eSports to See a Huge Growth in the Coming Years in India
Fortnite, Call of Duty Mobile, Battlegrounds Mobile India Bring a Continuous Surge in eSports across the Country
High prize pools and the numerous tournaments held in India in the last few years by eSport gaming titles such as Fortnite, Call of Duty Mobile, Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) and the like have played a significant role in promoting electronic sports culture in the country, leading to a massive and continuous surge of this gaming genre.
The Indian eSports market has yet to make it past its nascent stage, but it is already set to grow significantly over the coming years and reach a value of ₹1,100 crore by 2025. Currently, it is far behind mature markets such as China, South Korea, Japan, and the US, and takes the 16th position in the world in terms of generated revenues.
“India has a rich legacy in sports, and gaming enthusiasts are always looking for new avenues to enhance their skills and showcase their mastery. While online gaming was extremely popular even before, post-pandemic, there has been a significant shift in the number of people participating in esports,” the Managing Director of MediaTek India Anku Jain said. “With global tournaments and prize pools, esports is attracting people from across age groups.”
Technological Developments and Penetration also Speed up eSports Growth
The affordable segment of the smartphone sales portfolio has been growing in power, storage capacity, display resolution and other specs, and now good-quality dedicated gaming mobile devices are on offer. At the same time, the penetration of smartphones and high-speed mobile data plans has been growing at a fast rate, especially in semi-urban and rural India. These factors have been speeding up the growth of mobile-based eSports in the country and expanding the whole gaming ecosystem including professional athletes, casual players, influencers, game developers and designers, and tournament organisers.
“The new generation of mobile-first gamers wants to play anytime and anywhere. As a result, mobile gaming is gaining ground rapidly. There have been other developments too that have contributed to this shift – smartphones have become powerful, accessible, and affordable; mobile games are being designed to rival the experience of PC games; and broadband connectivity is becoming pervasive, and mobility has become important,” said Sachin Kalantri, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Qualcomm India.
“Unsurprisingly, more and more publishers are designing high end games for mobiles and OEMs are designing phones with features and accessories that enable them to also be used as mobile gaming devices,” Kalantri added.
Gaming experience and adoption figures have been improving from a number of other technological advances as well.
“Gamers can benefit from MediaTek’s powerful APU enabling new AI-based imaging enhancements along-with low-latency 5G and Wi-Fi connections, intelligent multi-network balancing, and resource management maximizing battery life,” Anku Jain pointed out.
Popularity of Betting on eSports also on the Rise
Two out of the Top 5 most popular sports for online betting in India are electronic sports that have taken a distinguished place among physical disciplines. Wagering on FIFA tournaments is in third position accounting for 7 percent of total bets and eCricket is in fourth with a 5 percent score.
Naturally, king cricket dominates the chart with an overwhelming 68 percent of the overall bet count, followed by football at 11 percent, and the fifth position is taken by tennis with 3 percent.
These insights are revealed by a recently published report by Esse N Videri Media (ENV Media) titled “Sports Betting Trends in a Mobile First India”. The study analyses primary data provided by casino and sportsbook platform PureWin’s own Business Intelligence (BI) analytics, together with publicly available sources and datasets.
The popularity of fast withdrawal betting sites that offer eSport markets is likely to grow further, as “present-day gamers and bettors have brought online and mobile gaming to the forefront of economic and social attention,” the analysts at ENV Media wrote.
“Betting on eSports is almost in direct competition with betting on real-life sports events. Played on mobiles, desktops or other consoles, eCricket matches allow human players to join AI teams, and tournaments gather pace and media exposure. Competitions include leagues, one-off matches and other series with professional or semi-professional competitors.”
With their essentially skill-based nature and being backed up by tech advancements, eSports may well serve as a gateway for long-awaited and needed regulation over the gaming and gambling industry in India.
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