eSports in India as an emerging market
Take a look at the recent IPL 2018 Cricket Tournament held last month in India. The team ‘Chennai Super Kings’ won that tournament and got a total prize money of 20 Crore INR, which is roughly $3 Million USD. Meanwhile, The International 2017 Dota 2 Championship held last year had a prize pool of $24.6 Million USD, with the winning team ‘Team Liquid’ getting $10.8 Milion USD. The difference in numbers is baffling, and that brings us to the topic of ‘Esports in India’.
As you can observe, eSports is a very booming industry – it had a total market worth of $1.5 Billion in 2017. The global eSports revenue is estimated to grow up to $2.3 Billion by 2022, reports the digital research firm Superdata.
Let’s talk about the eSports Industry in India now. Of course, eSports isn’t as prevalent in India as compared to other countries but it’s still growing day by day and on a large scale.
International eSport Organizations are now finally considering India as an emerging market and worthy to invest in.
ESL, the world’s oldest and largest eSports company has been organizing eSports tournaments all around the world and they expanded their operations to India as well, 2 years ago. In 2016, they changed the course of the Indian eSports scene majorly with introduction of the ESL India Premiership 2016 with a prize pool of 42 Lakhs INR or $64,000 USD. This eSports tournament was the biggest ever at that time, all over the South Asia region!
“Considering the rich history of eSports in India, ESL has been eager to host mega events of this scale for quite some time. The Premiership will create history while setting standards for future tournaments.” This is what Ralf Reichert, Managing Director of ESL said with introduction of the ESL India Premiership 2016.
And now in the present, the ESL India Premiership 2018 is presently going on (almost Day 60 now) and has a prize pool of ₹1 Crore INR or $150,000 USD.
Another major eSports event to be held in 2018 is the COBX Masters 2018, organised by COBX Gaming. This too has a prize pool of ₹1 Crore INR, coming at the same position as the ESL India Premiership 2018. This eSports Tournament is being held all over the South East Asia region, and the finals will be held in India. COBX Gaming earlier had a tournament with a ₹10 Lakh INR Prize Pool. Before that, they also announced that they will be investing ₹66 Crore INR or $10 Million USD in the Indian eSports market, and they surely didn’t disappoint.
UCypher’s first season held last year in 2017 had a prize pool or ₹50 Lakh INR. This event was premiered on Indian TV at MTV’s channel and other platforms really popularized the competitive gaming scene in India. Ronnie Screwvala, founder of USports aims to make UCypher a Premier eSports League in India. Many other eSports tournaments are being held all over India at schools, gaming cafes, etc.
eSports is growing at a fast rate in India – many of these companies and eSports Organizations – COBX Gaming, ESL India, UCypher along with others give a promising future to the Indian eSports Market. AFK Gaming reported that 2017 was a remarkable year for Indian eSports, with a steady growth being observed since 2016. The total collective prize pool money awarded to players of major eSports Tournaments held in India was reported to be around ₹2 Crore INR or $320,000 USD by AFK Gaming back in January.
And now, with not one but two ₹1 Crore INR Tournaments already lined up for 2018, Indian eSports is surely growing at an expotential rate.
This recent introduction of OpTic India’s CS:GO Team combined with the promising and rapidly growing industry of Indian eSports will surely attract more and more International eSports organizations. We all can hence expect more to come and in the coming years, eSports can be expected to become a viable career in India.