There is Raj Kundra owned Indian Poker League. Then, India has the Poker Sports League. Next comes the Global Player League – third poker sports league announcement in India in a year.
Kwan Entertainment and Mediarex Sports & Entertainment have inked a deal to bring Global Player League to India. Global Poker League is rechristened the Global Player League and the esports has been made part of the event.
Kwan Entertainment and Mediarex Sports & Entertainment have entered into a multi-year strategic partnership. The joint media release also made the first official acknowledgement that the Global Poker League has become the Global Player League, and that esports will feature prominently. Global Poker League has partnered with the Bollywood talent agency for poker and esports push in India.
“The two organisations are thrilled to offer Indian esports & poker enthusiasts an avenue to experience – and potentially participate in – the GPL’s innovative take on the modern sports/esports league concept,” the release has stated.
Over 260 million people are actively involved in the video gaming or esports business in India.
The inaugural edition of GPL in India will kick start with six franchises – Ahmedabad Alphas, Bengaluru Hackers, Chennai Sharks, Delhi Diehards, Kolkata Creators and Mumbai Jetsetters.
Beyond focusing specifically on poker, the deal will see the GPL’s parent company, Mediarex, promote the latest innovations in gaming. “For us, creating a fused sports, esports and gaming entertainment platform in India is a singular priority. We want to keep up with the country’s appetite for this type of entertainment and serve this audience’s needs,” Mediarex CEO Alex Dreyfus said.
While Dreyfus is still pushing the poker as a skill game angle, he’s also looking to create more links with the emergent esports economy. Innovations such as The Cube have brought virtual and interactive elements to GPL events, and this is something he believes will appeal to gamers in India.
Kwan doesn’t currently have a footing in the gaming world. However, it does represent talent across India’s entertainment sectors, including Bollywood stars such as Ranbir Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, and Sushant Singh Rajput. Kwan also represents Indian celebrities in music, sports, and fashion.
With a hand in some major markets, Kwan is now ready to embrace digital technology, which supported decisions to embrace esports and the Global Poker League.
“The Indian market is going digital at an astonishingly rapid pace and esports is not far behind,” Kwan executive Indranil Das Blah explained. “This is a great idea with a lot of potential and we’re excited to see how it develops through this partnership.”
With the Poker Sports League paving the way for team-based tournament poker in India, the GPL looks to have a strong chance of success. And now with Kwan able to pool its resources to potentially bring in major celebrities to represent the brand, we could see the GPL strike a chord with India’s gaming fanatics in 2018.