“The World’s 2.7 Billion Gamers will spend $159.3 billion on games in 2020; the market will surpass $200 billion by 2023”1
What is Electronic Sport?
The electronic sports (e-sport) is one among the sectors that see a demand surge amid the devastating pandemic. During the confinement, gaming becomes the only form of leisure for the people other than the OTT platforms.2Simply put; e-sport is an organised multiplayer online game competition. The completion will be between professional players at individual level or as teams. Enthusiasts can either participate in the games or watch the live telecast. 2
If we see the viewership ain 2019, there were 245 million casual viewers of esports and 198 million enthusiasts, making the total audience 443 million. In 2020, there were 272 million occasional viewers and 223 million enthusiasts. So, the total audience size grew to 496 million, almost half a billion esports followers.
E-sport is gaining foot-hold in India much faster. As on December 2020 the number of viewers for the electronic sports form was 17 million and is expected to reach 130 million by 2025.2The factors that favour the e-sporting popularity in India is its large youth population(largest in the world), evolving broadband infrastructure and affordability of the people. Over 60% of the audience come from 21-35 age groups. Various global gaming firms like Activision, Garena and Supercell are already present in India.2PUBG which was closed down due to government’s clampdown last year is poised for a re-launch very soon. According to an account about 3,000 gaming tournaments were conducted in India during 2020.3
- Career Option: The increase in commercial interest is spurring greater interest in e-sports as a viable career option. The rapid pace of growth of e-sports is prompting many players turn entrepreneurs and own gaming agencies.2
- Advertisement Opportunities: When the advertising budgets were cut universally in 2020, the percentage contribution for e-sports advertisement has gone up. This opens up career prospects for ad agencies.2
- Investment Opportunities: Like other sporting events, streaming platforms and brand sponsorship provide regular revenue models for investors. Brands like Airtel, Dell, Acer, Coca-Cola, Tech Mahindra and Oppo are already into sponsorships. Small ‘players’ too can participate by way of co-sponsorships, ad insertions etc. 2
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Do you think pandemic situation is the only factor that helped the popularity surge of e-sports in India? Give three reasons.