The Future of eSports in India

How many times have you come across this term – ESports? Not much? Yeah, that’s the possible answer to most people. But, you know PUBG from your heart and mind? Isn’t it true? Obviously, it is. PUBG is more popular than many actors across the world.

But, knowing PUBG and not knowing Esports is like knowing Tendulkar but not ICC World Cup or Cricket. So, it’s time to know everything about Esports, how PUBG is related to it, and esports in India. Let’s go into the definition. 

The definition by the Cambridge dictionary says that esports refers to the activity of playing computer games against other people on the internet, often for money, and often watched by other people using the internet, sometimes at specially organized events.

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In simple words, esports refers to the world of competitive gaming. It refers to the PC, mobile and console games often played competitively. There are a number of games that fall in the category of esports such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike, DOTA, Fortnite, Call of duty, and a lot of popular games.

Esports was first organized in the year of 1972, where the players competed for the game of Space war at Stanford university almost 48 years ago.

Yes, esports is not a new thing, it is approximately 48 years old. But in the recent decade, the term “Esports” has gained massive popularity. The craze for esports is exponentially increasing and has witnessed a boom in recent years. 

Mechanics of esports – 

The full form of esports is electronic sports. It is basically making the online games into a Spectator Sport by streaming it online. It is quite similar to watching Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in action in the Cricket field, it is no way different. The only difference is that you don’t need to be physically present in the stadium to watch the match. Isn’t that an advantage?

So, basically you need a player, league, or tournament and the audience to watch the game. 

Player – Becoming a top-notch player in the esports industry is not a piece of cake. It requires immense hard work and you need to train yourself even for more than 14 hours a day. A player is a person who is going to compete with the other player in a particular game. The players can compete in solo competitions or team competitions. 

Teams – These professional players come together to form a team to compete in the team competition competing with the other teams. Just as in IPL we have different teams, in which different players come together to form a team and compete against each other for the trophy or cash prize. 

Each team is specialized in a particular game like Counter-Strike, DOTA, Call of Duty, PUBG Mobile, etc. These teams have a huge fan following across the globe. Some of the popular teams are  Evil Geniuses, Fnatic, and Optic Gaming.

OrganizationsThese organizations recruit the best teams and make them a part of the organization. Just like in IPL different teams bought different players to play the competitions and leagues for them and under their umbrella.

These organizations have several teams specializing in different games like CSGO, DOTA, Call of Duty, PUBG Mobile, etc. Now, these organizations send their teams to compete in different competitions across the globe. Some of the famous organizations are  Cloud9, NRG, TSM, Optic Gaming, etc.

Leagues or Tournaments – Leagues are the names of the competition in which these players and teams compete against each other to win huge cash prizes.  Like Cricket these leagues also have playoffs, knockout rounds, and world championships. These league tournaments are organized by companies such as Major League Gaming (MLG) or the Electronic Sports League (ESL).

eSports tournaments:

In the year 2016,  a  total of 15,000 seats of Los Angeles Staples Centre were sold out in an hour. The stadium was organizing the League of Legends Championship in it. Also, 40,000 seats of the  World Cup Stadium in Seoul Were sold out in the same year along with the presence of 27 million of the audience online. Now, you can imagine the following of these championships and the increasing craze for them.

Prize money – The prize money for the largest of the esports tournaments can be huge. In the year 2016, the total prize money of these championships reached an amount of $93.3 million, from $61 million in the year 2015. The prize money of these championships is still far more than many of the biggest sports tournaments. 

Sponsors – These are the people that bring in their money to advertise their brands. There are a variety of sponsors and they can sponsor multiple things. Sponsors are also a crucial part of the esports. 

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Viewers –  Do you know that the number of people who watched the world finals of the League of Legends in the year 2016 is 43 million, which is more than the number of people who watched the finals of NBA, i.e. 33 million viewers.2019’s biggest esports tournament.

The League of Legends Championship received 105.5 million hours of viewership on Youtube and Twitch.  The viewership numbers are huge in the esports industry. It is becoming the major reason for the booming of this industry.

As per the prediction by the Newzoo, the annual growth rate in the viewership will be 14%. The number of casual viewers will become approximately 307 million. Along with the bummer of esports enthusiasts growing to 250 million eSports enthusiasts, making the total audience 557 million. 

Top markets in the Esport Industry globally  – 

According to the data by the research from Newzoo, China’s total revenues from the esports industry is $385.1 million in 2020. The second-largest market leader in terms of revenue in North America with total revenues of $252.8 million. The third market leader in revenues in Western Europe with a revenue of $201.2 million in the year 2020. 

China is the market leader in the esports industry owing to the largest market share but the rising popularity of the sports in India is soon going to overcome China in terms of the market size and revenue.

China has the largest number of esports audience with a whopping 162.2 million in 2020, followed by North America having an audience of 57.2 million. 

Esports in India 

The esports industry is growing exponentially worldwide. The Esports industry has become a $1.1 Billion Industry in the year 2020 from $950.6 million in 2019, showing a year growth of +15.7%. It is estimated to reach a mark of $2.17 billion by the year 2023.

