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Indian esports teams will compete at the Hangzhou Asian Games in 2023

By Naman Alok | Jan 23, 2023 | 5 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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By incorporating eSports in multi-sport events, the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has made a long-awaited development that would provide the industry with a much-needed boost. The Ministry’s latest amendment enables those involved in eSports to dream big and stake a claim as a legitimate sport seeking the same benefits as other sports. Esports has long been confused to belong to the same category as iGaming, which includes fantasy sports, teen Patti, rummy, poker, online gaming, gambling, and betting, among other things. Indian esports teams will compete at the Hangzhou Asian Games in 2023

Due to a number of factors, including the mistaken link with iGaming and the seeming lack of physical activity, it took longer than expected for eSports to be recognised as a “sport.” The stakeholders in eSports, on the other hand, refer to its competitors as “athletes,” describing it as a sport on par with shooting or chess. Beyond its acceptance as a sport in other parts of the world, the inclusion of eSports as a demo event in the 2018 Asian Games has given it more credence.

The difference between gaming and eSports, according to Lokesh Suji, director of the eSports Federation of India (ESFI) and vice-president of the Asian Esports Federation, is one of the key effects of this legislation.

He said the largest barrier to eSports is parental consent, according to experts. A person’s parents used to complain if they were rehearsing for a tournament before December 23. The government’s backing is now more apparent to parents.

Since gambling and all card games were not viewed favourably, he thinks there will also be a change in perception.

Suzy further aided, the legality of drinking begs the question: do we promote its use? No. Most companies want to go into eSports, but many think of it as Teen Patti, gambling, fantasy sports, and other such things. A brand can create a long-term eSports plan even though they may have only done limited activations to test the waters.

For the Indian athletic community, a new era has begun with the inclusion of esports in the 2018 Asian Games. For the first time, a major international athletic event recognised eSports as a competition requiring talent, passion, teamwork, physical prowess, and mental toughness, much like traditional sports. It was the contestants’ first chance to represent their countries in such a large competition, even though they weren’t competing for the gold.

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The Asian Games in 2022 will advance this, giving it legitimacy and perhaps even spurring governments to provide funding for this emerging industry. A total of six medals were up for grabs at the 2019 SEA Games, which also featured eSports. Games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Arena of Valor, Dota 2, Tekken 7, StarCraft II, and Hearthstone were among those with competitions. There will be eight medal events and two demonstration events in the Asian Games in Hangzhou in 2023.

Following is a list of the medal events:

• Arena of Valor (Asian Games version)

• Dota 2

• Dream Three Kingdoms

• EA Sports FIFA branded soccer games

• Hearthstone, 6. League of Legends

• PUBG Mobile (Asian Games version)

• Street Fighter V.

The esports exhibition matches are as follows:

• AESF Robot Masters-Powered by Migu

• AESF VR Sports-Powered by Migu

FIFA 2022, Street Fighter V, Hearthstone, League of Legends, and DOTA 2 are the five eSports games that India will compete in at the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games. It is yet unknown who will play for which team.

At the first Commonwealth Esports Championship in Birmingham in August, the Indian DOTA 2 team of Moin Ejaz, Ketan Goyal, Abhishek Yadav, Shubhnam Goli, and Vishal Vernekar took home the bronze medal. By placing second in the Asian Continental Qualifiers in August of this year, India’s Muhammad Ibrahim earned a spot in the World Cup final of the first Sim Racing (simulated racing), which was held in October.

Esports are currently becoming widely embraced all over the world, therefore their inclusion in the multi-sport category makes sense. In preparation for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will hold an Olympic eSports Week in 2023. Trophies from Dota 2 and DS. Esports’ official acceptance is the result of a multitude of factors, including the ESFI’s proactive campaigning and some impressive statistics.

According to the FICCI-EY research “Tuning into Consumer,” the online gaming market is predicted to grow to Rs 15,300 crore by 2024 and become the fourth-largest area of the Indian media and entertainment industry. According to a June 2021 EY analysis titled “The advent of esports in India,” the Indian eSports business is predicted to have an economic worth of roughly Rs 10,000 crore between now and FY2025.

According to various statistics, there were 600,000 eSports players in 2021 compared to 300,000 in 2020, and income increased by 29% from Rs 750 crore in 2020 to Rs 970 crore in 2021. Additionally, the number of teams competing in eSports increased from 60,000 in 2020 to 100,000 in 2021, and the entire prize pool surpassed Rs 20 crore in that year. According to reports, more than 70 brands made investments in eSports as of 2021, but there are now reportedly close to 100.

The entire eSports ecosystem would be impacted by the status change as well. According to the 2021 EY report, Indian game developers are expected to produce games that are better suited for eSports tournaments even though only 4% of mobile games on the Play Store come from Indian publishers. This is because they are transitioning from making social games to multiplayer games.

Since 2015, the number of gaming studios in India has increased five times. In 2021, there were over 14 eSports broadcast platforms, and that number is predicted to rise to 20 by 2025. By 2025, around 85 million unique viewers will watch eSports competitions in India, according to “The dawn of esports in India” research.

The ESFI has been vying to become the official national sports federation. They wish to put more of an emphasis on training, skill improvement, medals, attracting investors, including foreign ones, and acquiring infrastructure, such as monitors, workstations, accessories, etc. In comparison to other countries, India still has some catching up to accomplish. But given its youthful population, the expansion of mobile and data services, and a widespread preference for all things digital, eSports may very well turn into a medal-producing source.

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