India’s Esports Landscape-Key Players, Events, and Growth Factors 2023

The Esports Industry in India

The eSports industry is one of the fastest growing industries in India. It has the potential to grow into a billion dollar industry by 2025, creating more than 11,000 direct and indirect jobs in this sector. Currently, there are more than 250 gaming studios in the country and the number is expected to continue to grow over the next few years.

With the right foundational elements in place, the esports industry in India can become a significant contributor to the country’s digital gaming economy. These include specialised gaming venues, high-speed internet connections, gaming PCs and gaming consoles for gaming competitions. Developing and nurturing talent is also key to attracting players.

India's Esports Landscape-Key Players, Events, and Growth Factors

A large number of gamers in the country are aspiring to turn their passion into a career, and eSports is an excellent opportunity for this. As a result, it is becoming a popular sport among teenagers across the country.

Currently, there are around 150 thousand eSports players in the country and this is likely to increase as more and more gamers begin to take up eSports. This trend is being driven by factors such as the growing popularity of games such as DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike as well as the increasing revenue from eSports tournaments.

What India should do to face the challenge?

In order to ensure that the eSports industry in India grows and flourishes, there are a few things that need to be addressed immediately. The first thing that the government must do is to set up a specialised gaming school and train programs for gamers. This will provide the foundation for a strong community and enable gamers to hone their skills and become competitive at an early age.

Second, the government should make eSports a part of the curriculum in schools. This will create a demand for specialised training and will help the industry grow. The government should also support the growth of eSports by funding specialised gaming schools, training programs and events for gamers to participate in.

Finally, the government needs to create a framework for regulating the esports industry. This is an essential step to deter unscrupulous operators and ensure the safety of gamers.

Aside from this, the government must support a number of initiatives to promote the esports industry in India. These include building a specialised gaming infrastructure, providing gamers with high-speed internet connections and introducing gaming PCs and consoles that will make gaming a more enjoyable experience for all gamers.

Famous Indian Esports Players

eSports is a modern day sport that involves two or more players arranged into teams and competing against each other using video games.

It is a growing industry in India with an estimated 150,000 professional and semi-professional esports players.

With a number of esports tournaments taking place throughout the year, Indian esports players are able to make huge sums of money by winning a lucrative cash prize.


India's Esports Landscape-ScoutOP

Tanmay Singh, aka ScoutOP, is a famous Indian esports player. He is a professional gamer and YouTuber known for his exceptional gaming skills, quick reflexes, and sharp shooting abilities.

He started his PUBG Mobile career in 2018 and is now one of the most skilled players in India. He has won several official PUBG Mobile tournaments and has an impressive fan following.

He started out his PUBG Mobile career with team R4W and then went on to play for Team IND. He went on to take second place at the PUBG Mobile Club Open – Spring Split: India 2019.

Jonathan Amaral

India's Esports Landscape-Jonathan Amaral

Jonathan Amaral is a famous Indian esports player who is known for his skills in PUBG Mobile and Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI). He is also well-known for his unique gameplay style. He is one of the members of the esports team Godlike.

In 2018, Jonathan Amaral started streaming on YouTube at the suggestion of his friend Ghatak. He gained 1 million subscribers in July 2020 and is expected to have 4 million by the end of 2021.

As esports is growing in India, more professional players are opting to have formal contracts with esports organisations and teams for participation in leagues and tournaments. However, this needs to be done in a fair and equitable manner where both parties have equal bargaining power.

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Ankit Panth

India's Esports Landscape-Ankit Panth

Ankit Panth is one of the most famous Indian esports players. He started his gaming career at age 15, and he is now a pro gamer and a role model for youngsters of his country.

He grew up playing Counter-Strike 1.6, and he later went on to play Counter-Strike Global Offensive professionally. He founded two gaming teams named Warriors of Chaos (WOC) and Made in Mumbai (MiM), which helped him earn money.

Eventually, Ankit teamed up with Aakash ‘RiX’ More and they formed a player-owned team called Brutality. They won their first major tournament. After a switch to CS:GO, they won more and more tournaments.

Saransh Jain

The growing popularity of eSports in India has resulted in many people turning into professional gamers. These gamers are making a big impact in the world of gaming.

One of the most famous Indian eSports players is Saransh Jain. He is a 20-year-old from Pune who has achieved a lot in the gaming industry.

He recently won the eISL and is the first Indian gamer to achieve this. He is also a member of M42 Esports and is currently the #1 player in Asia South.

The FIFA eSports scene is on the rise and it is becoming a serious career option for many gamers in India. These players have a lot to offer the world of eSports and are constantly pushing their limits.

Animesh (8bit)

Animesh aka 8bit Thug is an esports player and founder of 8bit Creatives. He also runs S8ul esports, an organization that helps aspiring gamers.

