India is looking to grow within the esports community despite popular competitive games such as PUBG being banned.
The esports industry has grown massively over the years and is still finding its footing, however there is much potential for the competitive sport . India acts as one of the biggest esports markets in Asia, and intrigue has been growing for players and viewers alike.
Although, not everything has been plain sailing for the esports market in India, 2021 saw the battle royale game PUBG being banned, which is a hit title for esports fans as one of the most played competitive games. After nine months a rebranded version BGMI was released and saw a launch event that reached the highest viewership in the country.
Despite its popularity, the newly rebranded version of the game is also coming under fire from the Indian Government as the title was delisted from the Play Store and App Store — the game has not been banned and is still playable for those who already have it installed.
Commitment to the industry
To counter restricted access, or bans on popular games the focus has turned to other titles. India usually has a keen focus on mobile gaming, making titles such as Call of Duty Mobile a great alternative, and they are even exploring PC games like Valorant. Titles such as Real Cricket and World Cricket Championship are also gaining traction within the market.
Co-founder and MD of NOWDIN Gaming, Akshat Rathee recently spoke about wanting to see Indian esports going in the direction of the Indian Premier Cricket League, which is worth almost $6 billion.
While there is clearly a battle to be fought for the esports industry in India, as the government enforces bans on popular games and esports not being dubbed as an actual sport, there’s still huge potential for the market. With wider accessibility to mobile and a willingness to adapt, the Indian esports market could become a popular hub for competition gaming.