India’s competitive gaming market sector, most known as esports, is booming with potential and here’s why. With more than a billion population and hundreds of millions of mobile users, India is set to take the world of esports by storm. However, many have yet to join in the industry’s section with reservations particularly with family approval, sponsorship difficulties, and the simplest passion over other traditional job opportunities.
These questions and more have been tackled by a recent panel discussion on the future of esports in India. Headed by Intel, the panel featured big names in the industry including Asus’ Leon Yu, Nodwin’s Akshat Rathee, and Intel’s Prakash Mallya, among others.
Esports: Not Just Entertainment but Sport
Esports and gaming are distinct and offer a different form of entertainment. This is the biggest and most important point discussed by the panel. While gaming is an entertainment—a leisure activity, esports require more, more hours in training, learning tactics, and assessing best strategies, and more.
Rathee points out that esports is not just a simple game; it requires skill. For when you stop playing for a while, you will lose your edge. He further claims that pro-gaming in esports is more exhaustive than the physical sport cricket.
Challenges in the Region
The panel raises academic support, government investments, and even policy amendments as the challenges that the industry faces.
ASUS regional director for India, Leon Yu, boasts a fully sponsored esports team in India, among the first in the country. This means, the computer and PC parts giant is paying salaries to its team members, and paying for their travel expenses, pushing to include them in foreign tournaments, backing their training, and even working with the gamers’ parents.
The latter is important, as the panel has discussed that parents’ perception of contemporary gaming is rather conventional. They allow their children to play but are not fond of them making careers out of it.
Therefore, the panel reiterates the importance of government intervention and helps in changing the country’s mindset. But the vision is close to reality. Statistics have shown that the landscape is already changing, and that it is looking good. Rathee avers that three to four years ago, esports was distributor given in contrast with today’s focus on footfalls, positioning, and influencer marketing. In addition, more and more young adults are aiming to become pro-gamers and not just casual players. With more companies following ASUS’ sponsorship deals, India’s esports future looks more than promising.
No matter how promising the esports market in India is and can be, it is up to the government’s next step which will affect the industry’s future. The panel only hopes of getting more support from the government without politics getting in the way. Panelists believe that regulation is necessary but a regulating body should be well aware and knowledgeable enough of the sector and serve its interests. They cited South Korea as one of the most gamer-friendly country in terms of government regulation and support.
In any case, with more than 628 million gamers by 2020, India’s gaming industry is changing and will force ultimate reconstruction one way or another. Other sector looks tiny and immaterial at this point.