Indian Electronic Sports: A Multi Billion Industry with Immense Opportunities

The surging popularity of electronic sports (esports) among the youngsters is an imprint left behind by COVID-19 in the sport arena.  Confined to homes due to the pandemic, gen next turned to esports which was accessible on the smart phones. The game’s USP has been the competitive spirit.

Esports Decoded

Video gaming and esports are often used interchangeably. Though seemingly both belong to the same genre, there exist fundamental differences. Briefly speaking, if the former is the ‘gully cricket’, the latter is the IPL event.

** Includes online gaming. Difference between the online and video gaming is that while online game is played directly on online resources, video game can be played either online and or can be downloaded or purchased and installed on devices.

Open and Closed                                                                                                                                             Esporting event can be open or closed:

  • Open Event: Any organiser can host a tournament launched by a publisher. For instance the American plat form ‘Valve’ allows organisers to simultaneously run tournaments like CSGO or Dota2.
  • Closed Event: Tournaments exclusively hosted by registered franchises. Participation restricted to the members of the franchises. Closed events ensure participation of prominent players and have high stakes.

The Scaling

The level of scaling of the Indian esports ecosystem has been phenomenal.

  Gained popularity in 2020  INR 3 bn. industry in FY2021  Expected revenue INR 11bn FY2025

 (Revenue sources: Tournament hosting, media rights and prize pool)

  1.5 million professional players  85 million viewers  20 + broadcast platforms (by 2025.)
  • Planning for big-ticket events like Asian Games. (Tirth Mehta, esports player from India, won bronze in Asian Games- 2018.)
  • Expected to create 11,000 jobs and contribute INR 100 bn. to economy (Through taxes and levies on investments, prize money and software development.)

What the Industry Looks For?

  • Regulatory support: Recognizing esports, creating a nodal esports body.
  • Financial support: Provision of SEZ, grants and incentives for new entrants.


India is an emerging market for esports. With the average age of esports fan being 26, it is a fetching choice for the brands to connect with the young audience. The investment and career opportunities are immense in this sector.

Learners’ Opportunity

In an intense and rapidly evolving business environment, winners are those who clinch the new opportunities. To learn more about emerging business opportunities, check our program @

Discussion Questions

  1. Which one do you think would be the best bet for an esports startup? Seizing the direct opportunities like launching a team or tournament or supplemental engagements like sponsorship or selling gaming gears? Why?
  • Do you think esports in India can grow only at the cost of conventional games like cricket or football? Why?

Key Words

#esports #competition #professionalplayers #o

Source Article Ernst & Young LLP Media and Entertainment Report, Ready. Set. Game ON! June 2021 Esports in India                                                              

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