He has a strong presence on social media and his YouTube channel has more than 1 million subscribers. He is one of the top Indian esports players and a well-known personality in India’s gaming community.

Suraj Majumdar(Neyoo)

Suraj Majumdar is one of the most popular esports players in India. He plays for GodLike eSports and is famous for his amazing fragging skills.

Indian eSports has seen a tremendous growth over the last few years, both in terms of audience and revenue. In fact, the industry has been growing so rapidly that brands are beginning to invest in the sector to stay relevant in the future.

However, there has been a lot of controversy recently as some teams have accused other players of teaming up against them. Several professional eSports personalities have come forward to share their thoughts about the situation.

Esports Events That Indian Players Shine

As esports events get more and more mainstream, Indian gamers have started to shine. This is a positive move that can only strengthen the gaming industry in the country.

The recent announcement by the government that esports is included in national multi-sports events will be welcome news for the gaming fraternity. It will help the sector in a big way by bringing it on par with other sports like cricket and football.

1. Garena Free Fire

Indian players are making waves in the world of esports. They are tearing down barriers, and breaking records in a fascinating new era that is changing the video game industry forever.

One of the most popular esports events is Garena Free Fire, which features the battle royale mobile game Free Fire. It was the most downloaded mobile game in 2020, according to App Annie1, and has a global following.

The upcoming Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore will feature 22 teams from 14 regions to compete for a US$2,000,000 prize pool, one of the biggest in mobile game esports. The tournament will also have open qualifiers, closed qualifiers, and league stages.

The top-performing teams will take home a total of INR 35 lakhs, while the second and third-placed teams will receive INR 15 lakhs and INR 7 lakhs, respectively. The remaining prize money will be distributed among the teams that finish in the fourth through twelfth places.

2. League of Legends

League of Legends is one of the most popular esports games in the world. The game’s main mode, Summoner’s Rift, involves two teams of five players battling in player-versus-player combat. Each team controls a “champion,” which has unique abilities and play styles. Players will need multiple tips to handle the LOL matches.

Organizing strategies and understanding the game’s mechanics can be daunting for new players. They need to learn how to pick the best champion for each match, how to purchase items that increase the champion’s power and how to understand their role.

As with most competitive esports, League of Legends requires constant practice and commitment. The game is also known for its steep learning curve, as well as its time-draining task of figuring out what “build” a champion should have and how to use it effectively.

In India, tournament organisers like ESL and Dreamhack have made an impact on the scene. The country is also home to endemic organisers like Skyesports and NODWIN Gaming.

3. Dota 2

Dota 2 is one of the biggest esports titles in the world and is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. It is a highly complex strategy game with a huge learning curve, but it also feels incredibly rewarding when you master it.

It is a competitive multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) with over 100 heroes to choose from, each with unique capabilities and personality. Players form teams of five and fight to destroy their opponent’s Ancient base.

In Dota 2, each hero is able to attack enemies, empower allies or gain experience that makes them stronger over time. The game has a huge learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be playing it for hours on end.

Several Indian Dota 2 teams have participated in major tournaments, including the Indian team that won bronze at the Commonwealth Esports Championship 2022 (CEC 2022) last year in Birmingham. This win is a landmark in India’s esports history and will encourage more young gamers to try their hand at international tournaments.

4. Counter-Strike Global Offensive

Counter-Strike Global Offensive is an esports game released in 2012 that remains one of the most popular PC games in the world. It is a multiplayer tactical first-person shooter developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment.

The game is based on the fourth installment in the Counter-Strike series and reimagines the franchise with a fresh take on the genre. While it lacks some traditional features of FPS games, it has a large fanbase and has a strong esports scene with many teams competing in professional leagues.

It is also a popular subject in the media and has spawned multiple scandals, such as coaching bugs that allowed team coaches to spy on their opponents’ in-game locations. However, despite these issues, the game still stands as one of the most played PC titles and remains immune to changing trends and genre innovation.

The Indian esports scene has seen a recent rise in popularity, but it does not match the levels of skill and perseverance that are present at global tournaments. It also lacks the stability and work routines of international teams.

Final Thought

The eSports industry is rapidly gaining traction in the country and has already started to rival sports leagues in terms of revenue. In addition, a significant increase in viewership has been seen for eSports tournaments on broadcasting platforms.

Moreover, a number of new eSports titles have been launched and the number of Indian eSports teams have grown significantly. These include DOTA 2, PUBG Mobile, StarCraft II and Counter Strike.

The eSports industry in India is a growing one with an estimated 1.5 million players and 85 million viewers by FY 2025. This will be a major source of revenue for broadcasters and brands, organizers and publishers. However, it faces regulatory challenges and uncertainty in certain states. Hence, it is important to have an industry nodal body that helps with clarity and regulation of this industry.

In addition, the industry needs to be recognized as a legitimate form of entertainment. The government should consider this a priority to promote the esports industry in the country and attract investments.