Esports is a video gaming competition in which individual players or teams pit their wits against each other. League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, and Fortnite are some of the most popular video games in esports. Professional competitions usually attract the attention of millions of spectators all over the world.
The esports industry keeps on gaining momentum and that can be partially attributed to streaming services like Twitch that allow fans to watch the competition in real time. It is a common misconception that video competitions are a form of gambling.
But the truth is that professional athletes rely on their skills to win. Following that stream of thoughts, we can safely say that esports shares more common things with traditional sports than with gambling.
A growing number of countries have embraced the esports industry. India is a developing country that has great potential to become a global economic force. According to a guide about esports gambling and regulations, India’s esports market has grown exponentially in recent years thanks to broadband Internet and technology.
What the Figures Show?
Based on the information published by Esports Earnings, India ranks in 60th place when it comes to the highest earnings by country. In the 2021 fiscal year, it was reported that India’s esports market reached INHR3 billion. According to experts, its size will grow to INR11 billion by the end of the 2025 fiscal year. Roughly estimated, there are around 60,000 esports teams in India at the moment and that number is expected to grow to 250,000 by 2025.
The viewership is estimated to increase from 17 million to 85 million viewers by 2025. According to a report published by EY, the esports market will create more than 11,000 jobs in India by 2025. Furthermore, it will generate a revenue of INR14 billion from in-app purchases.
Streaming ad revenue will reach INR6.5 billion by 2025, accounting for the lion’s share of the revenues generated from the esports market. Unsurprisingly, revenues from tournament sponsorship and licensing will also increase. Industry experts state that the esports market will boost the Indian economy by over INR100 billion in the coming four years.
In 2021, there are more than 14 esports streaming platforms but that number is expected to reach over 20 by 2025.
Why India’s Esports Market is on the Rise?
As we already mentioned above, access to high-speed Internet is one of the conditions that paved the way for the development of the esports market in India. Another important factor is the spread of mobile technology. According to a graph published by Statista, the smartphone penetration rate in India reached 54% in 2020.
Furthermore, 65% of the population is under 35 years old. Many young people in India believe that becoming an esports professional is a good career option. The growth of the esports market is further driven by the constantly increasing prize pool. It was estimated that it is to reach a staggering size of INR1 billion by 2025. What is more, new games are regularly introduced, attracting the attention of a growing number of fans.
Esports Regulations in India
Currently, India has no specific law that governs the esports industry throughout the country. However, authorities realized that the lack of a regulatory framework is a hindrance to the development of this proliferating market. As a result, the country’s legislators started considering the establishment of esports regulations.
In an interview for The Hindu Times, the chairman of the Federation of India Fantasy Sports, Bimal Julka, said that a self-governing body and comprehensive regulatory framework is what the esports market needs to deploy its full potential. Indian Sports Federation president Vinod Kumar Varma added that the regulation should protect players’ best interests.
Such a self-governing body is to assist ESIC in restraining cheating activities such as match-fixing. The government has already made the first step toward regulating the esports industry. Last year, the NITI Aayog presented the Guiding Principles for the Uniform National-level Regulation of Online Fantasy Sports Platforms. This laid the foundations of the changes which the esports industry in India is currently facing.