Indian multiplex chain, INOX Leisure and Esports Federation of India (ESFI) on Monday said that both companies have entered into a partnership to popularise e-sports in the entire country through on the big screens.
As cinema partner, INOX will host and promote ESFI tournaments across the country, which should help in building awareness about e-sports, besides offering world-class cinemas as esports and video gaming venues in cities all over India.
Alok Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, INOX Leisure said, “We are thrilled to bring the action of esports to the cinemas of INOX in collaboration with Esports Federation of India who has been working relentlessly to grow Indian esports and together, make esports, a mainstream sporting activity in India. Our cinemas are present at highly urbane and youth-centric locations servicing the entertainment needs of a predominantly young population in an unmatched ambience equipped with advanced cinema technology.”
According to the official statement, the association will enable INOX to engage and offer an enticing content proposition to the age bracket of 15-24 years by promoting this new age sport that has the potential to garner a huge fan base and is expected to reach Rs 11 billion by financial year (FY) 2025 as per industry data.
“ESFI is excited about this partnership, as this will also be a concrete step towards taking esports to grassroots, inspiring people and giving them a platform to showcase their talent. The exclusive partnership comes at a very right time when the Asian Games is scheduled in the month of September and ESFI will soon launch AESF’s Road to Asian Games to select the national esports contingent of our country. This partnership will see both ESFI & INOX together nurturing and developing the Indian esports talent pool wherein ESFI will bring in more partners to further strengthen this objective and create a robust and thriving esports ecosystem, said Vinod Tiwari, President, Esports Federation of India & Director, Olympic Council of Asia – NOC & International Relations.
As per the E&Y Report titled Esports In India, published in June 2021, India currently has more than 1,50,000 professional esports players that have generated a viewership of 17 million people across 14 broadcast platforms, and the forecast is to have 1.5 million professional players with 85 million viewership from 20+ broadcasters by FY2025.
Tirth Mehta, Indian esports medalist at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta said, “I believe every sport needs to have good training facilities, awareness, popularity, and support to make it prosper, and ESFI’s partnership with INOX is a progressive step towards a brighter future. I am also confident that such partnerships will happen in the future too. I hope this partnership will inspire many esports athletes who have been working hard to represent India and win medals for the country.”