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Cultural shift, govt support will help expand e-sports ecosystem in India: experts

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Gaming in has often been perceived as something that 'nerds' engage in, slouched for hours on their computers. But this is set to change with games like PUBG becoming a household name and global events like One making their way into India, say experts.

Industry experts believe that is at an inflexion point where are set to grow manifold driven by trends like increasing affordability of devices, enhanced data bandwidth and growing acceptance of gaming being a feasible career option.

Electronic sports or refers to competitions using video games such as multiplayer video game challenges.

"The market for in is getting bigger and not only is the number of players growing but also viewership. There have been a confluence of factors like improvement in infrastructure, a large young population, rising income and affluence," India and MD (Sales and Marketing Group) Prakash Mallya said.

According to a report by FICCI-EY, stood at Rs 49 billion in 2018 and is forecast to grow to Rs 120 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 35.4 per cent. The number of is estimated to have been about 278 million in 2018.

While the segment is dominated by mobile gaming, strong growth is being seen in PC and console gaming as well.

According to Nodwin Gaming Akshath Rathee, the ecosystem can be further grown in India with regulatory support from the government and cultural shift in terms of bringing in acceptance for gaming as a career choice.

Rathee explained that apart from being a gamer, there are several other options available like being a commentator, influencer, coder, voice artists among others.

These jobs offer salaries between Rs 50,000-2,00,000, he said adding that gaming is not about being hooked to the PC all day anymore.

"Like any other sport, say cricket, one has to train and can't be practising 19 hours a day. There has to be some form of self-regulation. There are skills involved (for e-sports) and one needs to understand that," he said when asked about complaints of users getting addicted to games like PUBG.

The potential of these tournaments can also be understood when one looks at the prize money involved. Cobx Gaming, at the Cobx Masters (an e-sports tournament) had announced a prize pool of about Rs 1.4 crore. Similarly, 12 Dota 2 teams will battle over a USD 300,000 (around Rs 2.07 crore) prize pool at the One (powered by Intel) slated to be held in between April 19-21.

Interestingly, 23-year old had won the bronze medal for India in the demonstration sport at in 2018.

(Private Labels, Electronics, Furniture) Adarsh Menon said the has seen a strong growth in sale of gaming devices on its platform from across the country.

"The demand (for gaming PCs) isn't restricted to the metros but also coming in from smaller cities," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 10 2019. 18:05 IST