E-Sports: Its Potential in India

Everyone in the world is familiar by the term "e-Sports", a category defined by virtual sports and gaming with the help of technology. With every year passing by, e-Sports has been increasing its foothold and influence across global markets. Between 2016 and 2017, there was a total audience of a whopping 335 million watching streamers indulged in various gaming applications. It is predicted that by 2021, there would be an annual growth if 14% in the traffic of casual viewers and an additional 250 million enthusiasts, making it one of the biggest markets for investors to explore. Viewing platforms like Twitch and YouTube hold the audience and have been significant contributors to the exponential growth of this industry. The use of these viewing platforms has transformed e-sports into a Spectator Sport, with enthusiastic fans viewing live gameplay of their favorite streamers. To state the magnitude of this rise, the perfect example would be of the League of Legends World Championship -2018 whose finals were viewed by approximately 100 million unique viewers. The other games which have marked the popularity in the e-sports industry would include games like DOTA, PUBG, League of Legends, Counterstrike, Call of Duty, FIFA and StarCraft among several games. The rapid growth and impact of this industry can also be concluded by its inclusion as a Demonstration Sport in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and the confirmation of the fact that e-sports would be recognized as a Medal Sport in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Also, the players involved in the sports would be termed as 'athletes' and not gaming nerds.. In the world of globalization, India has been the epicenter of major world developments. E-sports has gradually crept in the Indian Markets and is rapidly holding on to the minds of this huge population. As per recent statistics, there are 264 million active Indian gamers from India. Counterstrike is the most popular e-sports game in India, where participants and e-sports teams in India like Signify and team Brutality compete in International competitions with massive prize pools of over US$20,000. In the year 2019, India stood at rank 16th globally among e-sports Billion Dollar Industries. This rank would be attributed to the improvements in the gaming infrastructure, the higher reach of consumers to global gaming events, increasing purchasing powers of the population, which makes e-Sports a financially viable career option and not just a past-time. Indian e-sports market has been developing rapidly with the formation of various local teams, high interest being generated in the gameplay of games like PUBG and Counterstrike, especially with the ease of accessibility of these games. Referring to statistics, the primary motivation to indulge in such virtual games is "excitement" and the fun that the game brings. In a country where sports are rapidly gaining recognition and every sport now being highly popularized by cash-rich leagues and various sponsorship, the fandom of the real sports has in a way led to the path of e-sports gaining popularity. Every sports fanatic person would have a slight inclination towards the virtual representation of the game he enjoys, ultimately leading the person into this industry. E-sports in India could bring about tremendous changes in the overall society and business trends. The marketing industry would be indulged in the concept of Gamification, which is the usage of gaming in order to meet the target of Customer Acquisition. The competitive environment in the gaming sector would lead to an increase in the number of gaming tournaments, leading for marketers to sponsoring of the events and being an essential marketing tool for potentially millions of viewers at a single tournament. The influence of social media would be way more substantial as compared to the current influence since a major part of the population would be engaged in the virtual world. In the future, it is expected that e-Sports would also be infused with much more infrastructure to grow with numerous celebrity endorsements, an increase in the number of digital and gaming platforms as well as a rise in the number of gaming enthusiasts. For example, the rise of 4G connections with the market explosion of Reliance Jio had contributed to a huge part of the society to gain access to Internet facilities. The growth of this industry has created a potential career option for millions of people, but the growth should be well monitored, controlled in order to make it a successful industry in a country like India. Sources https://thebridge.in/esports/indian-esports-pie-why-everyone-wants-piece/ http://esportsfederation.in/ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/311979 https://www.firstpost.com/tech/gaming/pubg-mobile-club-open-india-finals-day-1-indias-esports-future-is-looking-bright-6817901.html https://www.digit.in/press-release/gaming/indian-esports-championships-cafe-warz-is-here-32247.html

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