Esports is clearly making a big impact in the Indian sporting industry, especially with the sport having been legitimized at the 2022 Asian Games. In the next half-decade Esports is set to become an INR 1000+ crore industry, with a whopping 24% CAGR.
But, there are certain challenges ahead that need to be dealt with. The realm of Esports is fairly new to the general Indian consumer, and to turn it into a household name such as cricket or football, the industry needs to take calculated steps.
Regional Level Infrastructure
NODWIN, one of the few established Esports organizations in India, held a tournament that was televised on the Star Sports channel over a week to more than 10 million viewers. But, in order for the sport to reach the grassroots of Indian society, there needs to be regional tournaments. This will allow the audience to convert from casual viewers to fans, and any sport needs authentic fans to grow.
There are certain startups such as Gamerji that have taken up this cause. With more organizations entering into the sector, the picture in the grassroots will soon change, bringing about larger change.
Creating the Right Network
India is a sport-rich nation. From Kabaddi to Cricket, there are sports fans of all types, ages, and genres. For Esports to achieve this level it needs to tap into the network of content distributors via broadcasting and journalism. While a level of this network has been achieved, it is nowhere as strong as other established sports.
With the help of a strong network, Esports can truly become a full-time career opportunity like various other sports categories in India. But, the overall industry needs to set up a strong flow of both digital and non-digital content via the various networks that persist in the country.
The culture of video gaming has been looked down upon by Indians for a long time. While many sports are promoted by educational institutions, Esports is not. Add to that the trouble of mistaking Esports for online betting, and we have a large audience that would actively shun young minds from the industry.
This is where the education sector and the government need to work hand-in-hand to create knowledge regarding the industry and also help inculcate healthy behavior among Esports fans. The Indian digital gaming industry is all set to take off, and Esports will be a major factor if a certain level of societal change can be achieved.
There are also many other steps along the way that need to be achieved, such as setting up governing bodies, allocating budgets for training programs, etc. But for now, the Indian Esports team is already bagging medals at the Asian Games, and they are making the country proud by bringing representation to a completely new sector.
Manager Research & Editor, Industry Media Solution Group – CyberMedia Research