Have you ever found yourself typing “best gaming phones” while looking to buy a new phone? Is gaming one of the primary factors in your new-mobile search? If yes, then you are not alone. There’s an entire generation of Indians who even bypassed a desktop or a laptop, and hopped immediately on smartphones to get a taste of the web.
Being a mobile-first country, mobile gamers out-way PC gamers in India. Newzoo’s 2022 Esports report shows, in emerging markets like India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa, mobile Esports titles are predominant. Whereas if we look at developed nations such as South Korea, North America, China, Europe, and Japan, PC Esports titles are flourishing more than mobile Esports.
Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG New State, Free Fire, Fortnite and many others are among the mobile Esports titles which have created a great buzz among the people.
Because of the affordability and availability of smartphones and good internet bandwidth, gaming has gained a lot of traction in diverse regions of the country. There’s freedom that comes with mobile gaming; one can play anytime and anywhere. With PC gamers, this is not a possibility, making mobile gaming more accessible to people.
We recently witnessed Esports becoming a medal sport in the Asian games. With that, there has also been an addition of two mobile Esports titles, PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor, along with PC titles highlighting the colossal level of mobile gaming. Now that we’ve seen where we are in terms of mobile Esports. We must be on the lookout for the latest trend in the Esports community.
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Esports making its way into academia
You know that gaming is on its way to becoming a viable career option. After the pandemic, gaming landscape in India has changed. It was unimaginable to consider a career in gaming, but now it is becoming a lucrative opportunity. So much so, many institutions are adding Esports to their curriculum.
Dalimss Sunbeam School Varanasi has become the first school in India to include Esports in the education curriculum. Whistling Woods International in Mumbai, Maharashtra, has also launched two programs: an MBA in sports and esports management and a BBA in sports and Esports management. These courses are designed to teach students about the nuances of esports and the sports industries.
Gaming still lies in the realm of unconventional careers, and people are cautious about stepping into it. Despite that, the younger generation is keen to build a career in Esports.
Percentage of women in gaming increasing
There has been a gender disparity in the gaming community. With a male predominance, women are now finally breaking into this industry and considering gaming as a profession. Many brands are focusing on marketing games and encouraging women’s participation through various campaigns.
According to “Think with Google APAC—Play like a Girl Report, 2020,” almost 18% of the total gamers in India are women, and the number of female gamers is on the rise. As more and more women are joining this sector, the preconceived notions about women in gaming are also being broken. A report by Newzoo suggests female gamers are more likely to play games on their mobile devices compared to male gamers.
Esports is going mainstream
In the last couple of years, we have seen a surge in the popularity of gaming, but it is still considered a niche sector. In recent times, we have seen Esports get a lot of traction and are finally moving towards mainstream media. For the first time, in June 2022, an Esports tournament was broadcast live on an Indian sports channel. Nodwin Gaming partnered with Star Sports to bring together a mega Esports tournament called the Battlegrounds Mobile India Masters Series. It was a three-week-long premier television tournament. It was broadcast on Star Sports 2 and also streamed on online platforms like SonyLIV, YouTube and Hotstar. Not only this, many big names in the traditional sports industry, like cricket, are big on Esports. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, former captain of the Indian cricket team, is a known PUBG lover. Yuzvendra Chahal has also admitted to his love of gaming and used to play PUBG mobile with his teammates, particularly MS Dhoni. These kinds of things act as fuel in creating space for Esports in the mainstream.
Increase in prize pools
According to a report by Statista, over INR 200 million had been awarded in total at Esports events hosted across the country as of 2021. The increase in investments in this market suggests that the prize pool will grow even more in 2022, to almost INR 300 million. The players taking part in big-league tournaments are now garnering millions of rupees. These Esports tournaments massively attract sponsors who invest hundreds of millions of rupees in them. And with the advent of fantasy platforms like FanClash, even fans can win a hefty sum of money by using their Esports knowledge and skills. They can take part in various Esports tournaments and play fantasy games like Valorant, CODM, FreeFire, DOTA, and others. It offers enticing prizes and benefits for both novice and professional players, allowing them to compete in India’s largest Esports tournaments and leagues.
According to the Federation of Electronic Sports Associations of India, India’s Esports industry is expected to reach the Rs 11 billion mark by 2025. The gaming market is now also flourishing in Tier 2 and Tier 3 locations due to increased accessibility. New content creators are sprouting from these areas, and audiences are feeling more connected to these creators, creating a diverse viewer base. The milestone of being added to the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games has also helped in raising the profile of the sport. All in all, 2022 is a significant year for the sports industry.