The Indian Esports industry has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, transforming into a multi-billion-dollar sector driven by advancements in technology, widespread internet access, and the rising popularity of gaming among the younger generation. Recognizing the potential of Esports, the government of India has officially acknowledged it as a multi-sport event.
According to a report by FICCI-EY, the number of Esports players in India surged from 600,000 in 2021 to 1 million in 2022, and this figure is projected to reach 2.5 million by 2023. The prowess of Indian Esports has been demonstrated on numerous occasions, with notable achievements in major international tournaments such as winning bronze in Hearthstone at the 2018 Asian Games and DOTA 2 at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.
India is now making significant strides in the Esports world, with the country set to send its first-ever female contingent in CS:GO to the World Esports Championships and participate in the upcoming Asian Games 2022, where Esports will debut as an official medal sport. The report also highlights that the number of international Esports teams in India grew from 6 in 2021 to 7 in 2022, and it is expected to rise to 10 in 2023.
Lokesh Suji, Director of the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF), expresses confidence in India's ability to make its mark on the global Esports stage. He emphasizes the significant growth and improvement witnessed in recent years, stating, "Winning medals at prestigious events has demonstrated our potential to compete at the highest level and is a testament to the rise of India as a video-gaming powerhouse."
The rise of gamers and gaming content creators has had a transformative impact on the entertainment landscape in India. Many gamers have amassed large fan bases and become influential figures within the gaming community through activities such as live streaming, video content creation, and engagement on social media platforms.
The growing recognition of content creators has resulted in partnerships and collaborations with brands through brand deals and sponsorships. This not only provides creators with new revenue streams but also attracts non-endemic brands to enter the sector. The FICCI-EY report reveals an increase in the number of brands investing in Esports, rising from 72 in 2021 to 80 in 2022, and it is projected to reach 100 by 2023.
The recent return of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) has injected new energy into the Esports community and is expected to fuel the growth of competitive gaming. BGMI has not only generated substantial in-app spending, amounting to approximately $33 million from July 2021 to July 2022, but has also made history as the first Esports event to be broadcasted on mainstream television through Star Sports.
The evolution of Esports in India has been further accelerated by the emergence of new technologies and platforms catering specifically to the gaming community. Cutting-edge technologies like Web3, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and gesture-controlled gaming, along with exclusive social networking platforms for gamers, are revolutionizing the Esports industry in India.
The video game industry in India has witnessed remarkable growth, diversification, and recognition. It has become a significant cultural and economic force, offering entertainment, job opportunities, and a platform for creative expression. With its immense potential and continued growth, the future of the Indian Esports industry looks promising.
By fLEXI tEAM