Can India become a powerhouse in Esports?

India has been a talking point for many years when it comes to the video game industry. From the widespread stigma about video games to the fact that esports is not considered a viable career path, the Indian market has many demons to fight to grow this industry.

Esports can change all of this, as recent awareness and infrastructure improvements have given a wider reach to many organizations. Currently, the most played game in the country (as far as esports is concerned) is Valorant after the recent banning of BGMI (Battlegrounds Mobile India). In mobile gaming, games such as Pokemon and Warzone are also entering the scene. While the country as a whole has been quite averse to online gaming, the stigma has reduced considerably. Let’s explore the various reasons why India is no longer an esports powerhouse.

There is a lack of support and regulations
With India being one of the largest economies in the world, it seems that working life will be easy. In reality, there is a lot of infrastructure that is yet to be built across the country.

While everyone will agree that the IT sector within the nation is booming. The scale and level of growth is nowhere near and quality enough to support gaming and esports. Power shortages, dodgy networks and sub par hardware are the modus operandi still, and it will take a long time before the basic ingredients for real gaming make a big entrance in India’s rural areas.

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Having a constant source of internet in the eyes of an average person in India would be a privilege. Many people try to finish all of their work and assignments as well as play tournaments in cafes that will have wifi in them. Due to the 4G infrastructure being to an extent manageable, some have the mobility to play a game of BGMI while on the bus or in a park.

The other major factor is that building a PC for gaming within India is quite expensive. This is majorly due to the amount of taxes one needs to pay concerning mobiles as well as hardware. Currently, games are divided into two categories, games of skill and games of luck. Games of Luck will consist of games while majorly dealing with gambling. As such recently the taxes for both were increased to 28%. While esports comes under games of skill, it previously was taxed at 12% but there are hints of a tax spike in this segment as well. 

Indian esports may be on the rise
Global Esports has become the first Indian organization that has a franchising spot within the Valorant VCT ecosystem. The organization is suddenly a brand ambassador for esports in India, and the burden falls on them to promote the success of esports careers. If this tie-in does become successful, we could see a slow shift in mentality towards esports as a viable career path. With it, more teams from India may get a shot at attracting both sponsorships and acceptance.

Plenty of culture in the country is influenced by success coming from abroad, as Indian teams gaining renown internationally will definitely make the news around the world.