Mumbai: In India, everybody is equally obsessed with sports, be it cricket, kabbadi or hockey and India has also emerged as a leader in the sports gaming category. The online gaming experience is growing and has fascinated the interest of millennials like never before.
The Indian digital gaming industry is growing rapidly with names like Dream11, Mobile Premier League, Junglee Games and are also making their mark globally.
According to GroupM’s ESP Properties – Sporting Nation VII report, The number of professional gamers (earning money in tournaments) has tremendously surged from a mere 20,000 in 2018 to 80,000 in 2019 and expected to reach 500,000 by the end of 2020.
India has over 700 million people under the age of 25 which also happens to be the ideal age group (12-25) of regular gamers globally, from 2000 professional and semi-professional teams in 2018, the numbers rose quickly to 16,000 in 2019 and are expected to touch 50,000+ in 2020.
The rapid growth of the industry attracted big brands and large sponsorships. Giants like Amazon, Flipkart, Red Bull, PepsiCo took great interest in the industry and went on to develop and run several IPs. NODWIN Gaming, the leading e-sports company in India executed the Amazon GameOn Masters, one of the biggest casual mobile games tournaments with a prize pool of ` 5 Lacs in 2019.
Growth of Viewership
Viewership is a key factor in the growth and popularity of e-sports. With the rising number of gamers and viewers, several popular OTT platforms initially took interest in streaming esports tournaments, Hotstar and Voot are one of the first platforms to do so.
As per the reports, 2020 is expected to have more than 8 broadcast platforms that will include television, OTT services, and live streaming platforms. India’s top youth entertainment television channel MTV airs 2 hours of e-sports content every week.
The peak viewership of e-sports matches is expected to reach millions this year with names like SonyLIV, MX Player and Twitch to the addition.
The boom of e-sports gave a stronghold to various gaming divisions of popular PC hardware brands like OMEN HP, HyperX, ASUS ROG, Intel and Western Digital which are active sponsors for a number of e-sports tournaments and events.
The report says that 2020 looks like a healthy year for the gamers, organizers and associated brands alike as with the evolution of e-sports, the industry in India will penetrate the social structure and soon be a part of mainstream entertainment.