The Indian E-Gaming market is drawing rich interest. Latest entrant is COBX Gaming, which has announced its first set of planned investment in the Indian E-Sports. The COBX Indian E-Sports Championship. The tournament features two game titles – CS:GO & DotA 2 and gets launched online from 28th of April. This will be the fourth major announcement for E-Sports in India.
IMG- Reliance, according to InsideSport sources, too is planning to enter the ESport market soon. There are at least three other players working on their plans to exploit the market, which is growing at 43% and tipped to touch US$ 1 billion (Rupees 6,400 crore) globally in year 2017. In India, Ronnie Screwvala’s USport has also announced an E-Sports League with an estimated investment of Rs 89 to 100 crore. Nazara Games will be investing around Rs 135 crore on their proposed ESports League in India.
Nazara has also tied up with IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore for their cricket e-game. The initial chapter is already out with a Virat Kohli game.
ESports startup eGamers Arena has earlier this year signed an exclusive partnership with World Cyber Arena (WCA), one of the largest gaming championships worldwide. The partnership will grant eGamers Arena exclusive rights to host the national qualifiers in India for the championship that will be held in China at the end of 2017. At stake is a $28 million (Rs 180 crore) jackpot that winners of online games like DoTA2, Counter Strike and Overwatch get to take home.
According to website esportsearnings.com, the total prize money in E-Sports in 2016 was over $93 million (Rs 600 crore) and average player earned $6,962 (Rs 4.5 lakh)
Last year in India, couple of smart brands like Mt. Dew and Flipkart realized the potential of E-Sports and (organised) tournaments like DewArena, Flipkart Gaming online Championship, IeSC, ROG Masters and ESL India which cumulatively had a prize pool of approximately Rs. 77 lakh, according to a tech.economictimes report.
Online gaming is recognised by the governments of nearly 14 countries, and more than 18 FIFA Clubs like Manchester United which already own E-Sports teams. For the players of these games, E-Sport is just like physical sports industry -inviting team sponsorships, coaches, data analysts, commentators and brand endorsements. In more advanced countries, players have their own coaches and data analysts as well.
A report from Deloitte Global reported a growth of 25% in eSports’ global revenues in 2016 to reach $500 million (Rs 3,200 core) from $400 million (Rs 2,560 crore) in 2015. Whereas, Newzoo has predicted that the global eSports market will reach $1.2 billion (Rs 7,680 crore) in 2018.
The rapid growth in the investment flow in India shows the country, with a vibrant community of gamers, is capitalising on the trend.