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Esports to be Big News in India this year

Esports to be Big News in India this year
March 19
13:36 2020

There is no doubt that India is now a big player in the global esports industry. A major factor in this is the growth in technical expertise in the country which has led to an increase in local developers and designers. Western countries now have considerable competition in this area, from the East.

There is also an appetite for gaming in India. More than 30 million people play PUBG mobile alone. Added to this is the so far unprecedented growth in online gambling as a market worldwide, but noticeably in India. Despite the fact that online gambling is not yet legal in India, such legislation may potentially bring immense benefits to India’s economy. There is no denying the power of digitalization, which has made betting easier than ever. In this environment, it’s hardly surprising that gaming and esports are huge news in India right now.

The rise of gaming in the digital world

You only need to look at news like the opening of the largest Acer Predator-equipped cyber cafe in Southeast Asia to see how gaming continues to rise in popularity, especially in the East.

The Asian market is making a serious impression on the global market. For instance, gaming revenues in China are in excess of $34 million and China-based Tencent is fast becoming the biggest gaming company on the planet. It’s not just China that is making an impact though. Growth is fast spreading to other areas of Asia, including India.

Significant growth in competitive gaming in India

This growth has led to India’s increased involvement as a major player in the online competitive gaming arena. The figures say all that is needed to be known about India’s rise in this market. Games revenue rose from $253.6 million in 2014 to $1.1 billion in 2019. These figures are only likely to rise further, given that India is now second only to China when it comes to the number of smartphone users, according to esports analytics experts Newzoo.

Factors important for growth

There are some important factors that have contributed to the growth of esports in India.

  • The number of digital consumers.

There are more than 550 million digital consumers in India. This means that large numbers of people have access to gaming and esports opportunities.

  • Widespread use of smartphones.

Smartphones now have more affordable purchase costs attached to them, and less expensive data plans are available. This means that millions of people are now taking part in mobile gaming activity such as PUBG mobile.

  • The youngest population in the world

There are more than 600 million people under the age of 25 in India. People of this age have a higher tendency to enjoy mobile gaming than those in older generations.

esportsThe current esports scene in India

The impact of these growth factors means that the current esports scene in India is healthy. This means that international esports brands like London based Fnatic are entering the market, hoping to improve their reach across the globe.

Native game developers are also growing in numbers. In 2010, there were 25 games developers in the country. Now, there are more than 250 native game developers in India. These developers benefit from investment provided by big names in the industry, such as Tencent, Sequoia and Patym. Given this continuing investment, it’s likely that the number of native developers will only continue to grow.

Despite this growth in local development, many of the most popular games played in India are global titles. For instance, you cannot ignore the phenomenon of PUBG Mobile. The game first launched in India in March 2018 and has grown to huge levels of popularity since then. Tournaments like PUBG Mobile Campus Championship are now a familiar sight on the Indian esports scene. Prize money for these tournaments has increased over the months. For instance, the prize for the PUBG Mobile India Series 2019 tournament was 1 crore.

Of course, PUBG Mobile is not by itself, when you look at the world of esports in India. There are many more globally renowned titles that feature heavily in tournaments in the country including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive which is hugely popular with pro gamers.

In summary

Esports is going to be big news in India this year and in the years to come. The evidence for this is that last year saw prize pools increase by an incredible 180%, across all tournaments. In addition to this positive indicator, the current environment is also ideally suited to continued esports growth in India.

The population of the country is young and has an appetite for gaming. The number of local developers continues to grow and international esports organisations are showing a direct interest in getting their own slice of the market. This means that there is sustained interest from a gamer and a developer point of view. This is the ideal combination to promote the growth of esports across India.



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