The Esports in India is like a gold mine for every investor and business person. They are constantly keeping an eye on the industry due to its high growth potential.

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The Esports in India is still in a very young and developing stage and the future of esports in India looks very bright.

Today, India ranks 16th in the global ranking in the gaming market and China is still the market leader of the gaming market holding the majority of the market share. The total revenue China generates from the gaming industry is around $40 billion. India is ranking 16th but still generates revenue of $1.5 billion from the gaming Industry.

The Esport in India is expected to generate a revenue of INR 11,900 Cr by the financial year 2023, growing at 22% CAGR.

Revenue streams for Esports – 

  1. Sponsorship and Media Rights – The eSport Industry is worth $1.1 billion by the end of the year 2020. The Global Esports Market report says that 65%, roughly three fourth of the total revenue approximately comes from sponsorships and media rights. Which makes a total of around $708 million alone from the Sponsorship and media rights. This revenue has increased by 17.2% from 2019.
  2. Advertisements – Paid advertisement accounts for around 17% of the total revenue generated in the year 2019. A total of $189 million of revenue was earned for it.
  3. Tickets and Merchandise – Revenue from the tickets and merchandise makes a total of $103.7 million. 
  4. Game Publishing fees – Another’s the source of revenue for the industry comes from the game publishers’ investments into the esports space, through supporting tournaments through partnerships. A total of $95.2 million of revenue is generated from this steam. 
  5. Digital goods –  Digital goods are the fastest-growing revenue stream. It is expected to make revenue from $7.1 million in 2020 to $17.2 million by 2023. The esports industry is the prime source of digital goods in this digital era. 
  6. Streaming – Live streaming is gaining popularity in recent times. It is becoming a major source of earning for the professional and big players other than leagues and championships. These live streamings are one of the major reasons why sports are gaining popularity and making the future of Esports in India.

Professional players Livestream on youtube and Twitch, while they play the game, and viewers or fans can watch their game. The fans and viewers donate the money to the streamers to get noticed. Youtube and gamers earned a huge amount of money through live streaming on platforms like youtube and Twitch. It is a very popular streaming site for esports.

During the tournaments and championship as well these streaming is the only reason which helps the fans to watch their favorite teams and players competing in the tournaments and this live streaming is a big market in terms of revenue and is growing exponentially. 

As per the report by Newzoo, the global sports audience will reach 495 million by the end of this year. In which 222.3 million people are the esports enthusiasts or can say the players whereas the rest of the 272.2 million people are the occasional viewers. In the year 2020, if we talk about the average revenue per person will be around $4.94, which has increased by 2.8% from the year 2019.

Why the Future of Esports in India is very bright   – 

  1. Population – One thing that makes India the biggest market for any industry or product is its population. India is a land of 1.3 billion people. Thus, the bigger the market, the more opportunities.
  2. Demographics – The target audience of the esports industry is the younger generation or the youth. Most of the audience or the users of the Esports Industry are youths. And needless to say, India is the country with the youngest population in the world. More than half of India’s population is less than the age of 25 years. The blend of the target audience and the market size is enough to make it make India the future of Esports.
  3. Internet Connection – With the arrival of the Jio networks in the Indian market back in the year of 2016, India has seen an enormous rise in the number of internet connections. Today, the Internet has reached even to the backward areas of the country. Thus, making these games available to everyone.

The wave of digital transformation has already hit the market as a result everyone has phones, internet, and time. 

The number of users is also increasing every year at the rapid pace and with the availability of the strong broadband connection and more money in the hands,  the Indian gamers are all set to make India the future of Esports.

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Social media Influencers are also a major reason why the love of youngsters in the country is increasing every day for the esports. These youngsters follow these social media influencers. Most of the young influencers like Carryminati Live Stream the game and a huge number of fans and followers see him playing and ultimately get inspired to play a particular game.

carryminati is the most subscribed influencer on Youtube in India.  He basically makes roasting video along with the Livestream. 

Foreign Investments in Esports in India – 

India is having more than 2 million esports fans which are rising at a very high rate every other day. Due to the rising interest of the user’s Indian has become a lucrative destination to conduct gaming events like the Indian Gaming league, ESL gaming, etc. 

Acer is the market leader of the Pc gaming in India, it organizes Largest eSports tournament every year, known as the “Acer Predator Gaming League:” Not only Acer but other esports companies like HyperX has also joined hands with ESL Indian Premier League, which is going to be the largest and biggest eSport tournament of the country. 

The market leaders in the gaming industries like Tencent and APUS are joining hands with the local Esports startups in India, such as Nazara, NODWIN Gaming, and Jetsynthesys. They are heavily investing in the Indian gaming markets and are also setting up the local infrastructure and shops in the Indian gaming market looking at the potential in the Indian market to make India the future of Esports.

India is all set to become the next revolution in the Esports segment. Though the gaming industry in India is in the very beginning stage today, in the next 5-10 years it will be the biggest market for digital gaming. 

