Esports in India is on the verge of exploding. The only thing holding it back is limited regulation that makes it difficult for vested interests to operate in the country. A new report by KPMG shows that eSports is gaining momentum in India as high-speed internet and mobile technologies become more widely available.
With 560 million Internet users, India is the second-largest Internet consumer. It also has a rapidly growing gaming industry worth $930 million, the number one globally.
Massive Viewing Numbers
The gaming user base exceeded the 365 million mark in March 2020, reports KPMG’s Media & Entertainment. More than 380 million people have watched sport online and in person. The World Finals of the most popular sports game, League of Legends 2016, saw more people (43 million viewers) than the NBA Finals seven years ago (31 million viewers).
While the actual rankings of the most popular sports games change from month to month, the ten most viewed games on the dominant streaming site Twitch remain constant. While there has been a significant disruption in the physical world of sports (thanks mainly to Covid), eSports have thrived.
An Essential part of Future Entertainment
Esports is an essential pillar for the future growth of sports and entertainment. It lies at the beautiful intersection of sport, entertainment, and technology, and nations like India pave the way. As digital consumption becomes more widespread, so too it makes the demand for diverse content. Mobile users make up an overwhelming 85% of the industry, followed by PC users (11%) and tablet users (4%). Inc42 found that the revenue of India’s major gambling and sports companies was $68 million in 2019. Krafton, a popular game developer of titles such as PUBG Mobile, has invested $22.4 million in Indian sportswear company Nodwin Gaming. In addition, the two companies have announced that the company is seeking a presence in its key overseas markets.
Inspired by the rapid growth of the Indian sports sector, Animesh Agarwal, a sports professional, decided to go beyond gaming and become an entrepreneur. He split his time between playing for talent agencies and participating in invitational tournaments around the world.
To Invest needs Guidance
Manish Agarwal, CEO of Nazara Technologies, told INC42 that clarity is crucial for the sector about the policy framework which will apply to operators across the country. He added that the lack of centralised regulation in the state had led to uncertainty among those involved. Agarwalk said discussions were underway with stakeholders to create such a body.