India’s thriving esports industry is at nascent stages but will turn into big business opportunities
The Esports industry has accelerated its growth during the pandemic and these companies centred on live streaming. Navigating through the virtual ecosystem of multiplayer tournaments, players are no longer chained to one place and one game. From the marketeer point of view, it is seen as an activation tool for promotions among the youths. Esports is gaining a lot of attention these days by having bigger sponsorships but it depends on the engagements rate too. The emergence of smartphones and low internet costs in India has paved the way for esports in India. Esports is the next big thing and India is getting prepared for this.
While the industry is more youth-oriented, John Davidson, CEO, DLC talked about professionalizing the industry, he said, “Return of investment is very necessary for esports to grow but lack of information on which sport or game to invest in hampers confidence of many investors and put them on backfoot.” Adding to this he said “Hybridization of esports will be the future but monetization for teams is also important. Digital exclusives to provide remote experiences and awareness of esports is going to improve.”
Lokesh Suji, Director – Esports Federation of India | VP – Asian Esports Federation also stated his opinion on factors that influenced the growth of esports where he said, “In India, every online game is considered as esports. This is one problem which we are facing in India. Esports only have 5 categories which are sports games FIFA, NBA, strategic games like Dota, racing games like need for speed, asphalt, fighting titles like Teken, Street fighter, first person shooter like cod, cs, etc. In India, it is smartphone penetration and the internet has helped advance esports. Cheapest interest in the world.”
Sidharth Kedia, Group CEO, Nodwin Gaming believes that the two important aspects are the number of sponsors getting interested in esports and second is the amount of money being invested in esports. The former is rising but the latter remains questionable. He remarks “Unless esports is seen as a viable career option and government recognise it as a sport, Monetization would be difficult.”
Speaking on esports have bigger sponsorship scope than live events Anurag Khurana, CEO & Co-founder, Newgen Gaming said “Compared to other sports, No, but it is gradually increasing. Unless we change our measure of success of tournament from revenue to engagements, getting recognition will be doubtful.”
Critically analysing the esports industry Nimish Raut, Esports Consultant said “Overall ecosystem growing as money coming into the sport. In India, we are very far away from it being an esports ecosystem. There’s no suitable growth in this sector. “To overcome this, he added “Very clear matrix and very clear agenda about any Esport is required. So many numbers are thrown at the users that they get confused. Hence, we have no consistent and trustworthy information. So new investors and sponsors get scared.”