Top Esports Startups in India – 

  1. Nazara Technologies – It is a mobile game published in India. Nazara has booked revenue of  INR 220 Cr in revenues in the year 2015-16 with the Indian market contributing 47% to the top-line revenue. The startup was launched in the year 2000. It is the market leader in the mobile gaming sector in India. It has developed a number of original mobile games including, Playcaso.
  2.  JetSynthesys – It is a leading digital entertainment and gaming company, dedicated to change the esports ecosystem in India in the upcoming 5 years.  JetSynthesys hosted a number of mobile sports contests across India.
  3. TGNXO – It is an esports startup that provides a platform for the players to join and play a number of championships and tournaments. TGNXO has a community of more than 50,000 gamers. Huge Cash prizes are given to the winners of the championships. TGNXO is determined to revolutionize the Indian esports industry by empowering the gamers by providing them a platform to compete with the same level players to increase their experience along with winning prizes. 

Most popular esports games in India – 

  1. Counter-Strike Global Offensive – It is one of the oldest games in the esports category and still holds its root firm in the heart of the gamers. CSGO is a First-Person shooter PC game. The popularity of mobile games are increasing recently but CSGO is still the favorite soups for Indian gamers. It is also a game in the ESL India Premiership, which is the oldest running esports competition in India. For the last 4 years, it has been constantly organizing competitive leagues in the country. The prize pool for the 2019 tournament was 1.1 Crore INR. This game has given many sports a start to the country. One such Star is Aniket “V3NOM” pant, who is the most recognized face of the CSGO in the country and is a streamer and professional full-time CSGO player
  2. PUBG Mobile – I don’t think I need to describe this game, such as the popularity of this game. PUBG mobile is the most popular game in India at the moment. It is a battle royal game and the popularity of this game is immensely growing in India. PUBG mobile has proved to be a revolution in the gaming industry. It is the premier factor to give Esports in India the boom it has in the Indian gaming market today. 

Team Soul has emerged as a champion in 2019, PUBG mobile India Series, and won a whopping prize of 1 Crore INR from the single Championship.

Indian has the best #3 player in the world of PUBG mobile. His name is Naman Mathur AKA Mortal. His earnings are around $16225.00 overall. He has also won the PUBG India series and a number of such tournaments. 

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3. DOTA 2 – This list can never be complete with the name of DOTA2 in it. It is a Multiplayer online-based arena (MOBA) and is one of the most popular PC games in its genre in India. DOTA2 is also a part of the ESL Indian Premiership tournament for a long time. 

The latest tournament was organized in the month of April in Mumbai, in which the highest Prize so far in the Esports in India was announced. The team signifies is one of the most prominent teams in this game.  

Future Career options in the eSports Industry – 

As this new industry is booming in India, a number of new career opportunities are being developed around it. If you are a gaming enthusiast then you can opt for one of these careers – 

  1. Game designer  – Game designers play a crucial part in the development of the game. It is a very competitive field. The game designer is responsible for creating the concept of the game and designs the user interaction environment. Development of the characters, storyline. Mission. Role plates are some of the responsibilities of the game designers.
  2. Software developer: The designer and the software developers work hand in hand to deliver you the exciting games you can play day and night. The developer converts the ideas of the game into the code to provide a seamless experience to the player and enhance the quality of the game.
  3. Content writer: The content writer is the creative person behind the stories and scripts involved in the game. He or she also created the dialogues and speeches involved in the game. They are also responsible for writing the gaming instructions.
  4. Market researcher:  He or she is responsible to work on the data and research part to make the product more viable and likable. He or she is responsible for deciding the charges, areas to sell, and to conduct the research to understand the buyer’s mindset.
  5. Esports Athlete or Professional Gamer – This career option looks lucrative but is very difficult to pursue. To become a professional gamer, you need an immense amount of training and guidance. The big organizing teams sign the contract with these professional gamers and pay them a hefty amount of money. They individually also participate in a number of leagues going across the world. The earning in this field is very lucrative if you are a top gamer but becoming one is not an easy task. Usually, the professional career of a gamer begins at the age of 13-14 and retires at the age of 24-25. 

Conclusion:

Though there are a number of challenges in opting for a career in this field especially as a professional gamer. The biggest challenge is the mindset of Indian parents. In their traditional thinking, such things are a waste of time. They never consider this as a career option. This is a major reason why kids are not able to take up the right training fighting against the parents and become a professional gamer. 

In countries like China, Professional gaming is a well-recognized career option. Thus, children get a number of training centers, coaching, and freedom from their parents. Thus they produce the highest number of professional gamers across the world.

In the near future, esports may also become a part of the Olympics. China is ahead in this game as well because they have good infrastructure facilities, government support, and wellness training centers. 

But the scenarios are changing, things will change a lot in the coming 5-10 years. The gaming culture in the country is booming. It is evident from the activities of the youths around you. You can easily find people playing PUBG around you.

India is soon going to launch itself into this industry with some magnificent esports platform. It has thrilling action for fans and amazing entertainment.

Let’s suit up guys for becoming the next gaming sensation of this industry. 

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