Dawn of Esports in India

A new kind of sport – esports is on the rise in India and it is not the same as online gaming.

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A new kind of sport – esports is on the rise in India and it is not the same as online gaming. Esports is a sport, requiring competitive gameplay, a tournament or league format, and the use of skills, most often physical skills. It has gained popularity with young people and consequently, has become an attractive option for brands.

What is ESPORTS?

Electronic sports, often known as e-sports or eSports, are a type of video game competition.

Esports are generally organized multiplayer video game events between professional players, either individually or in teams.

These competitions can be online and offline. These games are Multiplayer Games, where you form up teams and compete/play online. The most common video game genres associated with esports are:

  • Real-time Strategy (RTS)
  • Fighting
  • First-person Shooter (FPS)
  • Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)

Some examples would be Defense of the Ancients (DOTA2), League of Legends (LoL), CounterStrike, Call of Duty, FIFA, Hearthstone, Starcraft, Vainglory.

These tournaments are broadcasted Online & on TV and have commentary also, just like you have it in Cricket, FIFA, etc.

Esports are more versatile and adaptable than regular sports, and their tournaments vary in scale, operations and frequency.

Furthermore, esports are indistinguishable from traditional sports. In esports, games are monitored; and participants are actively playing and using their skills to win the championship. Like traditional sports, excelling at esports requires hand-eye coordination, attention, visual processing, executive function and strategy development. All of that, perfectly combined with well-timed responses to game stimuli, helps players excel and grow in the space.

It’s a Spectator Sport now with more than 500 Million esports fans in 152 countries that watch these competitions online through various streaming platforms like Twitch.tv, YouTube Gaming.


The League of Legends World Championship brought in more than 100 Mn viewers, including a peak of 44 Mn concurrent viewers, during the competition’s final round on November 10, 2019.



Pro Players are making Millions of Dollars in Salaries.


The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has included esports in the Asian Indoor Games since 2007, where it was included as a demonstration discipline. Since the 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games, (Incheon Korea, 2013), Esports have been included as an Official Discipline.

Esports was a demonstration sport at the Asian Games-2018, Jakarta (Indonesia) and India’s Tirth Mehta won the Bronze for Hearthstone. Esports will be a medal sport at the Asian Games 2022, Hangzhou (China).

India’s Esports industry

A decade earlier, India’s internet gaming industry was underdeveloped, with just 25 developers. Today, the nation is home to approximately 250 game developers. Several industry heavyweights have previously invested in India’s gaming business, including Tencent, Nazara, Paytm, and Alibaba.

India has hosted some of the most important esports events, including the PUBG Mobile Series 2019 and the Electronic Sports League, in which Dota 2 players from all over the globe competed. Today, India is globally known for esports, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive plays a significant role.

The increase in Esports award money

As more Indians get involved in esports, the prize pool grows as well. PUBG Mobile has seen meteoric growth in India, providing players with a career choice. India is one of the top nations worldwide for PUBG mobile downloads, according to July 2020 statistics. In terms of revenue and player earnings, esports in India will undoubtedly continue to expand in the coming months and years. The PUBG Mobile India Series 2020 event with the highest prize pool is worth Rs. 50 lakh.

Future of esports in India

Though at a nascent stage, the esports market size in India has quickly scaled to ₹3 billion in FY2021 and we expect it to reach ₹11 billion by FY2025. However, the sport has a much larger economic impact: we expect it to generate an economic value between now and FY2025.

The esports industry is expected to grow at a 46% CAGR over the next four years, and streaming platforms will generate the largest chunk of esport revenues.

1.5 million players, 85 million viewers, 20+ broadcasters and several brands, organizers and publishers will collectively define the esports market in India by FY2025. Presently, about 4% of mobile games on the Play Store are from Indian publishers. As Indian game developers transition from developing social games to developing multiplayer games, Indian developers are expected to create games that are better suited for esports tournaments. The number of Indian gaming studios has grown 5x since 2015.

The prize money or prize pool would likely contribute about 10% to the esports economy in FY 2025 and reach an estimated ₹11 billion esports market size in India by FY2025. About 85% of the prize money will be for mobile esports tournaments.

Esports industry amid a pandemic

Online gaming is one of the reasons India’s economy has remained resilient in the face of a worldwide epidemic. When pre-covid and lockdown statistics are compared, the number of online gamers utilizing their smartphones has increased by 60%. The large young population in India and the affordability and accessibility of smartphones are the main factors for the sector’s growth.

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