Esports has witnessed a massive growth in India over a short span of time.
A recent EY (Ernst & Young) report stated that the esports industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46% to touch INR 11 billion by 2025. With the country’s esports industry growing at a faster pace than the global esports industry, India is also concentrating on growing its prize pool which is expected to grow at 66% CAGR to reach INR 1 billion by 2025.
One of the major factors behind this massive growth is that esports is no longer a metro phenomenon. For the first time in history, rural India has a higher internet penetration than metros with 227 million active internet users, which is 10% higher than urban India at 205 million, as per the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
This internet and mobile penetration helps bring a fragmented market together, making esports a major driving force for the gaming industry in India. Now it is up to the many stakeholders of the sector to ensure its bright future materialises.
Esports competitions in India and internationally are now broadcast in many Indian languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, and Punjabi apart from English to make the sport further accessible and inclusive across the length and breadth of the country. This growth will be further propelled by the increase in prize money, more games, localization, regional adaptation and growth of smartphone, laptop, and broadband infrastructure.
Government bodies will also play an instrumental role in taking esports in India to the next level by setting the right framework to promote participation. All of this and more will help people understand the depth behind this form of gaming, and also help sensitize parents about the virtues of esports as a viable career option. It’s not just about those who actively play the sport but also about the trainers, coaches, casters, commentators, and many others who make up the support ecosystem.
India is steadily building the infrastructure for the esports industry with gaming houses and esports academies being created. Brands and companies are pumping in financial investments, and ramping up sponsorships, contributing to the largeness of the sport.
Globally, Europe, USA and Korea are the leading markets for esports, but India, with its huge player base and enthusiasm is catching up fast.