The year 2021 saw a spike in Indian gaming and esports. India’s $1.8 billion gaming market is growing rapidly on the back of mobile-first games, due to the country being home to over 430 million mobile gamers. That number is expected to grow to 650 million by 2025. When COVID-19 halted traditional sporting events in India, the esports & gaming industry quickly pivoted and offered virtual entertainment. With entire populations staying home, online viewership has skyrocketed. The credit for this majorly goes to the rise in the young population, increased use of smartphones, easy availability and accessibility of technology and internet, rising investment by capitalists, and appropriate distribution network. Publishers like Garena, Riot, Krafton, etc. are actively involved in growing esports in India.
“The year 2021 has laid down a decent foundation for the future of the Indian video games and the esports industry; 2021 can be called the ‘inflection point of Indian video games; esports industry,’” said Lokesh Suji, director of the Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation. “For Esports Federation of India, our key focus is to ensure that we identify the best of the talent to represent India at Asian Games 2022 [scheduled in the month of Sept 2022 in Hangzhou], China, which have eight esports game titles to compete for and this time esports is a medal sport. We are already in the finalization stage with a lot of brands who have shown interest to partner up with ESFI for this prestigious event and for the glory of the country.”
Despite the pandemic, several tournaments saw some of their biggest prize pools ever while people all over the country tuned in at home for these virtual events. The uptick in viewership led to increased sponsorship ploys and has really invigorated the scene. 2022 is still young, and it’s unclear what will come of COVID-19, but India seems to have found a way to work through the pandemic. Hopefully, this year will be even more successful.
(All information was provided by InsideSport)