.
Gaming in India has grown in recent years, and we estimate that there are over 600 million gamers throughout the country. Online sports betting has also become a popular pastime. Some of the betting sites in India provide a comprehensive list of sports for you to bet on.
On the other hand, India is still relatively new to the world of esports, but the potential for growth in this market is enormous.
In recent years, innovative esports startups like JetSynthesis, Nodwin Gaming and Cobx Gaming have been integral in encouraging investment in the esports industry in India.
In 2018, PGL Esports, an international company specialising in global esports tournaments, partnered with Cobx Gaming to bring these tournaments to India. This partnership was a huge step in developing the popularity of, and physical participation in, esports in India.
In 2019, Mumbai hosted the ESL One Dota 2 global tournament, in collaboration with Nodwin Gaming. This two-day tournament featured eight teams going head-to-head for $300,000.
It attracted a live audience of close to 8,000 and averaged almost 60,000 virtual viewers worldwide. This wasn’t the most massive of audiences in the history of ESL One, but a positive start for India.
The Current Situation
India features as one of the top 5 countries for mobile gaming. Over 620 million Indians currently play games online, whether it’s visiting casinos for a spin of the slots or playing war-simulation games.
The low average age of the population, ease of access to internet connectivity and use of mobile devices as a platform for games, all contribute to gaming being such a popular pastime.
When you merge gaming with an ingrained love of sport and competition, it’s easy to see how esports can become the next best thing. Drawn-out sports matches and tournaments are losing their appeal. Spectators crave something more fast-paced, bringing quicker results, and esports games provide this.
They also involve you in decision-making, allowing you to exercise your skills and knowledge in how you play the game.
India still has a long way to go in this multi-million dollar industry, but it is slowly gaining recognition among international esports gamers. In September 2019, India won bronze in the first esports competition ever at the Asian Games. Tirth Mehta, a 23-year old from Gujarat, beat Vietnam to come third in Hearthstone.
India may not yet be at the top of its game in esports, but all the signs are good. If participation and investment continue to increase, the country could soon be one of the biggest in the esports industry